Saturday, August 12, 2017

"Pin Solitaire" - Cleoma Breaux

Singer and guitarist Cleoma Breaux Falcon is remembered today for two major contributions to Cajun music. First, she and future spouse Joe Falcon were responsible for the first recording ever made of Cajun music. In New Orleans in 1928, the couple recorded the song "Allons à Lafayette" for Columbia. Second, she was one of very few women of her day to perform Cajun music on-stage. The setting of a dancehall was considered improper, and a strong chance existed that a woman who sang there would be seen as immoral. Breaux overcame the stigma, possibly due to the fact that she mounted the stage with a man -- her husband -- at her side.2 Now married to Joe Falcon, they traveled and sang one of many influential country & western tunes of the day called "Pin Solitaire" (#17024) for Decca in 1936.   

Moi, je m'en vas de la maison,

Moi, je vois p'us quoi je vas faire, p'tite fille,
Tu connais, mais, pour toi-meme, 
Ça me fait pitié comme un pauvre orphelin,
Comme un pauvre orphelin, 
Ni père, ni mère, p'us personne pour m'aimer,

Moi, je m’en vas pour toi, p’tite fille,
Ouais, pour toi, ma petite, ça t’après me faire,
Moi, je connais que je mérite pas donc, 
Tout ça t’après m’faire, malheureuse
Dit "bye bye" à ton papa et ta maman, 
Malheureuse, p’tite fille,
Moi, j’après mais m’en aller,
Pour t’amener avec moi, malheureuse.

Oh malheureuse, (ma) p’tite, ouais. 

With Moise Morgan on fiddle, the trio covers a traditional country and western tune called "Lonesome Pine".   It would be similar to the same melody used by her brothers a year earlier on the song "La Valse Du Bayou Plaquemine".

I'm going away from home,

I see what Im going to do, little girl,
You know, well, yourself,
It makes me pitiful like a poor orphan,
Like a poor orphan, 
No father, no mother, no one to love me.

I'm leaving you, little girl,
Yeah, for you, my little one, that you've done,
I know that I do not deserve this,
All that's been done, oh my,
Say "bye bye" to your dad and your mom,
Oh my, little girl,
I have, oh my, left,
To bring you with me, oh my.

Oh my, little girl, yeh.

If the melody seems oddly familiar, have no doubt it is.  The first recording of this melody as a Cajun tune was by the Guidry Brothers called "Le Garcon Negligent" in 1929.  It's quite possible this old tune is the foundation for Jolly Boys' song "Abbeville" and Louisiana Rounder's "Allons Kooche Kooche" which later became Papa Cairo's "Big Texas" and Hank Williams' "Jambalaya". 

  1. Cajun Breakdown: The Emergence of an American-Made Music By Ryan Andre Brasseaux
  2. Linda Seida, Rovi.
  3. Lyrics by Jordy A
  4. Image by Malcolm V

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