The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10236   Message #3799068
Posted By: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
05-Jul-16 - 04:37 AM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD: Choucoune
Subject: Lyr Add: CHOUCOUNNE (Oswald Durand)

Creole Words by
Oswald Durand (1840-1906)                                                Haitian Folk Song

"Choucoune" is Haiti's most popular melody. Its rhythm is that of the meringue, the national dance of Haiti, a complicated habaƱera rhythm. The Haitians claim that the meringue cannot be played adequately by a white man. Certainly it is true that the intricate rhythmic shadings which the Haitian achieves in his performance are impossible to reduce to writing, employing, as we must, the conventional symbols of notation in current use.

"Choucoune" is a girl's pet name. The words of this song were written by Oswald Durand, Haiti's foremost poet. The actual composer of the music is unknown. The text of the song is in creole, the patois (a mixture of French and African) spoken by natives.

I first saw my sweet Choucoune
Within a thick grove of trees;
I said, "You're as fair as the noon!"
She smiled and she seemed quite pleased.
I said, "You're as fair as the noon!"
"I thank you sir," said Choucoune.

Little birds heard all that we had to say;
Little birds were listening all the day!
Ah, my tender one, Dainty, slender one,
By the stars above I declare my love!
Ah, my tender one, Dainty slender one,
Smiling, gay Choucoune! coune!

The eyes of my dear Choucoun
Shine clear as the candlelight;
Her smile, like the sun at noon,
Is radiant, and warm, and bright;
Her smle, like the sun at noon,
Is radiant; my fair Choucoune!


Note: The quintuplets (5) are sung with rhythmic freedom, without attempting exact divsions of measure.

[McConathy, Beattie, Morgan, Music Highways and Byways, The Music Hour Series,(New York: Silver Burdett Co., 1936, pp.97-99)]