Nineteen young women asleep in their bunks
But one up on deck here with me
She’s watching the stars with the wind in hair
And she tells me her name is Marie
No stranger to laughter, no stranger to joy
And a spirit as wild as the sea
She’ll make a man happy in distant Quebec
But he won’t be a sailor like me
“Fille Du Roy” by Heather Dale, with heartfelt sign language interpretation by Thurga Kanagasekarampillai.
Here’s some historical context from Heather Dale’s note on the video:
Four hundred years ago, the colony [of Quebec] was thriving but pioneering families were few. The French King Louis XIV did something surprisingly progressive: he offered to formally adopt any orphaned French young women of marriageable age (legally making them princesses), provided they were willing to travel to New France and marry whomever they wanted… Over 700 brave young ladies took the plunge, and were treated with huge respect.
This is part of a really cool project that Heather Dale is collaborating on with Deaf storytellers. For more videos from the series, check out Heather’s YouTube Channel.