Separatists unveil new Quebec 'anthem'

June 14, 2011 at 11:11 AM

MONTREAL, June 14 (UPI) -- French separatists who want Quebec out of Canada have unveiled a new hymn described as a potential anthem for a future independent state.

The Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste held a competition for a new song and the only entry won. The piece is titled "O'Kebek, un hymne pour le Quebec" and was written by poet Raoul Duguay, The (Montreal) Gazette reported Tuesday.

As to the spelling of Quebec, a society spokesman said it reflected the original Indian spelling, which translates to "where the river narrows," the newspaper said.

It's the fourth time writers have penned potential anthems for an independent Quebec.

There was no translation of the lyrics into any other language released with the video, although the Gazette called its wording "unwieldy" with "complicated rhymes."

Among the eight verses are lines such as "The St. Lawrence [River] swims in our blood; waves of hope run through our veins.

"Our culture has a good wind in its vast sails; the lights of our spirit shine around the Earth."

The video can be accessed at www.hymnenationalokebek.com by clicking on "Acceuil" to listen.

Separatism has fallen on hard times in recent weeks. The federal Bloc Quebecois that was the official opposition party was decimated to four parliamentary seats in the May 2 election and its leader couldn't retain his seat. Provincially, the Parti Quebecois has seen several members leave to sit as independents.

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