Friday, November 14, 2014

"High Point Two Step" - Austin Pitre

After WWII, other small Cajun labels popped up around south Louisiana. One of these was Fais Do Do records started by Jay Miller in 1946. A year later, he changed it to Feature Records that recorded many people such as Austin Pitre and Aldus Roger. In 1948, Austin would record his first record with Feature called "Evangeline Playboy Special" after the name of his band. 

Hey, mais malheureuse, toi 'tit monde, 
Quoi t'as fait, 'tit monde, avec ton nèg', 
Moi j'connais, c'est toi j'aime tant, tu vas aller,
Avec un autre, malheureuse, que t'aimes pas mieux. 
Hey gardé donc , quoi ta pres faire, 
Avec ton neg  t-monde toi te cannialle, 
Je tout l’temps ici, une jour avenir bébé,
Avant longtemp tu vas venir c’est cera  trops tard. 

Hey mais tout les soir ton vieux neg, 
Garde voir, t-monde tu ma fait mal,
Je tout l’temps dit, tu vas voir pour ton meme,
Tu vas payée pour tout  ça oui mon cher monde.

Pitre would kick off his career on this label with their best known song "Evangeline Playboys Special". On their second record in 1948, they recorded a song called "High Point Two Step" (#1019). It was the Cajun version of an old fiddle melody called "Rubber Dolly".  It would become well known after many musicians covered the tune including Mississippi John Hurt, Ray Price, Bill Parsons, and Woody Guthrie.   Other musicians around Louisiana would also cover the tune including a western swing version by Harry Choates in 1947 and a swamp pop version by Johnnie Allan in 1959.

Hey, oh my, my little everything, 

What did you do, my little everything, with your old man.

I know it's you that I love, you went away,

With another, oh my, who doesn't love you more. 

Hey, look at what you've done,
With your old man, little everything, you are mischievous,
I am always here, one day, (you'll) return to me, baby,
Before long, you are going to return, it'll be too late.

Hey, every night, old friend, 
Look here, my everything, you made me hurt,
I always told you, you will see for yourself,
You will pay for that, my dear everything.
Its a lively tune with a sad undercurrent. According to author Blair Kilpatrick, 

"The rhythm makes you want to dance however, the words if you let yourself feel them make you want to cry. A paradox you can't escape." 

Its about someone asking to see his love one more time before he dies.  The melody has a vague similarity to the an older tune by Joe Falcon called "Osson Two Step" recorded in 1929 and Amede Ardoin's "Tortope d'Osrun".   He would use the melody again in his "Janot Special".

  1. Accordion Dreams: A Journey Into Cajun and Creole Music By Blair Kilpatrick
  2. Lyrics by Marc C and Jerry M
Acadian All Star Special - The Pioneering Cajun Recordings Of J.D. Miller (Bear, 2011)

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