Tuesday, December 19, 2017

"Come And Get Me" - Iry Lejeune

Like so many  other bright young musicians, Iry Lejeune's life was cut short and we're left to wonder what might have been. Iry's haunting music and fame has grown over time, it's now legendary, thanks to Iry's foot-stomping and captivating music along with the many heartwarming stories of him. He became a musical icon in Cajun music after his death. He has influenced more young Cajun musicians  than any other of his contemporaries. Through the redemptive power of music, Iry Lejeune  established himself not only as an accomplished accordion player but also as a talented singer and music composer.2

Iry brought the accordion back to popularity in the 1950's after it had been neglected in the 1940's.  "Come And Get Me" (#1057), better known as "Viens Me Chercher", was recorded by Amede Ardoin and Dennis McGee in 1929 as "Tante Aline".  He is felt by many to truly sing the soul of the prairie with his lonely cries and powerful accordion playing. The story tells of a young man lamenting that his "catin" won't come back since her old father dragged her back home. Every night he kisses his pillow making believe it is she beside him.1

Oh, y yaie, cher tit monde, catin, 

Mets-toi à voir, bien à jongler, ça t'as fait,

C'est pas la peine que tu te lamentes, viens donc me chercher, ye yaille,

Ton papa va me dire je peut pas aller t'après.

Oh, tit fille, c'est tous les soirs, je me couche
J'embrasse mon oreiller des fois en jonglant,
Faire des accroires que ça serait toi, qui serais là, ye yaille,
Mais tout je peux voir, tu t'en reviendrais pas me voir.

Recorded in around 1954 at Iry's house, with Eddie Shuler's tape recorder, pressed on Goldband records on one 78 label, and 2 other 45s.  It featured Wilson Granger on fiddle and Alfred "Duckhead" Cormier on guitar.
Crowley Daily Signal
Oct 27, 1950

Similar tunes are Dewey Balfa's "Je Suis Orphelin," "L'Orphelin" (in Irene Whitfield's book) and Rodney LeJeune's "Valse des Musiciens."   Mistakenly, author Josh Caffery lists the song related to Amede Ardoin's "La Valse à Thomas Ardoin" however, he probably meant Ardoin's "Valse A Austin Ardoin".   Iry's group, the Lacassine Playboys, were playing in dance halls all over south Louisiana.  His group was playing nightly alongside other popular musicians such as Nelson "Pee Wee" Kershaw, Bill Landry, Julius "Papa Cairo" Lamperez, and others.

Oh ye yaille, my dear little everything,

Pretty doll, come and see me,

Well, to reminisce what you've done,

It's not worth complaining about it,

Come and see me,

Ye yaille, your dad told me,
I can't go after you.

Oh, little girl,
Every night, I go to bed,
I kiss my pillow,
Sometimes reminiscing,
Making believe that it is you,
Who would be there,
Well, I can see now,
You will not come and see me.

  1. http://www.voyagerrecords.com/LN325.htm
  2. "Iry  Lejeune" by William Thibodeaux.  The Crowley Post. Sept 27th, 2013.
The Legendary Iry LeJeune (Goldband, 1991)
Cajun's Greatest: The Definitive Collection (Ace, 2004)

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