Complainte pour Ste Catherine

Posted August 19th, 2011 by Anna

Two months after the release of our first Warner recording in early 1976 we were asked to send a visual of a song that was getting some attention in Holland. Kate was 8 months pregnant (doesn’t look it) with Martha and because she had some edema the big East coast tour that had been planned got cancelled and we were at home twiddling our thumbs convinced our short-lived music careers were over. Now it turns out somebody somewhere liked something. Timing was everything. I remember it was a weekend and the Quebec WEA company rep arranged for us to lyp-synch before a camera at a TV station in Sherbrooke, QC, 1.5 hrs drive E. of Montreal, the only place that could make the video on short notice. In spite of the sorry-looking tulips, the song became a hit in Holland and Northern Europe. This is the first time I’ve ever seen this clip. It was uploaded to youtube and by fans. The irony here is that in the Spring of 2009 Kate and I were to fly to Holland to do this same song on a TV show with the Dutch group Alderliefste but because of post-surgery complications Kate had to spend a month in hospital and we never made it over. Complainte pour Ste Catherine indeed. Be careful how you title your songs. Stick to Love Me Do. The song appears on our first Warner record and on French Record (where I’ve written it phonetically – Kumpleint por St Kathryn)

Complainte pour Ste Catherine – Dutch TV 1976

12 Responses:

  1. GCT™ says:

    August 19th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Is this the first ever music video ?
    Let us agree that it is and everything went south from this
    Mais a l’heure il fais pas meme zero. J’ai ben hate de voir la neige!!!

  2. GCT™ PS says:

    August 19th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    anna looks so ‘gamin’
    Tulips sink two lips sync
    Why no wooden Hats ?

  3. Peter says:

    August 21st, 2011 at 6:44 am

    Great find and you both look great here. I assume the tulips were a nod to the fans in Holland … they really understand tulips. Even so, they forgave you and made this a hit. I always found this song a bit sad, it meant that the concert was ending. Never tire of hearing it,

  4. Janet says:

    August 21st, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Very Nice !

  5. Michael says:

    August 22nd, 2011 at 4:12 pm


  6. Anne Onymous says:

    August 22nd, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks for posting this. It’s a real pleasure to hear and see this timeless classic. You two exude a genuine, fresh authenticy that the passage of time only confirms. Beautiful work!

  7. Gert says:

    August 30th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    It’s a bit funny that the Dutch producer got it all wrong. The “subtitles” say that it was Anna who couldn’t travel because of an advanced stage of pregnancy. Well, the song is great in any case and a real classic.

  8. roland says:

    December 13th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Too bad, the video has disappeared. I would so much have liked to see it.

  9. GCT™ says:

    December 21st, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    so it’s not our tube it’s their tube whoever they may be
    I’m giving up edam for gouda

  10. Jasper de Koster says:

    July 18th, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I attended the concert in Holland (the Doelen, 1977) being a teenager back than. It was probably the first real concert I attended and I kept enjoying that the rest of my life.
    Recently I found a dutch translation of Complainte pour st. Catharine and I was really surprised. I always thought it was a politcal song… Or even a devote song. Even though I learned French at school for 6 years, i was not able to figure out what this song was about. But I have always loved it, maybe even more now I know what you were singing, although I will miss the mystification now.
    Bless, jasper

  11. Anna Toss-Finnsio says:

    December 13th, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    This beautiful song became a hit in Sweden when I was a kid, with folk singer Marie Bergman, and then again 2006 with Marie Fredriksson (from Roxette). Only with a completely different text! Swedish singer Ola Magnell made it into a political song, a very lovely and early feminist appeal. In his version it is a mother singing a lullaby to her daughter, about how tired she is from working and being a mum, but that that doesn’t mean she can ignore politics (the Swedish title is (crudely) translated “No-one escapes politics”). She tells her baby girl Lina that one day she may be able to do politics like a man, that is, without being confined to the home. And then she repeats “No-one escapes politics by being servile and meek! You still need to debate, even if you are exhausted every night”. Here’s the song, sung by Marie Bergman on Spotify:

  12. Luke says:

    July 30th, 2017 at 8:09 am

    I remember where I was when I heard this song on the radio in 1976, and I instantly liked it.
    I once read this song was about the Canadian- American war of 1812 (the “forgotten war”), but reading the lyrics back now, that turns out not to be true.
    Didn’t know Kate passed away in 2010, way too soon.
    By the way, no-one noticed the tulips looking “sorry” – tulips in a vase always look like that, they don’t stay good for long 🙂

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