French Canadian folk music sounds Gaelic due to its strong influence from the early Irish and Scottish settlers in Canada. These settlers brought their music and culture with them, which blended with the existing French Canadian culture to create a unique musical tradition.
According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, the first Irish and Scottish immigrants arrived in Canada in the early 18th century and settled in areas such as Nova Scotia and the Gaspe Peninsula. These settlers brought with them traditional Celtic music, which was primarily played on instruments such as the fiddle, guitar, and bagpipes. This music was a form of entertainment for the settlers and was often played at social gatherings such as dances and parties.
As these settlers integrated with the existing French Canadian population, their music began to blend with the traditional French Canadian music, which was primarily based on the fiddle and the accordion. This blending of musical traditions resulted in a unique style of music that combined the rhythms and melodies of Celtic music with the instrumentation and harmonies of French Canadian music.
This fusion of musical styles can be heard in the traditional French Canadian folk song "La Bastringue," which features a lively fiddle tune that is reminiscent of Celtic music, but also includes a strong accordion accompaniment. Another example is the song "Le Reel de la Pointe-au-Pic," which features a prominent fiddle melody and is often played at social gatherings and festivals.
Overall, the Gaelic influence on French Canadian folk music can be attributed to the early Irish and Scottish settlers who brought their music and culture with them to Canada. This musical tradition has continued to evolve and thrive in Canada, and has become an important part of the country's cultural heritage.