Spirit of Acadia


Introduction:

On my first trip to New Brunswick, mid 1980's, having no prior knowledge of my family history, nor any significant knowledge of Acadian history, I found myself taking my lunch break at Fort Beauséjour at Aulac. It was simply a convenient place to spend some time as I was far too early for a Moncton appointment.

I did not spend much time in the museum. Instead, I walked the surrounding fields, settling eventually atop what I later understood to be a dyke, to eat my lunch. It was a warm summer day and the foggy breeze coming off the bay was indeed refreshing.

Suddenly I felt different. I felt attracted to or attached to that place somehow. I could neither understand nor define the feeling except to say I felt like I had been there before. I had not, of course, but I felt at home, as though I had arrived somewhere I had been trying to reach. No logic could explain that feeling. It was a purely emotional connection.

In spite of the place having nothing I would have considered beautiful ... no mountain scenes, no particularly attractive seascape ... the feeling of connection was so powerful I found myself wandering back there many times afterward, trying to somehow come to an understanding of what it was I was feeling.

It would be some five or six years later, while studying Acadian genealogy and history that I would discover that the man who came to this continent bearing my family name, Chiasson, a farmer at Beaubassin, walked those same fields about three hundred years earlier. Having made that connection, I felt as though my trip "back to" Beaubassin had been a spiritual homecoming.

The seed of the song "Spirit of Acadia" was planted on that first visit but would take some 12 years to complete as it has been the most difficult experience I have ever tried to describe in words. Spirit of Acadia is, among all my songs, closest to my heart.



Lyrics:

Standing at the water's edge,
Looking across the Fundy Bay.
Something coming over me,
As the mist rolls off the sea,
    I stand here lost in time and space
    With the spirits of three hundred years,
    Their song is riding on the wind,
    Now they carry me away.

      (Refrain) Oh, Acadia,
      The Spirit of Acadia,
      A nation built upon this land,
      A people proud and free.
      Oh, Acadia,
      The Spirit of Acadia,
      Rising out of the Fundy mist,
      Her spirit lives in me.
Looking back across the fields,
Where farmers shed their blood and tears,
To take back from the mighty sea,
The land they called their home.
    All they wanted was to live in peace,
    In a world that only lived by war,
    Torn from the land and set adrift,
    What the hell was it all for?

      (Repeat Refrain)
I stand here on the open field,
Fall to my knees and kiss the ground,
This sacred mud gave birth and life,
To a nation proud and strong.
    I've come back home so I could see
    The place where l'Acadie was born.
    We're back, this is where we belong,
    We'll never leave again!

      (Repeat Refrain)
© David Chiasson - 2000