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Lyr Req: Lacassine Special (from Emmylou Harris)

GUEST,roj 01 Apr 09 - 08:38 PM
Peace 01 Apr 09 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,roj 01 Apr 09 - 10:07 PM
Peace 02 Apr 09 - 12:14 AM
Monique 02 Apr 09 - 01:34 AM
Suzy T. 02 Apr 09 - 02:11 AM
Suzy T. 02 Apr 09 - 02:16 AM
Will Fly 02 Apr 09 - 04:31 AM
Dead Horse 02 Apr 09 - 07:07 AM
GUEST 02 Apr 09 - 12:57 PM
Monique 02 Apr 09 - 04:55 PM
Suzy T. 02 Apr 09 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,DWR 03 Apr 09 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,the chalmette kid 22 May 09 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,The Chalmette Kid 22 May 09 - 09:33 AM
Dead Horse 22 May 09 - 10:11 AM
GUEST 23 May 09 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Libby 16 Aug 09 - 07:59 PM
Dead Horse 17 Aug 09 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 17 Aug 09 - 10:59 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: LACASSINE SPECIAL (from Balfa Brothers)
From: GUEST,roj
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 08:38 PM

As my fiddling progresses, I'm trying to learn a few new Cajun tunes. One that's tried and true is Lacassine Special by the Balfa Bros., although my first exposure to it many years ago was Emmylou Harris' version from the album "Thirteen".

   Lyric site searches for Emmylou have listed the Balfa's lyrics. I can't for the life of me figure out what on earth Emmylou is singing though. My French is pretty basic, but I swear she's not even close to this:

Lacassine Special Balfa Bros.

O ye yaille, mais rappelle toi
'tite fille, tout les accroires,
Les promesses ça tu m'as fait.
Tu connais je merite pas ça.
Tu m'as dit toi tu m'aimais,
Chere, mais aujourd'hui,
Aujourd'hui t'es apres me quitter.
Moi, je connais ça me fait du mal.

O ye yaille, mais rappelle toi,
'tite fille, tout les promesses,
Les accroires ça tu m'as fait.
Tu connait je peut pas oublier,
Que toi tu serais venue.
Tu serais venue mais avec moi,
Catin, a la maison.

Any Cajuns out there who can shed a light?


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 08:56 PM

Lyrics to Lacassine Special :
(Iry LeJeune)

O ye yaie mais rappelle toi
Petite fille tout les accroires
Les promesses ca tu m'as fait
Tu connais je merite pas ca
Tu m'as dit toi tu m'aimais
Chere mais aujourd'hui
Aujourd'hui t'es apres me quitter
Moi je connais ca me fait du mal

O ye yaie mais rapelle toi
Petite fille tout les promesse
Les accroires ca tu m'as fait
Tu connais je peux pas oublier
Que toi mais tu m'as dit
Chere toi tu serais venue
Tu serais venue mais avec moi
Catin a la maison


Found on the www.

There are a few really good French speakers here and if ya keep the thread up for a few days I think you'll get it translated.


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: GUEST,roj
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 10:07 PM

O.K. Before anyone else posts...

The last two posters have posted the exact same lyrics as in my original entry. That's the point. All of these sites that supposedly have all the Emmylou lyrics have the Balfa lyrics posted.

And I don't believe that this is what Emmylou is singing. It almost sounds like she's singing French-sounding nonsense syllables. But, knowing very little French, I really can't say for sure.

So again, if anyone can tell me, I'd be most appreciative.


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: Peace
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 12:14 AM

There are a few differences, but they're minor. Give it a few days--there are a few really good French speakers on the site. The Cajun stuff has and continues to be a bear to get at. Went thru something similar a few years back.


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: Monique
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 01:34 AM

O ye yaie but remember
Baby (lit. little girl) all the fancies
the promesses you made me
you know I don't deserve that
you told me you loved me
darling but today
today, you want to leave me
but I know it hurts (lit. it does me bad)

O ye yaie but remember
Baby, all the promesses
the fancies that you made me
you know I can't forget
that you told me
darling, you'd have come
you'd have come (but) with me
Catin* at home

* I have no time right now to search if "catin" has a different meaning in Cajun. In France French it means whore, prostitute.


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: Suzy T.
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 02:11 AM

In Cajun French, "catin" is an endearment, like "sweetie". It is often translated "doll". It is an insult to call someone "catin" in France, but it is fine in southwest Louisiana!


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: Suzy T.
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 02:16 AM

The other thing is, often Cajun speakers elide their words. For example, instead of "je merite pas ca" they might sing "j'merite pas ca" -- in other words, you might get farther if you try to transcribe what you hear phonetically, and then compare it to the transcriptions here. Cajun French was mostly not a written language until relatively recently, and the rules of grammar are quite different from Parisian French.

Another typical example: Aujourd'hui t'es apres me quitter. Try 'jourd'hui t'apres m'quitter. That will scan better. It used to drive me nuts trying to make these kinds of transcriptions fit with the songs, now I write down the French as it's pronounced -- not necessarily phonetically, because I do like to know the meaning of what I sing, but with these kinds of elisions and contractions.

Hope this helps -- Ann Savoy's book and the big yellow book (Oh Ye Yaille) are indispensable if you want to learn to sing Cajun songs.


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: Will Fly
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 04:31 AM

These words seem similar to "Jongle a moi" - any relation?


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: Dead Horse
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 07:07 AM

Cajun lyrics when translated are often very similar.
Amede Ardoin seems to tell the same story in just about every other song he recorded, and Iry Lejeune too, to some extent.
Tunes could and were used for more than one song as well.
It all gets very confusing, dont it?
I can see no similarities between Lacassine Sp & Jongle A Moi though.
Roj, why try to copy Emmylou when there are other more authentic versions to learn from?
If its Cajun Fiddle you want, Iry LeJeune is the last place I would look. He did play fiddle, but was known for accordion.
Try listening instead to stuff from Balfa Bros, Dennis McGee, Leo Soileau, Lawrence Walker, Wade Fruge et al.
Note that these are CAJUN fiddlers, not to be confused with country, appalachian, bluegrass or any other lesser style :-)
And dont get hung up on lyrics. Everybody just sang their own, and some of 'em spoke very bad French, Cajun or otherwise.
(Iry was accused of that by many, see Ann Savoys book. If ya aint gottit, gettit!)


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 12:57 PM

Thanks all.
I'm kind of with Suzy T in that I like to know what it is that I'm singing, (being a better singer than fiddler), even if it's in another language.
And Dead Horse, I did go to the Balfa version first.   As bad as some of the cajun-speaking French is, I could understand the Balfas pretty well, along with some other versions I've heard. I was just perplexed when I went back to listen to Emmylou's version, because it didn't sound recognizable. I was just curious if she created a whole new set of lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: Monique
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 04:55 PM

Thanks Susy T for explaining the meaning of "catin". I was kind of startled when I read it. Btw, it's out of use now in France, you could only find it on some old novel (or in Mylène Farmer's song "Libertine") .


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: Suzy T.
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 09:48 PM

I haven't heard Emmylou's version but who the hell can understand everything she sings, even in English? I love the glorious sound of her voice, but she often sounds to me as if she's singing with a mouth full of cotton wool -- so, no wonder you can't understand her singing in Cajun French!

I think the most important thing when singing Cajun songs is to sing with conviction and the right accent/tonality/rhythm. The actual words really don't matter. Dead Horse is quite right. The Cajuns often just take a bunch of stock phrases and string them together to make a song. I have often sung (for Cajun-speaking Creoles) songs that I didn't even know -- I knew the melody and just plugged in "Tu m'as quitter pour t'en aller, oh ye yaie chere, comment tu me fait comme ca, malheureuse, quoi t'a fait avec ton neg" etc. There are some more modern songs (like DL Menard's songs for example) that actually tell a story and have a set text, but nearly all the older songs do not have a set text, with the notable exception of "J'ai Passe Devant Ta Porte" which tends to have pretty much the same lyrics no matter who sings it. But Jolie Blonde does not.
Suzy


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Subject: RE: Emmylou's Lacassine Special lyrics...
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 11:07 AM

Only slightly off topic, one of my favorite Cajun bands is called Bonsoir Catin,    Highly recommended. By the way, that is an almost all ladies group Christine Balfa Powell, Kristi Guillory, Yvette Landry, Anya Shoenegge Burgess and Jude Veillon, no one could ever mistake Jude for a lady!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lacassine Special (from Emmylou Harris)
From: GUEST,the chalmette kid
Date: 22 May 09 - 09:28 AM

Having spent many years singing and playing Cajun music, I can assure you that many "musicians" take a shot at singing Cajun lyrics. If the singer did not grow up "Cajun", they will probably butcher the language pretty badly, and end up singing a bunch of nonsense.

One of the best sources the lyrics is the liner notes from any Steve Riley album. He has spent a lot of time and effort to present them in a form accesible to the average person.

Also, many of these songs have different versions with different lyrics.

Not to mention that many phrases and words from Cajun French are colloquil (local corruptions) expressions. Like Jamaican English, it is not easily understood.

the word Catin in Cajun lingo means sweetheart.   Jolie Catin means pretty sweetheart.   Like Jolie Blonde means pretty blonde.

I have consulted three (3) French nationals, one of the a language instructor. I got them to listen to some Cajun and Zydeco tunes for purposes of interpreation. All three of them said they could only understand a fraction of the words.

So... it is best to find an old version, by the original artist, of a song that you want to learn and work real hard on it, and then you will possibly sound like a Cajun.

Another really good source is Ann Savoy's book of songs and lyrics.
And the big yellow book, Ye Yaille Cher.

Again... try Steve Rily and the Mamou Playboys albums. That way you get the song and the lyrics.

Bien Merci!

Geno Chalmette


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lacassine Special (from Emmylou Harris)
From: GUEST,The Chalmette Kid
Date: 22 May 09 - 09:33 AM

I will add this:

I have spent some time around Christin Balfa. I have listened to all her recordings. She sings Lacasinne Special too. Badly. The words were too hard for her to memorize, so she sings only the first verse over and over again.

If she can't sing that stuff, who can? Certainly not Emmy Lou.

Sorry for the typos.

Geno Chalmette


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lacassine Special (from Emmylou Harris)
From: Dead Horse
Date: 22 May 09 - 10:11 AM

Eddie was guilty of murdering his dad Iry Lejeunes lyrics, too!
Luv 'em both.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lacassine Special (from Emmylou Harris)
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 09 - 10:28 AM

Eddie Lejeune is the real deal. I don't care if he can speak Cajun French or not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lacassine Special (from Emmylou Harris)
From: GUEST,Libby
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 07:59 PM

Great thread and thanks to all. This confirms my own experience as it seems that everyone is singing different words to the same song. Bonsoir Moreau, which has published lyrics on the web, is sung by both Bois Sec and Geno Delafose with different lyrics. Or rather certain lines are strung together differently.
To those who want to sing from published lyrics, I recommend this http://www.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php
link where you can type in text(in french) and have the app generate a spoken version. Then you can create your own phonetic cheat sheets


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lacassine Special (from Emmylou Harris)
From: Dead Horse
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 10:00 AM

Eddie was the real deal, and he spoke better Cajun than his dad.
Unfortunately, it is standardised French which is taught in Louisiana schools nowadays, as Cajun teachers are a rarity, so much so that teachers have to be imported from across La Grand Bayou Atlantique.
The best young Cajun bands learn from old recordings, or even better, from the old masters themselves.
I dont reckon any of THEM will be taking notes from Emmylou, huh? :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lacassine Special (from Emmylou Harris)
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 10:59 AM

We dance to it usually.


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