Thursday, March 3, 2016

"J'ai Pres Parley" - Hackberry Ramblers

The Hackberry Ramblers were founded in 1933 by Luderin Darbone. He was living in the small oilfield town of Hackberry, Louisiana. That's where the band gets its name. They invoke the feeling of a dusty slat floor under your feet, in a little joint in the middle of nowhere on a Saturday night, hot and humid air being stirred by old creaky ceiling fans. The screen door bangs open and shut as the regulars come in to join the party. Just the purest Cajun voice singing patois and the songs passed from generation to generation. The group consisted of members living in various locations, each having to travel.  Luderin Darbone recalls moving:
When I moved to Crowley, I had Lennis. He moved down. Lennis is from Vinton, a little town west of here. We decided if we moved to Crowley it would be more of a central location for us so that's what we did.1

Moi j’ai une fille une t’brin fou,

Cause dans la cuisine avec les pieds dans l'eau,
Je vais parler de toi, vais parler de toi, 
Je vais parler de toi, vais parler de toi, 
Je vais parler de toi, vais parler de toi, 
Ça fait pas rien quoi te fais.  Hey, petite.

Te voir une fille jamais voir la meme,
Moi, j'ai une fille qui est plus belle que la tienne,
Je vais parler de toi, vais parler de toi, 
Je vais parler de toi, vais parler de toi, 
Je vais parler de toi, vais parler de toi, 
Ça fait pas rien quoi te fais.


Elle a vendu du whisky, elle vendu du Gin, 
Elle a vendu au juge, elle à vendu a Dieu,
Je vais parler de toi, vais parler de toi, 
Je vais parler de toi, vais parler de toi, 
Je vais parler de toi, vais parler de toi, 
Luderin Darbone
Ça fait pas rien quoi te fais.
"Jai Pres Parley" (#2013) is the corrupted form of the phrase "j'ai près parler", but closer along the lines of "je vais parler de toi" or "I"m talking about you". While the lady is accused of "vendu a Dieu", it's most probably a reference to a local church leader.  It's a neat bluesy boogie song, very much influenced by the Texas swing coming from the west.  Lennis Sonnier sang alongside Joe Werner on harmonica/guitar and Johnny Puderer on bass with Luderin on fiddle in this 1937 New Orleans piece.
I have a daughter who's slightly crazy,
Stands in the kitchen with her feet in water,
I'm talking about you, talking about you,
I'm talking about you, talking about you,
I'm talking about you, talking about you,
It's nothing that you've done.  Hey, little one.

You'll never see a girl the same way,
I have a daughter who is more beautiful than yours,
I'm talking about you, talking about you,
I'm talking about you, talking about you,
I'm talking about you, talking about you,
It's nothing that you've done.

She sold whiskey, she sold gin,
She sold to the judge, she sold to the priest,
I'm talking about you, talking about you,
I'm talking about you, talking about you,
I'm talking about you, talking about you,
It's nothing that you've done.



  1. http://arhoolie.org/hackberry-ramblers/
  2. Lyrics by Jerry M, Stephane F, and 'ericajun'

Find:

Louisiana Cajun Music Volume 8: The Hackberry Ramblers - Early Recordings 1935-1948 (Old Timey, 1988)
Hackberry Ramblers: Early Recordings 1935-1950 (Arhoolie, 2003)
Cajun Country, Vol. 2, More Hits from the Swamp (JSP, 2005)

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