"Trancas", mistaken for the word "traîneau", was a tune which borrowed from the old Appalacian melody "Rubber Dolly", famously recorded by Woody Guthrie and others. In the film "American Patchwork", Alan Lomax makes a loose claim stating cowboys from Texas heard the phrase being used as they drove their cattle across the Cajun prairies to be sold in New Orleans. He makes the assumption that this phrase is the origins of the call "Whoopie Ti Yi Yo". Author Raymond E. Francois describes a different origin. The french word "Huppe", used colloquially, means clever while "taiaut" comes from the English shout tally-ho, and refers to a hound dog, thus "clever hounds".1 The traîneau, or sled, referred to here is a particular kind of flat bottom boat sled used by Cajuns to get around the marshy swamp easier.
Cleoma sings this Cajun tune and Joe plays the accordion. In a 1962 interview with Lauren Post, Joe explains he used accordionist Sidney Babineaux's song about a couple of dogs, Hip and Taiaud, who prowl about stealing things. Regardless, it would be Joe and Cleoma to record the first version of this melody which would later influence many other songs, including Harry Choates' 1947 tune, Hackberry Hop and Clarence Garlow's 1953 rockabilly tune called "Route 90". Later, it would be the basis for Clifton Chenier's "Zydeco Sont Pas Sale".
Ils la volé mon traîneau, chere,
Ils la volé mon traîneau, chere,Quand ils ont vu j'étais fou, chereIls rapporté mon traîneau,Ils la volé mon chapeau, chere,Ils la volé mon chapeau, chere,Quand ils ont vu j'étais fou, chereIls rapporté mon traîneau,C'est Hip et Taiau les chiens,Ils la volé mon traîneau, chere,Quand ils ont vu j'étais fou, chereIls rapporté mon traîneau.
They stole my sled, dear,
They stole my sled, dearWhen they saw I was crazy, dearThey brought my sled,They stole my hat, dear,They stole my hat, dear,When they saw I was crazy, dearThey brought my sled,It's the Hip and Taiau dogsThey stole my sled, dearWhen they saw I was crazy, dearThey brought my sled.
On the record's flip side is "La Fille A Oncle Elair". A song about an unknown uncle Hilaire and his beautiful daughters. Each daughter is different but none of them will replace the lonliness he has for his love.
- Ye Yaille Chere, Traditional Cajun Dance Music by Raymond E. François
Louisiana Cajun Music Vol. 2: The Early 30s (Old Timey/Arhoolie, 1971)
Cajun Louisiane 1928-1939 (Frémeaux, 2003)