Monday, April 16, 2018

"Ton Papa Ta Mama Ma Sta Da All" - Lawrence Walker

Cajun accordion player Lawrence Walker grew up listening to the great players around south Louisiana.  Although he grew up in Orange, TX, he was born in Duson, LA and was bilingual enough to sing both French and English tunes throughout the 1920s and 1930s.   He played music with his siblings and eventually recorded with RCA in the 1930s before declining a recording career in 1936.   Walker wouldn't enter the studio again until 1950.

After the war, according to author Dr. Barry Ancelet,
Cajuns began to show signs of learning to better negotiate the American mainstream in a way that would allow them to preserve their own cultural identity.  Musicians were among the first to announce the change by returning to traditional sounds.1

Eh, ton papa et ta mama m'a jeté dehors,

M'a jeté dehors d'm'a maison, m'a maison que j'aime tout l'temps.

Eh, chère tit fille, mais, pour quoi donc, mais, tu m'fait ça?

Moi, j'connais j'mérite pas, mais, tout ça que t'es après faire.

Eh, malheureuse, moi, j'connais une jour à venir,
Tu vas revenir pour pardonner à ton vieux nègre, il y a pas longtemps.
Crowley Daily Signal, August 1949

They were able to do so in large part because record company officials were more interested in expanding markets than in regulating minority cultures.1  Walker resurrected his recording career in 1950 with a series of recordings in Lake Charles with George Khoury.  There, with the help of vocalist Mitch David, they covered the classic 1928 tune: Leo Soileau and Mayuse Lafleur's "Your Father Put Me Out".  The phrase shown here "sta da all" in Khoury's title "Ton Papa Ta Mama Ma Sta Da All" (#607) is the corrupted spelling of "jeté dehors".

His work on KPLC radio station in Lake Charles with what got Khoury's attention. According to Shelton Manuel:
We'd do the broadcast at the same time that we had a dance in the vicinity. The broadcast was on the route to the dance.2  

Hey, your dad and your mom tossed me out,
Tossed me out of my house, my house which I've always loved.

Hey, dear little girl, well, so why, well, have you done that to me?
I know I don't deserve this, well, all that you've done.

Hey, oh my, I know one day in the future,
You will return for forgiveness from your old man, over there not long ago.

  1. Southern Music/American Music By Bill C. Malone
  2. "Accordions, Fiddles, Two Step & Swing: A Cajun Music Reader" by Ron Brown, Ryan A. Brasseaux, and Kevin S. Fontenot
  3. Lyrics by Jerry M and Stephane F
Release Info:
A Tu Le Du Po La Mam 607-A Khoury's 
B Ton Papa Ta Mama Ma Sta Da All 607-B Khoury's

Cajun Honky Tonk: The Khoury Recordings, Volume 1 (Arhoolie, 1995)
Bayou Two-Step - Cajun Hits From Louisiana 1929-1962 (Jasmine, 2015)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got info? Pics? Feel free to submit.