Saturday, July 23, 2016

"Jeusté Parcqué (Just Because)" - Cleoma Breaux

Cleoma Breaux Falcon and Moise Morgan paired up in this 1936 Decca recording (#17015) done in New Orleans at the Roosevelt Hotel called "Jeusté Parcqué (Just Because)".  Based on the 1928 tune "Just Because" by the Nelston's Hawaiians, it would be one of many popular tunes Cleoma covered as traditional Cajun music was on the decline. The group "Nelston" was the combination of musicians Hubert Nelson and James D. Touchstone.

Juste parce qu'tu croyais que t'etait jolie, 

Juste parce tu crois que tu es plus qu'moi,

Comme juste parce tu croyais que que t'avais quelque chose,

Quelque chose moi j'avais pas.

Te m'as fait gaspiller tout mon argent, 

Tu croyais moi j'étais vieux Santa Claus, 

Sapristi! Ouais, asteur j'ai fini-z avec toi, 

Juste parce (que) je te veux plus.

The French word "sapristi", meaning "Oh heavens!", is still used in France but in a comical way because it's colorful and old-fashioned, so people have tenderness for this word. "Sapristi" is not vulgar, however, its a way to swear without being dirty or offending God. It's an expression of surprise, impatience, or
hopelessness and may come across as sarcastic out of frustration.  Saying this is a way to curse without cursing, by referring to something religious.

"Just Because" was a prolific tune, covered by many groups of the day. The craze for Hawaiian music in America started in the early 20th century. The Hawaii Territory Department of Tourism when on a huge ad campaign in 1934, with marketing videos showing the people and sights, even having president Roosevelt visit the islands. The exotic sounds of Hawaiian guitars and ukuleles were featured everywhere in pop and country music of that time and Hawaiians' musicians were blending their own styles with jazz and country influences. Blues musicians were inspired by the slides techniques and made it their own, using bottlenecks and knives. 

The Hawaiian falsetto singing was echoed by the yodel in the voice of country singers like Jimmy Rodgers and Gene Autry and steel guitar would soon become an essential part of western swing and modern country music.

Just because you thought you were pretty,

Just because you thought you're better than me,

Just because you thought you had something,

Something I didn't have.

You made me waste all my money,

You believed I was Santa Clause,

Oh heavens! Yeh, right now, I'm finished with you,

Just because, I want you no more.
A few other Cajun renditions were released around the same time such as "Jus Parque" by Happy Fats' Rayne Bo Ramblers and "Just Because" by the Hackberry Ramblers.

  2. Lyrics by Jerry M and Stephanie D

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