Saturday, February 25, 2017

"Ayou, Ayou, Mon Petite Chien Pour Edete (Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone)" - Louisiana Rounders

Joe Werner was a complete entertainer throughout the Cajun countryside.   He started his career in music and minstrel shows.  He recalled back when he was a barefooted kid, he told his father before Christmas that he waned Santa Claus to bring him a harmonica.  He got his harmonica an he started "fooling" with music.  Year after year, the Christmas request was the same, and year after year, Santa Claus came through with another harmonica. At the local high school auditorium in 1927, he entered a talent show, playing his harmonica and received "encore upon encore" for his version of the song "Casey Jones".6 By the early 1930s, he was dabbling both in music and in theater.  He participated in black face minstrel shows as a comedian for local theater groups.3  

Éyoù éyoù, mon petit chien peut d'être,

Éyoù éyoù, l'est peut d'être,

La queue coupée court(e), les oreilles sont larges,

Éyoù éyoù, l'est peut d'être.

Éyoù éyoù, mon petit chien peut d'être,
Éyoù éyoù, l'est peut d'être,
Y'a une tache dans le coté et ses cheveux est coupés courts,
Éyoù éyoù, l'est peut d'être.
Rayne Tribune
Dec 10, 1937

Throughout 1936, Joe's entertainment services would include playing music for special novelty programs at the Opera House, personifying Jimmie Rogers on stage.1   He even won a second place award during the finals in the Heymann Amateur Hour in Lafayette.    During the time allotted to him for his part of the program, Joe offered two English selections, "Cocktail For Two" and "She's Just That Kind Of A Girl". He accompanied both songs on the guitar and harmonica, also singing several choruses and whistling.2    

He shortly jumped into the band called the Hackberry Ramblers, recording for Bluebird Records.  The following year, Joe left their group and formed the Louisiana Ramblers with Wayne Perry on fiddle and Julius "Papa Cairo" Lamperez on steel guitar.   Together, they traveled to the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, TX where they recorded the old traditional tune called "Ayou, Ayou, Mon Petite Chien Pour Edete (Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone)" in Cajun French (#17040). His title written as "ayou" or "éyoù" is a common Louisiana French phrasing of the words "où est".
Oh where, oh where can my little dog be,
Oh where, oh where can he be,
The tail is cut short, the ears are wide,
Oh where, oh where can he be.

Oh where, oh where can my little dog be,
Oh where, oh where can he be,
There's a spot on the side and his hair is cut short,
Oh where, oh where can he be.
Even stage shows that arrived in town would feature Joe Werner as the opening act.  Eventually, Joe would settle down, hosting a radio show on KSIG for years.4 





  1. "Winners Named For Premier".  RT 2-28-1936.
  2. "Werner Wins Amateur Award" RT 5-8-1936.
  3. "St. Joseph Fair Will Open On Saturday".  RT 10-18-1935.
  4. "Werner's Wondering Finds New Popularity".  H.I. Mitchell.  CDS. 1952.
  5. RT 12-10-1937
  6. "Large Crowd Attends Community Singing" RT 5-7-1927
  7. Lyrics by Stephane F

Find:

Cajun: Rare & Authentic (JSP, 2008)
The Very Best of Cajun: La Stomp Creole, Vol. 1 (Viper, 2016)

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