French-Acadians scattered throughout the world are honored by Bangor songwriter Joe Pickering, in a ballad he wrote in tribute to their bravery.

“Scattered and Near Forgotten” memorializes the 1755 Acadian expulsion from Nova Scotia, during a brutal act of war by the Colonial British, in an episode called, by the French, “Le Grand Derangement”.  It was during “The Great Upheaval”, when the British accomplished their conquest of Acadia (Nova Scotia) in their successful efforts, during the French and Indian Wars, to control Canada.

Maine poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorialized the historic expulsion in his epic, “Evangeline.” It became an internationally popular poem published in 1847, portraying the emotional turmoil suffered by Acadians when their families were ripped apart and their property was confiscated by the British.

“Scattered and Near Forgotten” is about the courage of the French-Acadians, who carried on, despite British tyranny, explained in the lyrics:

“Let’s keep alive their memories of Old Grand Pre,
Where they kept to hearth, farms, faith and history,
Forced from their homes, they did not give ground,
They would not bow down before the British Crown”

Musical background for the song’s lyrics includes French-Acadian rhythm, performed by snare drum, the accordion, fiddle, bodhran, guitar and triangle.

“Scattered and Near Forgotten” is sung by Danny Mack, a Country Music Association of America award winning singer. Mack previously won an award for performing another song Pickering wrote titled, “The Ballad of Paul Bunyan.”

“Scattered and Near Forgotten” could be a perfect anthem for the Acadian Congress scheduled in August, 2014, during the international celebration planned in Northern Maine with Quebec and New Brunswick, Canada. The Congress helps plan the reunions of dozens of Acadian families during three weeks of cultural programs.  The Congress and cultural activities are expected to attract 50,000 people to Northern Maine and the Canadian Provinces.

Pickering wrote the ballad as a tribute to the French-Acadians, who did not bow to British tyranny, in spite of the toll the brutality took on them and their families.

Pickering says all people need to be aware of Le Grand Derangement.

“I wrote the song to educate the millions of people who do not speak or read French and are unaware of the historic expulsion the Acadians,” he says.

“I know the Acadian expulsion was one of North America’s greatest tragedies.  But, for those brave Acadian who carried on, despite the disbursement, the tragedy has shown the bravery of the survivors who carried on.”

Moreover, “Scattered and Near Forgotten” is written in English, precisely because it tells the tale of the Acadians plight, the generations of emotional pain, and their power to overcome, to all who don’t speak French,” he says.

He wrote the song in English to increase the impact of the ballad beyond the French speaking people. Pickering began his love for the French and Franco-Americans after serving in the U.S. Air Force in the Alsace Lorraine region of France in 1961-61.

His wife’s Franco-American heritage is inherited from her father’s side of the family. Her name is Theresa Duclos Pickering, with the family’s roots being in Montreal and Vermont.

“Scattered and Near Forgotten” was written after Pickering learned about the Acadian expulsion by following Les Franco-Americans.  “The more I read, the more I wanted to create a tribute to this tragic history and recognize the bravery of the Acadian people,” he says.

Pickering has written scores of other songs, most of them about baseball sports heroes and, of course, Paul Bunyan.

Information is available on his website: www.kingoftheroadmusic.com