Jambalaya Lyrics - cajun interpretation, history by Clarence



   


This is the Jambalaya Song Lyrics (On the Bayou) sung by Hank Williams.
(followed by the Cajun French version)


Here are the Jambalaya lyrics to the Jambalaya song done by Hank Williams Sr. Hank Williams Sr copied the Jambalaya musical melody from an earlier tune recorded in Cajun French called "Grand Texas". Although Hank Williams used the earlier Cajun melody, the words to the song that we know as "Jambalaya" was written by Hank Williams Sr.

After Hank Williams Sr recorded his version with the new words, Cajuns re-recorded Jambalaya with Hank Williams' words translated into Cajun French. Cajuns now consider the song to be one of our own songs. (By the way, Hank Williams mispronounced the word "Bayou". Hank pronounced it as "by-oh" when the correct pronunciation is "by-you". I guess he needed something to rhyme with "me oh my oh". The jambalaya lyrics are located below.

This is located at www.cajunradio.org/wordscajun3.html

Here are the Jambalaya lyrics in English that Hank Williams wrote. Further down, I have the lyrics Jambalaya translated into Cajun French. I also have the various cajun musicians who recorded the Jambalaya song. I can be contacted at cajunclarence [type the at sign] gmail.com

Hank Williams Jambalaya song lyrics:

Good-bye Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh
Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou
My Yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh my oh
Son of a gun, well have big fun on the bayou

(Chorus)
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file' gumbo
'Cause tonight Im gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, well have big fun on the bayou

Thibodeaux, Fontainenot, the place is buzzin
Kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen
Dress in style and go hog wild, me oh my oh
Son of a gun, well have big fun on the bayou

(Chorus)
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file' gumbo
'Cause tonight Im gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, well have big fun on the bayou

Settle down, far from town, get me a pirogue
And Ill catch all the fish in the bayou
Swap my mon to buy Yvonne what she need-o
Son of a gun, well have big fun on the bayou

(Chorus)
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file' gumbo
'Cause tonight Im gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, well have big fun on the bayou


This is a cajun french version OF THE JAMBALAYA LYRICS:


"GOODBY JOE" J'AI POUR ALLEZ, MI-O-MA-Y-O
J'AI POUR ALLEZ MOI TOUT SEUL
SUR LE BAYOU
MA YVONNE, LA PLUS JOLIE
SUR LE BAYOU
TONNERRE M'ECRASE
UN VA AVOIR UN BON TEMP
SUR LE BAYOU
----refrain----------
JAMBALAYA, DES TARTES D'ECREUVISSE, FILE GOMBO
PAR A SOIR MOI J'VA ALLEZ VOIR
MA CHERE AMI-O
JOUER L'GUITAR, BOIRE DE LA JOGUE(cruche)
ET FAIR DE LA MUSIQUE
TOMNNERRE M'ECRASE
UN VA AVOIR UN BON TEMP
DE SUR LE BAYOU
THIBODEAUX, FONTENOT, LA PLACE APRE SONNER
CA VIEN "EN TAS" POUR VOIR YVONNE
PAR LES DOUZAINES
FAIR BIEN L'AMOUR, ET FAIR LE FOU, FAIR LA MUSIQUE
TONNERRE M'ECRASE
UN VA AVOIR UN BON TEMP

Two of the more popular versions of the Jambalaya song lyrics that are done in CAJUN FRENCH are as follows:

a) Aldus Roger CD "A Cajun Legend" on La Louisianne Record Label LLCD 1007-2 available from www.floydsrecordshop.com or www.lalouisiannerecords.com/laloucat.htm
This is an older traditional version in cajun french.

b) Joel Sonnier CD "Cajun Life" on Rounder Record Label ROUN3049 Listen to a sample at www.rounder.com/index.php?id=album.php&musicalGroupId=587&catalog_id=4556
This is a more upbeat version of Jambalaya with cajun french lyrics.


"Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" is a song credited to American country music singer Hank Williams that was first released in 1952. Named for a Creole and Cajun dish, jambalaya, it spawned numerous cover versions and has since achieved popularity in a number of music genres. With a melody based on the Cajun song "Grand Texas", some sources, including Allmusic, claim that the song was co-written by Williams and Moon Mullican, with Mullican uncredited but receiving ongoing royalties. Other sources[who?] claim that this was one of several songs which Williams purchased from other writers; a practice that was relatively common at the time. Released in 1952, crediting Williams as the sole author of the jambalaya lyrics, it was performed by Williams as a country song. It reached number one on the U.S. country charts for fourteen non consecutive weeks [1]. "Jambalaya" remains one of Hank Williams most popular songs today. Cajun Roots of the Song Since the original melody of the song was from a Cajun French song called "Grand Texas", the song is a staple of cajun culture. Although Williams changed the lyrics, he kept a Louisiana theme. In addition, Cajuns readily identified with the soulful sound of Williams. After Williams released his version, Cajuns recorded the song again using Cajun instruments. However, this time they used Williams' lyrics translated into the Cajun French language. Over the past few decades, the Cajun French version has been performed by many Cajun bands including Aldus Roger and Jo-El Sonnier. Theme Williams' song resembles "Grand Texas", a Cajun French song, in melody only. "Grand Texas" is a song about a lost love, a woman who left the singer to go with another man to "Big Texas". Jambalaya, alternately, is about life, parties and stereotypical food of Cajun cuisine. The song has a Cajun theme, possibly inspired by Williams' time with the Louisiana Hayride, though Louisiana Hayride was recorded in Shreveport, a city with very little Cajun cultural influence. Referenced within the song are such Cajun dishes as jambalaya, crawfish pie, and fil gumbo. Williams sings of "Yvonne" in the song, referring to her as my ma cher amio, which is considered poor Cajun French for "my dear" (redundantly Williams uses the word "my" before the French "ma"), and has caused some confusion among listeners, particularly given his pronunciation. The refrain "son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou" has become a well-recognized and often repeated phrase.[citation needed] Williams composed a sequel to the song from the female perspective, "I'm Yvonne (Of the Bayou)", with Jimmy Rule. It was not as popular. As with "Jambalaya" there is speculation that Williams may have purchased this song from Mullican. Later researched by a member of Moon's family, a story emerged about how the song came about in the first place, and it was said that while visiting a small bar located just south of the Choupique Bayou and owned by Yvonne Little, the song Jambalaya referred to some truly wonderful times had there. Cover versions Sheet music of "Jambalaya" with Jo StaffordAnother, even more popular at the time, version of the song was the 1952 cover version recorded by Jo Stafford, reaching #3 on the Billboard pop charts (and making the song well known to people other than country music fans). Mitch Miller had originally intended Jambalaya to be recorded by Jimmy Boyd for Columbia Records. Boyd turned the song down and Miller recorded it with Jo Stafford. Years later Jimmy Boyd did record it for Dot records. It was further popularized in a Rock'n'Roll version by Fats Domino. The Carpenters featured the jambalaya lyrics song, in an uptempo MOR version with country flourishes, on their 1973 album Now & Then. Their version was released as a single outside the United States in 1974 and sold well in the U.K. and Japan. Other artists who have performed the song include Jerry Lee Lewis, Leon Russell,Charley Pride, Jimmy Buffett, Jeff Healey on his 2008 album Mess of Blues, Emmylou Harris included it in her 1976 album Elite Hotel, Moon Mullican, John Fogerty (under the name of The Blue Ridge Rangers), Gerry & The Pacemakers, Brenda Lee, Harry Connick, Jr., Lucinda Williams, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Billy "Crash" Craddock, The Residents, Wes Paul, Dolly Parton, Professor Longhair, Freddy Fender, Fats Domino, The White Stripes, Tab Benoit, and Tommy Funderburk (appearing in the film Steel Magnolias), Van Morrison and Linda Gail Lewis on their 2000 album You Win Again among many others.

Request from Clarence: One of my hobbies is running a free cajun accordion loan program. I get a lot of requests to borrow an accordion from aspiring musicians. If you are feeling generous and would like to support a good cajun cause, how about making a financial contribution to help me buy another accordion to loan out? Please read more about it at Clarence's Cajun Accordion Loan Program.