Saturday, May 6, 2017

"Redell Waltz" - Austin Pitre

Austin Pitre (pronounced ‘Pete’) was a stellar musician, mainly because he was the stuff of legends. He drew capacity crowds at clubs, not only with exhilarating dance music but also with flamboyant showmanship. When he wanted his crowd to go bonkers, he played the squeezebox between his legs and behind his back and head, long before Jimi Hendrix ever thought about doing that with a guitar. He was also known to be the first accordionist to play standing up without using a strap, which requires great physical strength.  When it’s Pitre’s turn for a ride, he comes barreling in authoritatively with clean, precise playing.1,2

Hé, p‘tite fille, gardez-donc, que toi t’as fait, 

Ouais, malheureuse, tu connais pour toi-même, 
Quoi toi t’as fait, p‘tit monde, tu vas pleurer.
Hé, bébé, tu m’as cassé dedans mon cœur,
Ouais, malheureuse, par rapport à tes moyens, 
Ouais, que toi t'es tout le temps après rouler.

Hé, petite, rappelles-toi tous les bons temps, chérie, 
Ouais, moi je t’ai fait et les paroles, moi je t’avais dit,
Ouais, il a venu ce jour, tu m’as tourné ton dos. 

Hé, p‘tite fille, rappelles-toi la vérité,
Ouais, malheureuse, les misères tu m’as fait,
Ouais, les chagrins, que toi tu m’as mis dans.

Hé p‘tit monde, par rapport à tes moyens,
Ouais, je peux pas vivre, catin, sans prier,
Ouais, je peux pas dire, catin, tu me tournes ton dos.
Church Point News
May 15, 1951

Austin played throughout south Louisiana, including the Green Lantern in Opelousas and around the small town of Redell, in which he used to title his "Redell Waltz" (#1019). Pitre and the Evangeline Playboys are exemplary on standards and signature originals alike, a few of which were strategically christened after dancehalls. 

Hey, little girl, look at what you've done,

Yeh, oh my, you know yourself,
What you did, my little world, you're going to cry.

Hey, baby you broke my heart,
Yeh, oh my, because of your ways,
Yeh, you're always running around.

Hey, little one, remember all the good times, dear,
Yeh, I have and the words, I've told you,
Yeh, this day will come, you'll turn your back on me.

Hey, little girl, remember the truth,
Yeh, oh my, you've made me miserable,
Yeh, the sorrows, which you have put me in.

Hey, my little everything, because of your ways, 
Yeh, I can not live, little doll, without praying,
Yeh, I can not say, little doll, you turned your back on me. 

The melody can found in Nathan Abshire's "Avalon Waltz".

  3. Lyrics by Jordy A
Acadian All Star Special - The Pioneering Cajun Recordings Of J.D. Miller (Bear, 2011)

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