CND Song 33 The Box

The Box - L'Affaire Dumoutier (Say to Me), 1985 (Montreal, Quebec)

'The old man had discovered, to his absolute dismay, the dislocated body of Elisabeth Dumoutier...' One of the strangest Canadian hit singles I can remember. What is 'L'Affaire Dumoutier', exactly? A rap? A short film? An excuse for lead singer Jean-Marc Pisapia (once a member of Men Without Hats) to stand around in a trench coat looking glum and thoughtful? Mostly spoken in English and French, this song packs an hour's worth of cop show plot into four minutes. I'd happily watch it as a series, especially with unsmiling Detective Jean-Marc in the lead. The white handkerchief wave dismissing the crime scene photographers, the cigarette thrown away at exactly the right moment, the barn cat he ends up holding while pondering his next cool. I'm also fond of the way the psychiatrist mildly wipes flung spittle from his glasses every time someone yells at him, and the fact that there's an accordion player at Elisabeth's last dance. But help me out here, Francophones. Jean-Marc's not really calling the snarky journalist's paper a 'rag' is he? Were The Box actually swearing on Muchmusic all through the spring of 1985? You got away with it, guys. Neat.


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