Homage to Lhasa. 01/01/2010 RIP.

Welcome to the official page for the Canadian national final for the seventh edition of Fête de la Chanson.


Artist: Lhasa de Sela

Venue: Opera de Montreal, Montreal

Opera de Montreal


Lhasa was born in Big Indian, New York, of a Mexican father, language instructor Alejandro “Alex” Sela, and an American mother, photographer and actress Alexandra Karam. According to Lhasa, her hippie parents did not give her a name until the age of five months; her mother was reading a book about Tibet and the word Lhasa “just grabbed her” as the right name for the baby girl. Lhasa’s maternal grandmother was Elena Karam (1909–2001), an actress best known for her leading role in Elia Kazan’s film America America. Her paternal grandmother was Carmen de Obarrio (1906–1982), a Panamanian pianist who studied in Los Angeles with Egon Petri, and with Edgar Varèse in San Francisco.Lhasa had a Lebanese great-grandfather named Basel who sang in six languages. Her mother played harp and her father played flute.Her first decade was spent criss-crossing the United States and Mexico, living and traveling in a converted school bus with her parents and siblings, home-schooled by her mother. Both her parents spoke fluent Spanish, but she was raised speaking primarily English, with Spanish added during a total of eight years’ residence in Mexico. Along with her family she listened to a wide variety of recordings including songs by Chilean musician Victor Jara; as a young child she dreamed of marrying him some day, not knowing he had been killed.

At age 13 when her parents separated, Lhasa, her mother and her sisters settled in San Francisco where Lhasa started singing in a Greek cafe. She included Spanish language lessons in her high school studies. After viewing a documentary about Billie Holiday, Lhasa determined that she, too, would make a career in singing.

In 1991, she traveled to Montreal to visit her sisters who were students at l’École nationale de cirque, the National Circus School of Canada, and she decided to make Montreal her home. Steeped in a Francophone culture for the first time, she sang for five years in bars, collaborating with rock guitarist Yves Desrosiers. In 1992, Denis Wolff, general manager of the independent Canadian record company, Audiogram, saw Lhasa performing, her head shaved, in front of a tiny nightclub audience. He was struck with “her personality, her charisma and her voice” – he soon signed her to the label. With Desrosiers she developed the material that eventually became her first album. Following a 21-month-long battle with breast cancer, Lhasa died, age 37, on the evening of January 1, 2010, at her home in Montreal.




1. El desierto

2. Rising

3. La maree haute

4. Anywhere On this Road

5. La cara a la pared


Voting: To vote in the Canadian national final, give the points to cosdino83@gmail.com as follows: 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 in descending order. 12 points will go to your favorite song. 4 to your least favorite.

National Final Ends: 23:59 CET 6 June 2015


  • CA Dino
  • GB Robert
  • Mongolia arpatilaos
  • AM Avat
  • AU Dimitris
  • Philippines Ren Robles
  • SE Alex (Greece)
  • NL Stommie
  • JP Max
  • Kazakhstan Donnie
  • NZ Oxi
  • US Patrick
  • IT Italy
  • EE Alex (USA)

Winner: “Anywhere on this Road”


19 thoughts on “Homage to Lhasa. 01/01/2010 RIP.

  1. Pingback: Fête de la Chanson 7: The Songs! | Fête de la chanson

  2. English lyrics for El Desierto

    The Desert

    I’ve come to the desert to laugh at your love
    As the desert’s more tender and the thorn kisses better.

    I’ve come to this middle of nowhere to shout
    That you never deserved what I wanted to give so badly.

    I’ve come running, getting over you
    Kiss me little bird, don’t get frightened humming bird

    I’ve come on fire to the desert to burn
    Because the soul is set alight when it stops loving


  3. La maree haute – High Tide

    Versions: #1#2
    The road sings
    When I leave
    I take three steps…
    The road is silent

    The road is black
    As far as the view
    I take three steps…
    The road is not

    On the high tide
    I went up
    The head is full
    But the heart has
    Not enough

    Hands lace
    The wooden figure
    I take three steps…
    And you’re here

    On the high tide
    I went up
    The head is full
    But the heart has
    Not enough


  4. De cara a la pared – With face against the wall

    with face against the wall
    the city’s dying down

    and there’s nothing left
    than to die perhaps
    Where are you?

    with face against the wall
    the city’s burning down

    without a breath
    I want to love you
    I want to love you

    with face against the wall
    the city’s sinking down

    Mother Mary
    Mother Mary
    Mother Mary

    Taken from http://lyricstranslate.com/en/de-cara-la-pared%EF%BB%BF-face-against-wall.html#ixzz3bR11jN1e


  5. My voting visualky is gorgeous LOL 😀 😀 I like long titled songs!

    12 Anywhere On this Road
    10 La cara a la pared
    8 La maree haute
    6 El desierto
    4 Rising


  6. I’m so saddened by her untimely death!She’s such an interesting artist. 😦
    It was hard making up my mind on the songs.The top-4 is very strong but i had to deliver my results.

    12-De cara a la pared
    10-Anywhere on this road
    08- La maree haute
    06- Rising
    04-El desierto

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That was really tough!Kept switching my votes all the time!!! Anyway, Kazakh votes have just been sent.
    Good luck!


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