Saturday, September 19, 2020

"One Step Du Maraist Bouler" - Angelas Lejeune & Ernest Fruge

Cajun accordionist Angelas Lejeune and fiddler Ernest Fruge made their last recording session in 1930 alongside other artists such as Dennis McGee and Amede Ardoin.  The session was conducted by musician and artist scout Richard Voynow.   He had recently spent three months on the road recording artists in southern towns such ad Knoxville, Memphis and San Antonio.  He recalled that his entire session included the types of records known in the trade as the 'hillbilly, French-Cajan, race and popular.'1  Afterwards, Lejeune returned to his home community of Pointe Noire, located near the area of Marais Bouleur. 

Oh petite, chère,
Moi j'suis là, jolie,
Quoi faire tu m'fais ça?

Oh petite, chère,
Mais, toi t'es partie,
Tu m'laisses dans les misères.

Oh jolie,
Mam'zelle, j'aime pas
Tu m'parles comme tu m'parles.

Oh, j'connais pas quoi,
Petite, j'pourrais dire c'que j'suis aujourd'hui,
Oh j'suis condamné,
Pour tout(e) ma vie, à la misère.

Oh petite, chère,
Rappelle-toi quand j'ai parti pour m'en aller
Tu t'as mise à pleurer,
C'est là eyoù j'ai pris la parole,
Que j't'ai demandé, chère, fais donc pas ça.

Pour en revenir, (petite*),
Tu connais mon cœur est aussi gros qu'le tien,
Mais, donne moi une chose,
Que j'peux supporter et si vrai qu'le tien.

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"One Step Du Maraist Bouler" (#511) is a lively tune named after an area north of Scott, Louisiana where the low lying area retained water.  The name "Bouleur", however, has been a source of speculation.  According to reverend Donald Hebert, who was a pastor there, heard an old a story about how a horse named Bouleur liked to stay in a swampy area, the marais, where he could roll in the mud. According to the story, that’s how the place became Bouleur’s Marais and then Marais Bouleur. Hebert said he heard the same story from several people and it was the only consistent version of how the place got its name.2  Others had speculated that the name identified a bully of the swamp, as suggested by author Darrell Bourque in his "Plainsongs Of The Marais Bouleur" and Barry Jean Ancelet's "Rednecks, Roughnecs and the Bosco Stomp".  Aldus Roger's wife Bernice provides an alternative source of the name:
Marais Bouleur was just this side of Bosco.  When my grandmother, the Boullion generation, came from New Orleans, they settled there. A marais is like a swamp.  Wild ducks would come there.3  

Oh, little dearie,
I'm here, pretty one,
What are you doing to me?

Oh, little dearie,
Well, you left,
You left me in misery.

Oh, pretty one,
Mademoiselle, I don't like that,
You said what you said.

Oh, I don't know what,
Little one, I could say that I am today,
Oh, I am condemned,
For all my life, in misery.

Oh, little dearie,
Remember when I left to go,
You had started to cry,
This is where I had said the words,
That I asked you, dear, don't do that.

Coming back, little one,
You know my heart is as big as yours,
Well, give me one thing,
That I can carry and that it's truly yours. 

In 1967, Cajun accordionist Ambrose Thibodeaux, who was familiar with many of Angelas' tunes, re-recorded the song as the "Pointe Noir Two Step" as an ode to Lejeune's home town.

  1. A&R Pioneers by Huber
  3. Ye Yaille Chere by Raymond Francois
  4. Lyrics by Marc C and Stephane F

Release Info:
NO-6708 One Step Du Maraist Bouler | Brunswick 511
NO-6709 La Valse A Tidom Hanks | Brunswick 511

Let Me Play This For You: Rare Cajun Recordings (Tompkins, 2013)

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say thank you for this blog, what a wonderful resource for Cajun Lyrics. I can speak standard French, but a lot of the references and pronunciations in Cajun French are really hard to pick up in recordings.

    Merci bien.


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