Saturday, December 6, 2014

"Mon Dernier Bon Soir" - Alleman and Walker

Even though Lawrence Walker would be known helping the resurgence in Cajun music after the war, few remember that his first entry in the music scene was in the mid 1930s during the Cajun string band craze.   Lawrence teamed up with his brothers for a recording session in New Orleans in 1935.   Fellow musician, Tony Alleman, tagged along and while they were there, Lawrence and Tony recorded "Mon Dernier Bon Soir" (#2193).

J'ai fait mon idée,

de m'en aller, chère

Quand je suis parti, belle,

c'est pour toujours

Observe-moi bien, chère,
pour la dernière fois
Donne moi ta petite main,
pour dire au revoir
(fait pas ça!)

Regarde voir le char neg,
Donne moi un ticket
Pour moi m'en aller,
si loin que je peux.

Et dans le tracas,
Je va t'oublier mon neg'
Faudra que je l'oublie chère,
Ou je va mourrir là.
Lawrence Walker

The simple song has Lawrence on vocals, however, there is some confusion on if Tony is on guitar or on fiddle.  According to Richard Spottswood, he lists Tony Alleman on vocal and Lawrence Walker on violin.  Lawrence Walker's recordings with Tony Alleman for the Bluebird label provide further evidence of Cajun musicians organizing Texas-tinged proto-Cajun swing.  The duo bristles with energy from the interplay between the song's Franco and Anglo components.

I have an idea,

To go away, my dear,

When I leave, my beautiful,

It will be forever.

Look at me good, my dear,
For the last time,
Give me your little hand,
In order to say goodbye.
(no not that!)

See the car, neg',
Give me a ticket,
In order for me to leave,
As far as I can,

And within these worries,
I will forget you, my neg',
I must forget you, my dear,
Or I will die.

This record would be the only one with Alleman.  Walker would record only once more before the war in 1936 at the National Folk Festival in Dallas, TX.   Afterwards, he stopped recording and began rice farming.   He wouldn't record again until Cajun music's popularity grew again in the 1950s; this time with an accordion led band.

  2. The Encyclopedia of Country Music
  3. Cajun Breakdown : The Emergence of an American-Made Music By Ryan Andre Brasseaux
  4. Lyrics by 'ericajun' and Marc C
Louisiana Cajun Music Vol. 2: The Early 30s (Old Timey/Arhoolie, 1971)

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