Thursday, August 9, 2018

"Mes Yeux Bleu" - Cleoma Breaux Falcon

By 1934, the Great Depression forced major recording companies, such as Paramount and Columbia, to rethink their efforts in "French Arcadian" music.  No longer were scouts from these companies looking for regional music in the south.  It would be left to only three major companies, one of them known as Decca Records. That year, they would invite the Falcons, Joe and Cleoma, to record "Mes Yeux Bleus" (#17000) on their fledgling American label.  

J'ai jonglé, ouais, à toi, à mon yeux bleus,
J'va après, ouais, au dessus de la mer,
Moi j'suis après, ouais, jonglé a lui tout seul,
Et moi je jongle si jamais i(l) pense à moi. 
C'aurait été beaucoup mieux quand j'aurais jamais rejoint,
Dans ce pays, oui, si triste que aujourd’hui,
Pour le plaisir on à tant passé z-ensemble, 
Moi je suis sûr l'amitié (va) jamais oublié.

Il m'a dit, ouais, cher, que tu m'aimais, 
Et asteur, après t'en aller là bas,
Il y a une maille dans la chaine qu'as été cassée,
En me laissant avec une peine dans mon cœur.
Quelle espoir croire à toi, mais, toujours à moi, 
Est ce que tu viendrais pas, mais, avec une larme,
Et dire à les étrangers, ouais, tout autour de toi,
Que mon cœur z'avait cassé l'année passée.

Cleoma Breaux Falcon
Courtesy of Kelly Schafer

Former stockbroker Edward Lewis formed The Decca Record Company Limited in the United Kingdom in 1929. The company started releasing records under the Decca trademark.   A US branch, Decca Records, Inc., was launched in 1934. By persuading RCA and Columbia artists to jump ship onto their label, it was Decca's first attempt at releasing Cajun music.2  

"Mes Yeux Bleus" is a Cajun rendition of the Carter family's "I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes".  Cleoma was known to be a huge fan of the their music, later covering their single "Bonnie Blue Eyes" and primping her hair in similar fashion as Sara Carter had done.  Unlike Columbia, who payed for train travel to New York, Decca provided round trip bus fare. 
Daily Advertiser
May 17, 1947

I am reminiscing, yeah, about you, about my blue eyes,
I am going, yeah, out to sea,
I'm, yeah, reminiscing all alone,
And I'm thinking if you ever think of me,
It would have been alot better if I'd never joined you,
In the country, yeah, so sad today,
For the pleasure, we spent so much time together,
I am sure the frienship will never be forgotten.

You told me, yeah, dear, that you loved me,
And now, you're going over there,
There is a stitch in the chain that has broken,
Leaving me with pain in my heart.
What hope to have believed you, well, would always be with me,
Did you not come back, well, with a tear?
And tell the strangers, yeah, all around you,
That my heart had broken last year.

"Mes Yeux Bleus" was one of Cleoma's first attempts at covering American hillbilly music in the early 30s.  The Falcons would have a long career with Decca, fulfilling recording contracts until 1937.  This Decca branch was sold off during World War II, but the UK & US companies continued to release each other’s recordings in their respective territories.

  3. Lyrics by Stephane F
  4. Illustration by Kelly Schafer

Release Info:

39185-A La Valse De Madam Sosten | Decca 17000 A
39186-A Mes Yeux Blues | Decca 17000 B

Cajun Country, Vol. 2, More Hits from the Swamp (JSP, 2005)

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