Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Le Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme (The Old Drunkard and His Wife)" - Joe Falcon and Cleoma Breaux

The song "Lafayette" had yet to be released to the public, however, Columbia had the Falcons come to New York. This time, they would record several songs during an August 1928 session, including the tune "Le Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme (The Old Drunkard and His Wife)" #15301.  It's a Cajun-french version of an old bluegrass, Appalacian folk song usually known under the title "My Good Old Man".



Où c'est qu' t'es parti? oui, mon bon vieux mari

Eoù c'est qu' t'es parti? ce qu'on appelle amour

Eoù c'est qu' t'es parti? oui, mon bon vieux mari

Qui l'est l'meilleur buveur du pays



J'étais parti au café



Oui, mon bon vieux mari

Et quoi t'es partie faire? ce qu'on appelle amour

Et quoi t'es partie faire? oui, mon bon vieux mari

Qui est l'meilleur buveur du pays



J'suis parti m'soûler



Quand t'en reviens? oui, mon bon vieux mari

Et quand t'en reviens? ce qu'on appelle amour
Et quand t'en reviens? oui, mon bon vieux mari
Qui l'est l'meilleur buveur du pays

Oh demain ou an autre jour

Quoi tu veux que je te cuis? oui, mon bon vieux mari
Et quoi tu veux que je te cuis? ce qu'on appelle amour
Et quoi tu veux que je te cuis? oui, mon bon vieux mari
Qui est l'meilleur buveur du pays

Fais moi deux douzaine d'oeufs puis un gallon d'couche couche.

Ca, ça va te tuer, oui, mon bon vieux mari
Ca, ça va te tuer, ce qu'on appelle amour
Ca, ça va te tuer, oui, mon bon vieux mari
Qui est l'meilleur buveur du pays 

Oh mais ça fait pas rien, il faut mourir qua' même

Ou que tu veux que je t'enterrer? oui, mon bon vieux mari
Et ou que tu veux que je t'enterrer? ce qu'on appelle amour
Et ou que tu veux que je t'enterrer? oui, mon bon vieux mari
Qui est l'meilleur buveur du pays

Enterre moi dans le coin de la cheminée
Et temps en temps passé moi une patate chaude !
Advertisement in Baton Rouge, Nov 1928

The song is a comic dialogue sung between a man and a woman. The part of the wife is sung by Cléoma Breaux, who also plays guitar on this recording. The part of the husband is spoken rather than sung, and is performed by Joe Falcon who also plays the accordion. The music is jaunty, as befits a humorous piece. The woman questions her husbands actions and the husband, quick to get away, states an answer after each refrain, hoping to appease her. The wife is depicted as long suffering, but ultimately supportive.   Many versions omit the ghost reference at the end and the lyrics vary from performer to performer. 


Lake Charles American Press
Oct 13, 1928

Eventually, the song becomes better known as "Mon Bon Vieux Mari" and is sung in 1965 by the Hackberry Ramblers and by Menard, Balfa, and Savoy in 1976 for Swallow.



Where are you going? yes, my good old husband

Where are you going? the one that we call love

Where are you going? yes, my good old husband

Who's the best drinker in the land



Well, I am going to the café



My good old husband

And what are you going to do? the one that we call love

And what are you going to do? yes, my good old husband

Who's the best drinker in the land



I am going to get drunk



And when will you return? yes, my good old husband

And when will you return? the one that we call love
And when will you return? yes, my good old husband
Who's the best drinker in the land

Oh, maybe tomorrow or another day

And what do you want me to cook? yes, my good old husband
And what do you want me to cook? the one that we call love
And what do you want me to cook? yes, my good old husband
Who's the best drinker in the land

Make me five dozen eggs  and a gallon of couche couche and

But, that will kill you ! yes, my good old husband
But, that will kill you ! the one that is called love
But, that will kill you ! yes, my good old husband
Who's the best drinker in the land

Oh, it makes no matter, i want to die this way anyway

And, where do you want me to bury you? yes, my good old husband
And, where do you want me to bury you? the one that we call love
And, where do you want me to bury you? yes, my good old husband
Who's the best drinker in the land

Bury me in the corner of the fireplace
And every now and then pass me a hot potatos! 

Cleoma is often considered to be the first important female Cajun musician and was highly influential as both a vocalist and as a guitarist. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame.

The melody would make it's way into a 1948 recording by Harry Choates called "Mari Jole Blon".




  1. http://oldweirdamerica.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/68-le-vieux-soulard-et-sa-femme-by-cleoma-breaux-joseph-falcon/
Find:
Les Cajuns Best Of 2002 Les Triomphes De La Country Volume 12 (Habana, 2002)
Cajun Louisiane 1928-1939 (Fremeaux, 2003)
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)
The Beginner's Guide to Cajun Music (Primo, 2008)
The Best Of Cajun & Zydeco (Not Now, 2010)
The Perfect Roots & Blues Collection (Sony, 2015)
The Very Best of Cajun: La Stomp Creole, Vol. 1 (Viper, 2016)

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