C’est l’Halloween: The Story Behind the Greatest French Halloween Song Ever
October 31, 2013 | 10:00 am
By Joanna Cabot
On this fine (and rainy, at least where I am!) Halloween morning, what better tale of creative success than this one from the CBC, about the iconic children’s Halloween song, ‘C’est l’Halloween?’ French is a required curriculum area here in Canada, and appropriate curriculum materials can be big business. Matt Maxwell, the song’s author, first conceived it when he was a teacher himself. As the article explains:
“t was back in my first year of teaching core French in Halifax in the early ‘80s. It was actually October 30th and I said, ‘Oh, it’s Halloween tomorrow. I have to write a song for my students.’ That’s essentially what I did.”
The song, with it’s list-like verses and extremely simple refrain (C’est l’Halloween, c’est l’Halloween, HEY!) has been a staple in French classrooms ever since. In fact, my own grade 1 class will be performing it at our monthly assembly this morning, and I am sure they will shout the HEY! parts with gusto.
But the story gets even more interesting. Maxwell eventually married a woman who also taught French, and together, they created the literacy-based AIM Program, which I (and many other teachers across the world) use as part of our curriculum. One of the most recent additions to the AIM oeuvre is an ‘interactive story’ featuring an updated version of the song.
Curious? Watch the video version, created with Maxwell’s permission