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Tell me about Cajun Ballads?

Sleepy Rosie 07 Mar 09 - 04:38 AM
Fred McCormick 07 Mar 09 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 07 Mar 09 - 07:14 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 09 - 04:53 PM
greg stephens 07 Mar 09 - 06:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 09 - 06:11 PM
Bob the Postman 07 Mar 09 - 06:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 09 - 07:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 09 - 08:01 PM
Barry Finn 07 Mar 09 - 09:02 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 08 Mar 09 - 12:16 AM
GUEST,PeterC 08 Mar 09 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,guest john lavers 08 Mar 09 - 10:20 PM
Fidjit 09 Mar 09 - 05:07 AM
Fidjit 09 Mar 09 - 05:13 AM
Michael S 09 Mar 09 - 09:35 AM
Brian Peters 09 Mar 09 - 11:54 AM
Bill H //\\ 09 Mar 09 - 02:27 PM
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Subject: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 04:38 AM

While surfing around YouTube for folk songs t'other day, I stumbled on some postings of Cajun music.
This was the first piece of Cajun music I ever heard, and thought it was fantastic! Rosalie

So then I did a search for a little info and looked up the Wiki entry for Cajun Music
And one quote really stood out and took my interest:

From Wiki:

"LYRICS: The unaccompanied ballad was the earliest form of Cajun music. The narrative songs often had passionate themes of death, solitude or ill-fated love — a reaction to their harsh exile and rough frontier experience, as well as celebrations of love and humorous tales. Ballads were ritually sung at weddings and funerals, and sung informally for small groups of people at house parties as the food cooked and young children played.
The early songs were mixtures of la la, contredanses, reels and jigs and other folk influences from black, white and Native American traditions. Early song lyrics were entirely in Cajun French. Though French language is still common, some Cajun music today is sung in English with younger singers and audiences."

I'd really like to find out a little more about these old Unaccompanied Cajun Ballads??
Can anyone tell me more...?


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 05:12 AM

Harry Oster, who was probably the leading collector of the music of Louisiana music issued quite a number of recordings on Chris Strachwitz's Arhoolie label. In particular there were two LPs called Folksongs of the Louisiana Acadians, now transferred to CD I imagine, which should contain some of the material you're interested in.

Also, Swallow onced released a stunning 2 LP compilation of field recordings called Louisiana Cajun and Creole Music 1934: The Lomax Recordings. Swallow. LP-8003-2. Swallow is still in existence, so again, they may have been transferred to CD.

Also, check the Smithsonian Folkways site. Folkways issued at least two LPs of Cajun folkmusic including

Cajun Songs From Louisiana. Folkways. FE 4438 which contains the unforgettable title LES MARINGOUINS ONT MANGE MA BELLE. It means The Mosquitos Have Eaten My girlfriend.

You can download anything from the Folkways catalogue at http://www.folkways.si.edu/ for just 99c a track.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 07:14 AM

Cajun in the UK is sung in French, or a patois thereof. Probably to sound more authentic. As I only go to dances I don't get to hear acapella cajun.

Mr Red's cajun page including Bayou Seco UK dates .

Mudcat thread on Bayou Seco tour


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 04:53 PM

Read through the thread number 397- one of the oldest here. Some good information, also the usual speculation and crap.

Cajun Music

Also listen to Cajun and Zydeco music on the radio, esp. KBON.com. "Spicy Cajun" on now. (Sat.)

Guide- Cajun Zydeco Radio


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 06:06 PM

Isom Fonenot, as far as I can remember, sings La Betaille unaccompanied, as well as playing it on the harmonica fantastically beautifully, on Oster's compilation Folksongs of the Louisiana Acadians. An unmissable collection of interesting early cajun styles.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 06:11 PM

Dewey Segura, and others similar in period, on Venerable Music cds, Cajun vol. 1, vol. 2. Vol. 2 has 4 discs, I haven't checked vol. 1.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 06:58 PM

Perhaps these original a capella ballads resembled the songs recorded by source-singer Leo Aucoin of Cheticamp, Cape Breton, on his CD "Chansons Acadienne Traditionnelles".


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 07:45 PM

The early 'unaccompanied' form refers, of course, to early balladeers singing at gatherings. These would be Acadian (French)
songs and ballads that they brought with them from Canada, songs picked up on the diaspora or after they arrived in Louisiana. Dances, jigs and reels, came with them.
As time passed, Spanish (from entrepreneurs in NO), English, Irish, Indian, Black both slave and free, and other influences blended in, along with music from German colonists. This mixture, which mostly took place in the 19th c, is known only from a few written mentions, so, as the article from Louisiana State University-Eunice notes, exactly how it got to be what it is, "is cloudy."

Good summary here: Contemporary Musicians and History


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 08:01 PM

Oh, poodle scoop!
The site is:
Cajun Music and History


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 09:02 PM

Here's a clip of Queen Ida & her Bon Temps Zydeco Band doing Rosa Majeur> This woman has been around singing & squeezing forever & here's why. I believe "Bon Temps" means "good time".
Barry


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 12:16 AM

The colonial province of Acadia was where the French first settled in North America. It was made up of what is now Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, , and a good portion of Northern Maine. In French the name that these people called themselves sounded like "Ah-cadj-ien". From that derives the word "Cajun". In the mid 18th century after England defeated France in endless wars all except Cape Breton was ceded to the English Crown.
The farms were cleared to make room for people loyal to the king and many of these displaced people ended in Louisiana. Some however returned to Acadia. Here their music still lives and although it differs from the Cajun style the relationship is obvious. The French descendants here on Cape Breton are very musical and share the same driving force to their tunes. The dominant instrument is the fiddle and the squeezebox is less common. The story of the deportation of these fine people is both sad and cruel. However it is wonderful to see that they have not only survived in the southern USA but have maintained both culture and language for 250 years.


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 09:20 AM

The Magnolia Sisters will be touring the UK in July. They have recorded some nice ballads recorded but the current line up is playing dances as well so be careful which gig you decide to go to.

Like all Cajun gigs in the UK they are listed at Cajun UK


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: GUEST,guest john lavers
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 10:20 PM

when the acadien territories were first captured by the english the followong treaty in 1713 gave france what is now new brunswick, pei and cape breton--and some bases in newfoundland. the english only got mainland nova scotia. there was quite a bit of conflict over the border with new brunswick and even the mainland port of canso nova scotia. the french buily fort beausejour near the present new brunswick/nova scotia border and they had many raids before the war broke out again in 1758. to secure the mainland of nova scotia the english deported the main acadien colony from the annapolis valley and deigby basin and several times they also sailed to the pei cost and new brunswick coast, however the the moudit anglais were pretty thin on the ground and they got almost none from pei and new brunswick and a little over half of the mainland nova scotia adadiens. in all about eight thousand were deported from nova scotia and maybe two thousand from the other areas. about half of these settled aand stayed in louisania, most of the rest came back after the war, but some ended up as far a the falkland islands, or st maol fronce--from which they settled the falklands--giving them the old name the malvinas .

the resettled communities went to claire county nova scotia and to the two cape breton setlements at ile madame and cheticamp. many who were never deported stayed in new brunswick with a lot of immigration from quebec over the centuries.

the acadien traditional music tends to preserve sme very old french medieval music but does have irish fiddle music influence as well. the old acadien dance tunes are very different from the irish tunes, more modal and on a limited scale--much like old breton tunes.

there are many old ballads but in acadia they tended to accompany the singing . i think the unaccompamiment came with the poverty of deportation more than being traditional.

this deportation, which acadiens call the great disaster, shapes much of the present mentality of the acadiens.most still view government as at best a nuisance and at worst the enemy.they fiercely protect their language and their french institutions. however , as an part acadien who barely speaks french, i can say they are also very friendly. even if you can't speck a word of french you can have agreat time at fette acadien--the major summer festival. lameque also has a summer baroque festival that is fabulous. low key. two concerts a day with lots of time to lie on the lovely beaches of lameque and miscu islands.

there is a very lively local music and lots of great atlantic lobster at prices you don't see anywhere else. they actually have lobster at the subway shop in lameque!!

i highly recomend it as a vacation. local bed and breakfast prices are usually lower than more populated areas and the summer weathwer is lovely. now the winter is another story, taht wind whistling off the gulf of st lawrence will chill you to the bone


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Fidjit
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 05:07 AM

Fette Acadien Festival

Oh bugger it's all in French!

Chas


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Fidjit
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 05:13 AM

No there is an English page too right at the bottom

Chas


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Michael S
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 09:35 AM

Lomax field recordings
Ralph Rinzler field recordings

The Lomax collection is from the 1930s and contains unaccompanied singing. The Rinzler recordings are from the 1960s and are mostly band recordings. Four cuts consist solely of Edius Nacquin, accompanying his voice with fiddle. There was once a second volume of Rinzler material, but it seems to have disappeared from the catalog (possibly cannibalized for other compilations).

Worthwhile notes in both collections, especially the Lomax

Michael Scully
Austin


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 11:54 AM

On Beausoliel's CD 'Parlez-Nous a Boire & More' there's a track called Paquet d'Epingles (Packet of Pins). This is a version of an old song called 'The Keys of Canterbury' (discussion and links to 'Paper of Pins' in the digitrad here ) which itself can be traced back to an older and more sinister Scots ballad called 'The Devil's Courtship'.

Here's what Beausoliel had to say about it - I just thought it might be of interest in the present discussion:
..."from the collection of Louisiana French folksongs recorded by John and Alan Lomax in 1934 for the Library of Congress, was sung by Elita Hoffpauir of New Iberia. Michael was instrumental in acquiring a copy of these historic recordings for the University of Southwestern Louisiana's folklore collection and has found a wealth of material in them, arranging formerly unaccompanied songs for his group. (The best of the Lomax recordings are now available to the public on Swallow Records.)"


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Subject: RE: Tell me about Cajun Ballads?
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 02:27 PM

On the subject of Cajun I recently (for my other radio program) interviewed the writer and producer (and resident of that area) of a film---"Little Chenier" and found that the proper pronunciation is not---CayJun--as is mostly done but, rather,--KahJUn--hope the spelling shows the pronunciation--think of a sneeze.

Bill Hahn


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