Oh mais s'en aller dans grand Mamou,
C'est pour voir ma jolie petite chère.
Oh mais toi, t'es mon chéri,
Moi je connais je mérite pas ça mais toi t'as fais,
Avec moi, il y a pas longtemps malheureuse,
Faudra que tu regrettes pour ça t'as fait malheureuse.
Oh, toi 'tite fille cherie,
Moi je connais je mérite pas ça, mais toi t'as fais,
Jolie fille, pour ton vieux nég', mais ça t'as fait,
Tu vas pleurer mais il sera trop tard.Oh, toi 'tit monde chéri,Moi je m'en vas dans grand Mamou, malheureuse,Quand même tu veux t'en revenir, joli petit monde,Moi, je veux pas que tu t'en reviens (z')avec moi.
|Leo Soileau and the Three Aces|
Floyd Shreve, Tony Gonzales,
Leo Soileau, and Dewey Landry 6
Mamou, labeled as "The Cajun Music Capital of the World", was located near many of the dance halls in which Cajun musicians played in. "Grand Mamou" refers to the large, mammoth (mamou) prairie where many Cajuns and colonial French settled during the 18th century.
Like several of RCA Victor's Bluebird label, they were also pressed on the Montgomery Ward label. After the beginning of the depression, Montgomery Ward got into the cut rate record business. Montgomery Ward released records from 1933 through 1941 with their own label however, they didn't actually have a recording studio. A lot of the companies had labels that only sold in certain department stores, or at a discount. Some were extremely inexpensive and some were done under pseudonyms. These were apparently pressed by Victor and made available through their mail order catalog. Most of the discs they issued seem to be from Victor, though they did get material from other labels. Even Sears had their own label called Silvertone.
Oh, well, I'm going to big Mamou,
It's to see my pretty little darling.
Oh, well, you, you're my darling,
I know I do not deserve this, but, you've done that,
With me, it's not been long I've been unhappy,
You will regret why you've made me unhappy.
Oh, you dear little girl,
I know I do not deserve this, well, what you've done,
Pretty girl, to your old man, well, it's been done,
You're going to cry but it'll be too late.Oh you little world of mine,I am going to big Mamou, oh my,Anyway, you want to return, pretty little world of mine,I do not want you to come back to me.
Twisting the familiar French language repertoire with the drummer's back beat, adding healthy doses of western swing, and in turn applying that recipe to American standards, Soileau's group essentially defined the Cajun string band sound.1 Oddly enough, he'd re-use the same melody in "La Bonne Valse" in 1937. The song itself would carry itself throughout Louisiana as "Grand Basile", "Basile Waltz", "Grande Mamou", and "Big Mamou". It would be recorded by Harry Choates twice, Link Davis, Clifton Chenier, Aldus Roger, Dewey Balfa, Eddie Shuler and many more. Over time the song would be interchangeably known as both Basile and Grand Mamou.
- Louisiana Music: A Journey From R&b To Zydeco, Jazz To Country, Blues To Gospel, Cajun Music To Swamp Pop To Carnival Music And Beyond by Rick Koster
- The Encyclopedia of Country Music
- Country Music Originals : The Legends and the Lost: The Legends and the Lost By Tony Russell
- Southern Music/American Music By Bill C. Malone
- Lyrics by Stephane F
- Image by Devon F
Le Gran Mamou: A Cajun Music Anthology -- The Historic Victor-Bluebird Sessions, 1928-1941 (Country Music Foundation, 1990)
Cajun Early Recordings (JSP, 2004)