Sunday, July 2, 2017

"Diséz Goodbye A Vôtre Mère (Tell Your Mother Goodbye)" - Dennis McGee & Sady Courville

Dennis McGee is one of the most revered fiddlers in Louisiana music history.  He studied and learned the fiddle from nineteenth century fiddlers and lived long enough to pass on extinct dance and fiddle styles. He was one of the first Louisianans to record extensively, not only with a fiddle band but also with an accordionist, either Amede Ardoin or Angelas Lejeune.   Extensively interviewed and studied, he lived to be part of the festival scene that arose in the 1970s, giving listeners and musicians alike a window into the south Louisiana music of a century ago.1  

Dis "bye bye" à tant qu’ tu as fait pour toujours,
Dis "bye bye" à ta maman pour le reste de tes jours, malheureux,
Gardez donc comment donc, comment j’vas faire, malheureux,
Dis adieu pour toujours, quitter toujours.

Gardez donc, comment donc moi j’vas faire, malheureuse,
Toujours donc moi tout seul pour toujours,
Dis adieu (z) à ta chère et vieille maman, malheureux, 
Viens donc, viens finir tes jours, neg’.

Comment donc que j’vas faire, moi tout seul,
Je suis tout seul, tout seul, malheureux je suis vaincu,
Gardez donc, jamais chère elle fait pas ça  avec ton neg’
Fais pas ça d'en pour lui tout seul, en mentant,
J’suis ton neg’, malheureux, c’est pour toujours, malheureux, 
Fais pas ça, j'suis ton neg mais, malheureux.

Dennis McGee & Sady Courville

Dennis claims that many of the tunes he remembered were passed down from his grandfather, himself remembering them as a child. According to record producer Chris King:
He, himself, learned from a man who was a hundred years old when McGee was just a boy. And this was at the turn of the century, so he was learning a repertoire and technique that was essentially 200 years old.2
One of them was "Diséz Goodbye A Vôtre Mère (Tell Your Mother Goodbye)", a common theme Dennis used about telling his loved one to leave her mother and father and come with him.  However, the love interest refuses and he laments on the pain he must suffer  all alone; blaming her for his misery.  It was recorded for Vocalion (#5334) records in New Orleans in 1929 on his first recording session alongside fiddler Sady Courville.

Say "Bye Bye" to your dad forever, 

Say "Bye Bye" to your mom for the rest of your days, oh my,
Look at how it is, how will I handle this, oh my,
Say goodbye forever, leaving forever.

Look at that, how am I doing to do this, oh my,
Forever, I'll be alone forever,
Say goodbye to your dearest old mom, oh my,
Come back, come live here to the end, my friend.

How do you handle being all alone,
I'm all alone, all alone, oh my, I am defeated,
Look at that, dear, she should never do that with your old man,
Don't do that to him, he's alone, just lying there,
I am your old man, oh my, it'll be forever, oh my,
Don't do that, I'm your old man, well, it's terrible. 

Young fiddlers like Mike Doucet, Al Berard, Dennis Stroughmatt, Tina Pilione and David Greely studied the music of McGee and included his songs, licks and style in their repertoires.1

  1.  Louisiana Fiddlers By Ron Yule, Bill Burge
  2. Vinyl Asides Episode 8 - Christopher King
  3. Lyrics by Stephanie D


Dennis McGee ‎– The Complete Early Recordings (Yazoo, 1994)
Cajun: Rare & Authentic (JSP, 2008)
Cajun Swamp Stomp, Vol 1 (Lumi, 2012)
Cajun Music, The Pretty Girls Don't Want Me (Firefly, 2012)

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