Wednesday, August 14, 2019

"Le Vieux Arbe De Pin (They Cut Down The Old Pine Tree)" - Louisiana Rounders

The Louisiana Rounders were formed from several Acadia Parish musicians, one being the popular entertainer Joe Werner.  After his big break with "Wondering" recorded with the Hackberry Ramblers, he went on to follow up with a mildly successful recording career.  In the early 1930s, country music from Texas began it's large scale influence on local Cajun music in Louisiana.  Several bands from west Louisiana and east Texas popped up using country music instruments and sang Cajun French lyrics. Joe Werner had alot of success with Happy Fat's early band and made a name for himself.  It wouldn't be long before Decca would ask him to travel to Dallas for a recording session where he invited Julius "Papa Cairo" Lamperez to come along and record with Wayne Perry as the Louisiana Rounders.

Ils ont coupé le vieux arbre de pin,
Ils l'ont halé loin au moulin,
Pour faire un cercueil de pin pour le cher cœur a moi,
Quand ils ont coupé le vieux arbre de pin.

Elle a pas une fleur* dans sa poche ce soir,
Où, là, mon cœur va toujours être,
Ils ont coupé mon cœur quand ils ont séparés,
Quand ils ont coupé le vieux arbre de pin.
Daily Advertiser
Aug 18, 1938

In 1937, Werner, fiddler Wayne Perry and steel guitar player Julius "Papa Cairo" Lamperez traveled to Dallas, TX and recorded the old tune "Le Vieux Arbe De Pin (They Cut Down The Old Pine Tree)" for Decca records (#17046).  The song was an old American folk tune, first recorded in 1929 by George Brown, Edward Eliscu, William Raskin and Albert Barbelle and then later by the Carson Robison Trio and Dick Robertson.  It would eventually become a staple of western music.  In his line, "elle a pas une fleur dans sa poche ce soir", he could be referencing the line "elle a pas seule dans sa tombe ce soir" which speaks of the love interest buried in the grave but never really alone.

Papa Cairo

They cut the old pine tree,
They hauled it away to the mill,
To make a pine coffin for my dear sweetheart of mine,
When they cut the old pine tree.

She is not alone in her grave tonight,
There, where my heart will always be,
They cut my heart when they separated it,
When they cut the old pine tree. 
Joe Werner and Papa Cairo continued to work together throughout their careers.  The song's popularity continued for decades, recorded by artists such as Sons of the Pioneers, Jimmy Driftwood and George Fisher, Gene Autry, Black & White, Buck Wilson & His Rangers, Dan Parker w/Orch, Dick Robertson w/Orch, Frank Luther, Frankie Marvin, Gene Carroll - Glen Rowell, Hart & Ogle, Joe Rines & His Orch, Paul Mason, Redd Evans & His Billy Boys, Rice Brothers Gang, Tennessee Moonbeams, Tommy & Willie, and the Tune Wranglers.

  1. Lyrics by Stephane F

Release Info:
63075 Le Vieux Arbe De Pin (They Cut Down The Old Pine Tree) | Decca 17046 A
63078 Vingt Et Un Ans (Twenty One Years) | Decca 17046 B

JOE WERNER Early Cajun Artist (BACM, 2016)

1 comment:

  1. I love old music. I play the washboard and sing old songs.


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