Monday, April 30, 2018

"La Valse Du Ballard" - Amede Ardoin

One of the greatest to ever record Cajun music was invited to a Decca session in New York in 1934.  (mistakenly listed as "New Orleans")  After almost drowning in a ferry accident on the way there, Amede Ardoin recorded a series of songs, by himself, including the song entitled "La Valse Du Ballard" for Decca (#17014).  Most likely, "Ballard" refers to Amede's close friend Douglas Bellard.  Bellard is even mentioned in his "Valse De La Pointe D'Eglise".

The recording contains somewhat of a mystery.  Given that his recording of "La Turtape De Saroied" mentions "c'est la valse de Bellard" and recording labels were notoriously known to make mistakes on Cajun listings, it's possible both of these songs were swapped during production.  
O, moi je m'en vas, moi je m'en vas moi tout seul,
O, je connais pas quand jamais,
Que moi je sera capable, donc, te voir. 

O, comment je vas faire,
O, comment je vas faire, moi je m'en vas.
O, c'est temps moi je m'en vas,
Pour coucher éou je vas aller?

Quoi je vas faire,
Moi, j'suis bien, mon tout seul, elle veut partir,
O, mes parents ça veut pas croire en ça je vas dire.

O, éoù je vas aller, moi, je m'en vas,
Tout seul à la maison, comment je vas faire?
Toi, oubliais tous les misères toi t'as fais,
A ton nèg, il y a déjà pas longtemps.
Douglas Bellard

The song had a distinct similarity to Angelas Lejeune's "La Valse de Pointe Noire".  However, most of Ardoin's tunes were considered originals, some written on the spot and in his dreams.  According to Milton Ardoin,
I remember that he said that at night, he would dream.  And he would take his accordion and play that dream, and then he was making a song with it.

Oh, I'm going, myself, I'm going all alone,

Oh, I don't know when ever,

I'll be able to see you.

Oh, how am I gonna make it?
Oh, how am I gonna make it, myself, I'm going.
Oh, it's time for me to go.
To sleep, where will I go?

What am I going to do?
Myself, I'm all right by myslef, she wants to leave,
Oh, my family doesn't want to believe what I say.

Oh, where am I going to go, myself, I'm going,
All alone to the house, how will I make it?
You had forgotten all the misery you caused,
I was your little boy, not long ago.

  1. The Kingdom of Zydeco By Michael Tisserand
Cajun: Rare & Authentic (JSP, 2008)
Cajun Capers: Cajun Music 1928-1954 (Proper, 2005)
The Beginner's Guide to Cajun Music (Proper/Primo, 2008)

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