It's an Amercian love story, not unlike a lot of others. Adam "Tee Dom" Hanks and Alice Royer were sweethearts, but Alice's papa didn't approve of Tee Dom. Figured he wouldn't make a good son-in-law and so they disapproved of their engagement. They obeyed Alice's papa. Alice soon married someone else and left Tee Dom with a broken heart.1
Oh, chère, malheureuse, chère, petite.
Oh, chère, criminelle, oh, quoi t'as fait z'ave(c) moi aujourd'hui.
Oh, Alice 'garde Adam, il est après venir,Oui prépare toi moi j'veux voir il est apres venir, aujourd'hui.Ça qui fait j'te dis ça, moi j'le vois il est après venir, (sur) le grand wrack* sur Henri,Moi, j'le connais pas tu vu ton vieux nég'.Oh chère, 'garde ton neg' qu'est après arriver, pour toi aujourd'hui.,Quoi faire que tu m'fais tout ça, toi tu m'fais.'Garde, tu m'fais plus d'mal à moi,Dis (à) 'ton nég' que t’écoutes les conseils que les autres t'en mal.Chère, tu connais si tu voudrais observer pour toi-même,Tu peux te sauver des misères à pas écouter les conseils.
|Adam "Tee Dom" Hanks|
Courtesy of Pierre Daigle
Researcher Pierre Daigle uncovered the true story in the early 1970s. In the original tune, Tee Dom sang "Il a la jogg au plombeau, et le chapeau sur une coté". The reason for their disapproval was that Tee Dom loved to ride his horse Grand Henri while drinking from a whiskey jug. He would ride with his chapeau (hat) cocked to one side, meaning, he didn't give a hoot about a thing. The heartbreaking story of Tee Dom and Alice spread throughout the land, and a beautiful waltz was created. Finally, Tee Dom relented an married Armena Thibodeaux, and together they raised seven children. Years went by, but time didn't mend Tee Don's broken heart. He was still in love with Alice. According to Pierre,
Despite being married, whenever Tee Dom went to house dances he would sing and play his accordion to the melody of "La Valse a Tee Dom" as tears flowed down his cheeks.1,2
Alice eventually married Edmond Miller and the family moved around the Scott/Judice area of Lafayette. In 1930, Angelas was given permission by Tee Dom to use the lyrics of his song when he recorded "La Valse a Tidom Hanks" (#511) in New Orleans. Pierre searched for Angelas Lejeune and he explained,
It's true. The night before I went to cut the record, I talked to Tee Dom and asked him if I could use his words. He said I could.2
Oh, dear, oh my, dear little one.
Oh, dear, it's criminal, oh, what you've done with me today.
Oh, Alice, look at Adam, he's coming back,Yeah, prepare yourself, I want to see, he's coming back, today.That, which I've done told you that, I see he's coming back, on the big horse* Henri,I don't know if you see your old man.Oh, dear, look at your man who is arriving, for you, today,What you've done to me, all of that, you've done to me.Look, you've hurt me the most,Tell your man that you listening to the advice of others has hurt you.Dear, you know if you'd like to see for yourself,You can save yourself from misery by not listening to advice.
|Alice Royer Miller|
Courtesy of Pierre Daigle
When he arrived home, while playing a dance in Duson, a woman approached Angelas. Angelas explained,
A woman came to the bandstand. "Are you Angelas Lejeune?" she asked. "Yes," I answered. "Are you the one that recorded 'La Valse a Tidom Hanks'?" "Yes, I am". "Would you play it and sing it as you did on the record?" she asked. So I played it. And all that time that I played she stood behind me on the band stand. When the song ended, she walked away. She looked... well, moved.2
Pierre eventually found Alice living in Judice. She claims that one night at a dance near Bosco, Tee Dom told the late Lawrence Walker the words to the song. The legend would carry on into Walker's "Chere Alice", referring to the sweet Alice Royer, a melody borrowed from his earlier "Country Waltz". The melody can also be found earlier in Leo Soileau's "Valse de Josephine" and later in Austin Pitre's "Rainbow Waltz". Alice eventually confessed to Pierre,
[Tee Dom] is the man I would have married had it not been for Papa.2
- "The Legend of Tee Dom and Alice". Discussions with William J. Thibodeaux. The Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, Louisiana) 13 Nov 2011
- Tears, Love and Laughter by Pierre Daigle
- "Du Chicot": A Collection of Essays by Randy Whatley
- Lyrics by Stephane F
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)