Thursday, March 17, 2016

"Hackberry Hop" - Leo Soileau

The 1935 Bluebird recording of Leo Soileau and his Three Aces' "Hackberry Hop" (#2086) consists of Leo Soileau singing and playing fiddle, Floyd Shreve on guitar, Bill (Dewey) Landry on guitar and Tony Gonzales on drums. The Hackberry Hop was a melody which was recorded much earlier in 1928 and 1929.  Like many traditional Cajun and black Creole compositions, it possesses an extremely complex genealogy, reflected in part by the various renderings of its title.3  It's based on Cleoma Breaux's "Ils La Volet Mon Trancas" and the Breaux brother's "T'as Vole Mon Chapeau".  All three of these songs will be used as the source for the post-war song "Hip et Taïaut" made popular by Harry Choates, Abe Manuel, Bobby Page, Link Davis, Moise Robin, Doug Kershaw, Jimmy Newman and others.  

C’est les huppés taiauts, chere, qu’a volé mon traineau, chere,

Quand t’as vu j’était chaud, chere, t’as ramené mon traineau, chere,

C’est les huppés taiauts, chere, qu’a volé mon capot, chere,
Quand t’as vu j’était chaud, chere, t’as ramené mon capot, chere,
C’est les huppés taiauts, chere, qu’a volé mon capot, chere,
Quand t’as vu j’était chaud, chere, t’as ramené mon capot.

C’est les huppés taiauts, chere, qu’a volé mon traineau, chere,
Quand t’as vu j’était chaud, chere, t’as ramené mon traineau, chere,
C’est les huppés taiauts, chere, qu’a volé mon capot, chere,
Quand t’as vu j’était chaud, chere, t’as ramené mon capot, chere,
C’est les fille des Bosco, chere, qu’a vole mon gilet, chere,
Quand t’as vu j’était chaud, chere, t’as ramené mon gilet, chere.

C’est les fille des Bosco, chere, qu’a vole mon gilet, chere,
Quand t’as vu j’était chaud, chere, t’as ramené mon gilet, chere.
Danny Boulet, Jerry Baker, Leo Soileau
Bheul Hoffpauir

Image courtesy of Johnnie Allan & the 
Center for Louisiana Studies, 
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

According to Lomax, it is thought that such phrases as “Whoopie Ti Yi Yo!” found in the Western classic “Git Along Little Doggies” is derived from the exclamation “Hip et Taïaut” and its variations that were heard in the Cajun prairies.  Black Creole versions of the song bear the titles "Les Haricots Sont Pas Sales" and "Zydeco Est Pas Sale".3 

It's the sly dogs, dear, that stole my sled dear,

When you saw I was angry, dear, you've brought back my sled, dear,

It's the sly dogs, dear, that stole my hat dear,
When you saw I was angry, dear, you've brought back my hat, dear,
It's the sly dogs, dear, that stole my hat dear,
When you saw I was angry, dear, you've brought back my hat, dear,

It's the sly dogs, dear, that stole my sled, dear,
When you saw I was angry, dear, you've brought back my sled, dear,
It's the sly dogs, dear, that stole my hat dear,
When you saw I was angry, dear, you've brought back my hat, dear,
It's the daugher of Bosco, dear, that stole my jacket, dear,
When you saw I was angry, dear, you've brought back my jacket, dear.

It's the daughters of Bosco, dear, that stole my jacket, dear,
When you saw I was angry, dear, you've brought back my jacket, dear.
Bosco is a small community in south Louisiana, near Sunset.  It is not on most maps.  Bosco became famous locally in the 30s when it became on of the first oil fields in the state.4  Referencing the "daughters of Bosco" as "he" is confusing.   According to annotator Catherine Blanchet:

I do not know why the singer did not make the pronoun agree in number and gender with the noun it stands for.  He probably didn't even notice he hadn't.  Words are secondary in this music, anyway.4 
Some recent research has alluded to the fact the song may be the precursor to Clarence Garlow's "Route 90", Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" and the Beach Boys' "Surfin U.S.A.".




  1. Label scan by University of Louisiana at Lafayette Cajun and Creole Music Collection - Special Collections
  2. http://jopiepopie.blogspot.com/2014/01/ils-la-volet-mon-trancas-1934-hackberry.html
  3. Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues By Shane K. Bernard
  4. Louisiana Cajun Music Vol. 3: The String Bands Of The 1930s.  Liner notes. 
  5. Lyrics by Jerry M and Stephane F

Find:

Louisiana Cajun Music Vol. 3: The String Bands Of The 1930s (Old Timey/Arhoolie, 1971)
Gran Prairie: Cajun Music Anthology, Vol. 3: The Historic Victor Bluebird Sessions (Country Music, 1994)
Cajun Country, Vol. 2, More Hits from the Swamp (JSP, 2005)

1 comment:

  1. Great version of "Hip et Taiau" and watching Silvana Mangano shake it is just perfect accompaniment! Thanks. . . .

    ReplyDelete

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