Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Assi Dans La Fenetre De Ma Chambre (Sitting In The Window Of My Room)" - Blind Uncle Gaspard

Very little is known about the life of the singer-guitarist Blind Uncle Gaspard. He took part in two Vocalion recording sessions along with the fiddler Delma Lachney, the first in Chicago in February 1929, the second in March of the same year in New Orleans. Of particular interest are the two sides of one disc from the second session on which he sings, hums, and whistles while accompanying himself with guitar.

Le châssis dans la fenêtre de ma chambre, 
Je te regarde t'en aller,
Aussi loin que je peux, moi je veux ma chérie.
T'après t'en aller, t'en aller et m' quitter, 
M' quitter moi tout seul dans tout(e) la misère. 

J'croyais pas quand j' te disais go, 
Pour toi t'en aller, t'en aller pour toujours.

Dis-moi don(c) ma chère qu'il faudra j' t'abandonne, 
T'après t'en aller, t'en aller pour toujours.

Ta chère petite main qui me pressait la mienne 
En me disant "goodbye, goodbye" pour toujours.

La parole tu m'as dit qui me casse mon coeur, 
Qui me casse mon coeur en mille morceaux.

J'aurais jamais voulu attendre c'te parole,
La parole tu m'as dit "En m' disant goodbye".

"Goodbye ma chère, goodbye pour toujours", 
T'après t'en aller, t'en aller pour toujours.

La mort c'est dur mais t'abandonner c'est bien plus, 
Mais ouais ma chère c'est parti pour nous.

J'aimerais mieux dix pieds de terre sur moi, 
Plutôt que de t'abandonner, 
Et voir aujourd'hui t'après t'en aller.

T'en aller ma chère, t'en aller pour toujours, 
Quitté moi tout seul dans tout le chagrin.

Comment don(c) ma chère j' pourrais t'oublier, 
Ta chère p'tite figure que j' vois là où j' vas.

Tes chères p'tites joues roses et tes chers p'tits yeux bleus,
Me r'ssemble que je vois tout le temps devant moi.

Quand j' ferme mes yeux, me semble j' te vois,
Tes chers p'tits yeux bleus qui me regardent dans la mort.

Blind Uncle Gaspard
While in Chicago, the guitarist recorded "Assi Dans La Fenetre De Ma Chambre (Sitting In The Window Of My Room)" for Vocalion (#5280).  Dennis McGee, who also took part in the March 1929 session, relates,
His name was Gaspard, but I can't remember his other name any more. I've forgotten the name of the place where he lived, but it was in Avoyelles parish, over there in the north, somewhere around Bunkie. He sang for his wife; she had blue eyes. Vaillonne, he called her, vaillonne!
According to musician Michael Doucet, Blind Uncle Gaspard lived between Ville Platte and Eunice. Marc Savoy, accordionist of Eunice, says that Blind Uncle Gaspard was a carpenter and traveled in the armed forces, stationed at Camp Claiborne between Alexandria and Forest Hill during WWII.  He was not completely blind and could see a little.  At the end of his life he lived in Mamou, Louisiana.1   

Crowley Daily Signal
Feb 22, 1929

The frame of my bedroom window,
I watch you go away,
As far as I can, I want my baby.

After you go away, go away and leave me,
Leave me alone in total misery.

I did not believe, when I told you "Go!",
For you'd go away, you'd go away forever.

Tell me, my dear, that I've abandoned you,
You've gone, you've gone forever.

Your dear little hand, which has pressed against mine,
Which is me saying "Goodbye, goodbye", forever.

The speech you made breaks my heart,
Which breaks my heart into pieces.

I never wanted to wait around for your speech,
The words you said, "I'm saying goodbye".

"Goodbye, my dear, goodbye, forever",
You went away, went away forever.

Death is hard, but giving up is worse,
Well yeh, my dear, it's gone for us.

I would rather have twenty feet of earth on me,
Rather than abandon you,
And see, today, you've gone away.

You went away, my dear, went away forever,
Left me alone in all this grief.

How then, my dear, can I forget you,
Your dear little face that I see wherever I go,

Your dear little rosy cheeks and your dear little blue eyes,
So similar to what I see before me, all the time.

When I close my eyes, I think I see you,
Your dear little blue eyes watching me until I die.



John Bertrand / Blind Uncle Gaspard / Delma Lachney Early American Cajun Music (Yazoo, 1999)
Aimer Et Perdre: To Love & To Lose Songs, 1917-1934 (Tompkins Square, 2012)
Blind Uncle Gaspard, Delma Lachney ‎– On The Waters Edge (Mississippi, 2014)

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