La Roue Qui Pend liner notes and lyrics

#2: SW 6174 (2003)

Les Frères Michot

 

La Roue Qui Pend

To see photos of album booklet pages and cd liner and covers, see gallery page.

 

La Roue Qui Pend (“the hanging wheel”) is the name of the Michot family camp.  In south Louisiana, the term “camp” refers to a secondary residence, usually located in a natural or undeveloped landscape, that is used as a base for outdoor recreation, for social functions, and as a refuge or retreat from urban life or the workplace.  La Roue Qui Pend is in the extreme southern portion of Lafayette Parish, near the Vermilion Parish line, on the banks of Bayou Vermilion. Louis Michot (father of the Michot Brothers) bought the camp in the early 1960s along with several partners, including the late Monsignor Alexander O. Sigur.  The Michots had family functions there when the brothers were young, and the brothers hosted Boy Scout camping trips in the adjacent bottomland hardwood forest.  The camp was about 10 miles from the Michot home in Pilette, close enough so that, when the boys got older, they were able to ride horses or bicycles there for camping trips, hunting, frogging, hiking, and swimming.  There was always plenty of music played at La Roue Qui Pend.  Many a night were passed with a fire in the hearth, a gumbo on the stove, and the music of the fiddle, accordion, and guitar played until the wee hours of the morn. 

 

This album is the culmination of a long-term effort by the Michot Brothers between the years of 1994 and 2002 to produce a follow-up to their 1987 album, Elevés à Pilette.  Sessions to work up the material were held first at Rick’s studio on Bayou Tortue Road in Broussard in 1994-95.  After a short hiatus, recording sessions were held in the spare room of André’s house, located on Main Street in the old part of downtown Lafayette (locally known as Freetown), 1999-2000; 10 songs were recorded at Freetown.  In 2002, the camp La Roue Qui Pend came back into possession of the Michot Family through an agreement with the Frugé brothers and sister, heirs of the camp after the death of their uncle, Monsignor Sigur.  Consequently, the final recording session for this album was held at La Roue Qui Pend itself in the autumn of 2002.  It was symbolic that the brothers had come “full circle” by returning to their roots at “The Hanging Wheel.”  The songs on this album are centered around the theme of La Roue Qui Pend, and the theme of the environment and the close relationship that the Michots, and Acadians in general, have to the land.  As such, these songs represent the Michots’ own style of preserving traditional, acoustic Cajun music while accenting a strong vocal component.

Musicians:

Rick Michot                                       fiddle, vocals

Tommy Michot                                  accordion, p’tit fer, frottoir, vocals

André Michot                                     guitar, p’tit fer, spoons, vocals

Louie Michot                                      fiddle, contrebasse, p’tit fer, vocals

David Michot                                     contrebasse, p’tit fer, vocals

Mike Michot                                       contrebasse

 

Recorded at                                        Freetown (1999-2000) and La Roue Qui Pend (2002)

Recording Engineer                            Louis Michot

Mixing Engineer                                 Chris Cavell

Produced by                                       Les Frères Michot

Cover Design by                                Les Frères Michot

Photography by                                 Les Frères Michot and Blaine David Faul

French lyrics edited by                       Monica Landry

English text edited by                        Beth Vairin

 

BMI 2003   © Swallow Records, Flat Town Music

 

Les Frères Michot, PO Box 23, Milton, LA 70558 USA

tcmichot@gmail.com

lesfreresmichot.com

1.      La Roue Qui Pend                              Music and lyrics by Tommy Michot                                       4:04

2.      La Valse de la Mèche Perdue             Music and lyrics by Tommy Michot                                        2:56

3.      Le Deux-pas à Sydney Bourque         Music by Rick Michot                                                            2:18

4.      La Valse de Marriage                         Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                           4:35

5.      Speciale de Wauksha                         Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                           3:24

6.      Les Plats Tous Mis sur la Table         Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            3:27

7.      L’un Pas de Bayou Vermilion             Music and lyrics by Tommy Michot                                        3:32

8.      La Valse de Tante Adèle                    Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            2:51

9.      Le Deux-pas du Cimétiaire               Music by Rick Michot                                                             3:02

10.   La Valse de Roiville                             Music and lyrics by Rick Michot                                            4:18

11.   Baieonne                                            Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                           3:40

12.   Ton Papa M’a Jeté Dehors                  Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            3:30

13.   La Vielle Valse de Bayou Teche           Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                           2:26

14.   La Jument de Michot                          Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            3:31

15.   Mon Cher P’tit Monde                        Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            3:33

16.   Le Lapin a Volé le Giraumon              Traditional tune, lyrics by Rick Michot                                   3:54

17.   La Mazurka de Eugene Michon          Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            3:33

18.   La Valse du Marais Bouleur                Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            4:08

19.   La Vie Malheureuse                            Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            3:37

20.   La Valse de Lac Charles                      Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            3:07

21.   J'irais la Voir un Jour                           Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            3:46

22.   Mélange Réligieux                              Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot                            6:18

 

 

 

1.      La Roue Qui Pend

(The Hanging Wheel)

Music and lyrics by Tommy Michot

Tommy: accordion, vocals; Louie: fiddle, vocals; André: guitar, p’tit fer, vocals; David: contrebasse, vocals.

Tommy wrote this song as a compilation of many of the memories he has from his days spent in various outdoor activities at the camp, La Roue Qui Pend.  All of the lyrics in this song are true, even the part about Bobby being bitten by a poisonous snake (cottonmouth) when he was about two years old.  His hand swelled up like a baseball, and Louis Michot rushed him to the hospital where he was successfully treated for the snakebite (the part about the snake being poisoned, of course, is fictitious!).

 

La Roue Qui Pend

 

Chorus:

Au Bord du Bayou Vermilion, à La Roue Qui Pend

Au Bord du Bayou Vermilion, à La Roue Qui Pend

 

On a traversé le bayou pour attrapper les oua-oua-rons.

On a chassé des grands lapins avec nos deux vieux chiens.

On a tué des écureuils pour les manger avec du riz.

On a chassé (des) canards branchus dans les grands marais.

 

Chorus

 

On a nagé dans la coulée sur les dos de nos chevaux.

Dans le grand bois, au claire de la lune, on a marché au cimétiere.

Tit frère Bobby était mordu par un grand serpent congo.

Tit frère Bobby a survit, mais le serpent était poisoneux!

 

Chorus

The Hanging Wheel

 

Chorus:

On the banks of Bayou Vermilion, at La Roue Qui Pend

On the banks of Bayou Vermilion, at La Roue Qui Pend

 

We crossed the bayou to go frogging.

We hunted big rabbits with our two old dogs.

We shot squirrels so we could eat them with rice.

We hunted wood ducks in the big swamp.

 

Chorus

 

We swam in the coulee on the backs of our horses.

In the big woods, by moonlight, we hiked to the cemetery.

Little brother Bobby was bitten by a big cottonmouth.

Little brother Bobby survived, but the snake was poisonous!

 

Chorus

 

2.      La Valse de la Mèche Perdue

(Lost Marsh Waltz) 

Music and lyrics by Tommy Michot

Tommy: accordion, vocals; Louie: fiddle, p’tit fer; André: guitar; David: contrebasse.

Tommy, a wetland biologist by profession, wrote this song to depict the link between the loss of wetlands and the loss of the Acadian French culture in coastal Louisiana.  The inspiration for the song came when Tommy was interviewed by a writer who was doing a book on wetland loss in coastal Louisiana.  After a day in the marshes, Tommy invited the author to Mulate’s Restaurant, where the band was playing at the time, and Tommy dedicated an old, traditional song, “La Valse de Meche”  (Marsh Waltz) to the writer.  He later asked Tommy if the song was about coastal marsh loss. Tommy said no, it’s about a man who lost his woman so he went into the marsh to find solace and solitude, but there ought to be a song about coastal marsh loss, and I think I just may write it! 

 

La Valse de la Mèche Perdue

 

Oh, mon cher garçon, tu connais çà m'fait de la peine,

Quand je regarde la mèche et je vois que c'est perdu.

Quand j'étais petit c'était miles et miles des herbes.

A cette heure tous les mèche c'est comme une mer d'eau salée.

 

Quand les Acadiens sont arrivés dans la Louisiane,

C'était par rapport aux mèches qu'on était isolé.

Isolé de l'influence des Américains.

Isolé pour preserver notre langue et notre culture.

 

Après la grande eau haute de dix-neuf cent vingt-sept,

L'armée a commencer à bâtir les leveés.

Et toute l'eau douce qui devrait courir aux mèches,

Elle court entre les levées jusqu'au Golfe du Mexique.

 

Sans les sédiments et la nourriture du fleuve,

Les mèches ont commencer à s'abaisser et à mourir.

Combien des années avant (que) notre culture suivra les mèches?

 

 

 

Lost Marsh Waltz

 

Oh, my dear boy, you know it hurts me

When I look at the marsh and I see how much of it is lost.

When I was young it was miles and miles of grasses.

Now all the marsh is like a sea of salt water.

 

When the Acadians arrived in Louisiana,

It was because of the marsh that they were isolated.

Isolated from the influence of the [English-speaking] Americans.

Isolated to preserve our language and our culture.

 

After the Great Flood of 1927,

The Army (Corps of Engineers) began to build the levees.

And all the sweet (fresh) water that should flow into the marsh,

(Now) flows between the levees to the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Without the sediments and the nutrients from the River,

The marsh began to subside and to die.

How many years before our culture will follow the marsh?

 

3.      Le Deux-pas à Sydney Bourque

(Sydney Bourque Two Step)

Music by Rick Michot

Rick: fiddle; Tommy: accordion, p’tit fer; André: guitar; Louie: contrebasse.

The late Sydney Bourque was a resident farmer who lived in a modest house that neighbored La Roue Qui Pend.  Mr. Bourque was one of the last of the old time Cajuns.  He spoke no English, only French, and lived off the land by farming, hunting, trapping, and fishing.  He worked his fields with a single plow pulled by a horse or mule.  When the Michots were at the camp, they often paid a visit to Mr. Bourque to speak French with him and learn about his lifestyle.

 

4.      La Valse de Marriage

(Marriage Waltz)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Rick: fiddle, vocals; Tommy: accordion, vocals; André: guitar; Louie: contrebasse, p’tit fer.

There are only a few Cajun songs that include yodels, and this is one of them.  This “valse de deux temps” (double-time waltz or fast waltz) was first recorded by the Guidry Brothers in the 1930s.  The music of the Guidry Brothers retained a strong European flavor, as if it had just been brought over from the old country.

 

La Valse de Marriage

 

C'est dans un petit village,

J'ai rencontré une jolie brune.

J'ai commencé lui faire l'amour.

Elle m'a montré ses amitiers.

 

J'ai aussi parlé de marriage.

Elle m'a donné une contentement.

Celà m'a mis beaucoup content.

Et a rempli mon coeur de joie.

(yodel)

 

Chère amie, si t'es pareille,

On vas aller dedans l'église,

Se présenter devant l'autel,

Et le prète nous mariera.

 

Le contract sera passé,

Et le billet se signera.

Et ton coeur sera pour moi,

Et mon coeur sera pour toi.

(yodel)

 

Marriage Waltz

 

In a little village,

I met a pretty brunette.

I began to love her.

She returned my love.

 

I also spoke of marriage.

She accepted my offer.

That made me very happy,

And filled my heart with joy.

(yodel)

 

Dear friend, if you feel the same as I,

Let’s go into the church,

To present ourselves in front of the alter,

And the priest will marry us.

 

The contract will be made,

And the license will be signed.

And your heart will be mine,

And my heart will be yours.

(yodel)

 

5.      Speciale de Wauksha

(Waxia Special)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Tommy: accordion; Louie: fiddle, p’tit fer; André: guitar; Mike: contrebasse.

Waxia is a small community in St. Landry Parish, located on Bayou Wauksha (same pronunciation as the town, but different spelling) between Washington and Palmetto.  Tommy and David camped near there on a canoe trip they took in 1973 from Arkansas to the Gulf of Mexico.  It is said that the name “Wauksha” is an Indian word that means “fox.” This song was recorded by Slim Doucet in the late 1920s.

 

6.      Les Plats Tous Mis sur la Table

(The Table Is Set)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Tommy: accordion; Louie: fiddle, p’tit fer, vocals; André: guitar; David: contrebasse.

This old song was recorded by Canray Fontenot in the 1980s.  It follows a theme frequently found in hobo songs of the 1930s.

 

Les Plats Tous Mis sur la Table

Ayou j’vas aller pour trouver un job à rien faire?

Ayou j’vas aller pour trouver les plats tous mis sur la table?

 

Ayou j’vas aller pour trouver une femme comme la mienne?

Quand j’ai fait crève du faim, elle a fait crève du faim, elle aussi!

 

Ayou j’vas aller pour trouver, les plats tous mis,

Les plats tous mis sur la table de la maison?

 

The Table Is Set

 

Where can I go to find a do-nothing job?

Where can I go to find the plates already set on the table?

 

Where can I go to find a woman like mine?

When I am starving to death, she is starving to death too!

 

Where can I go to find the plates already set,

The plates all set on the table of the house?

 

7.      L’un Pas de Bayou Vermilion

(Bayou Vermilion One Step)

Music and lyrics by Tommy Michot

Tommy: accordion, vocals; Louie: fiddle, p’tit fer; André: guitar; David: contrebasse.

When Rick and Tommy were young they often rode their horses to the nearby Vermilion Bayou to go swimming.   Later the bayou was closed to swimming because of pollution.  Since then the introduction of a greater volume of fresh water from the Atchafalaya River, via Bayou Cortableau and Bayou Teche, has helped improve water quality in the Vermilion.  Because they enjoyed the outdoors so much when they were young, the Michots have always been active in environmental efforts in an attempt to preserve a high quality of life for Lafayette and the Acadian region. 

 

L’un Pas de Bayou Vermilion

 

Quand j'ai arrivé aujourd’hui à la maison,

Là, à me recevoir, c'était mes deux garçons.

Ils me demandaient, "S'il vous plaît, cher papa,

Permettez nous d’nager dans le Bayou Vermilion."

 

J'ai répondu à André et à Louis,

"J'ai nagé là quand j'étais petit.

Mais à cette heure c'est pas permi de nager là

Parce que le Bayou Vermilion est contaminé.”

 

Bayou Vermilion One Step

 

When I arrived today at the house,

There to meet me were my two boys.

They asked me, “Please, dear Papa,

May we go swimming in Bayou Vermilion?”

 

I answered to André and Louie,

“I swam there when I was small.

But now swimming there is not allowed

Because the Vermilion Bayou is polluted.”

 

8.      La Valse de Tante Adèle             

(Aunt Adele’s Waltz)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Rick: fiddle; Tommy: accordion, frottoir; Louie: contrebasse, vocals; André: guitar.

This traditional song has special meaning to the Michots.  Adele Marie Domas Michot was the paternal grandmother of the Michot Brothers; she was known as “Tante Adele” to her many neices and nephews.  Her husband, Louis Michot Sr., also had a sister named Adele Michot Soldani, known as “Aunt Dilley” to the Michots. 

 

La Valse de Tante Adèle        

 

Quand t'as dit, “Tante Adèle,”

Tante Adèle est dans la chambre.

Et quoi c’est qu'elle (est) après faire?

Après faire manger les p'tits bébés.

 

Quand t'as dit, “Tante Adèle,”

Tante Adèle est dans l'autre chambre.

Et quoi c’est qu'elle (est) après faire?

Après faire téter les p'tits wawans.

 

Aunt Adele’s Waltz

 

When you say, “Tante Adèle,”

Tante Adèle is in the bedroom.

And what is she doing there?

She’s feeding the little babies.

 

When you say, “Tante Adèle,”

Tante Adèle is in the other bedroom.

And what is she doing there?

She’s nursing the little crying babies.

 

9.      Le Deux-Pas du Cimétiaire    

(Cemetery Two Step)

Music by Rick Michot

Rick: fiddle; Tommy: accordion; André: guitar; Louie: contrebasse, p’tit fer.

Rick named this song for the small cemetery located about a mile from the camp, La Roue Qui Pend.  The cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Bayou Vermilion, surrounded by giant live oaks, and includes many old graves from the 19th century (Civil War).  A midnight hike to the cemetery became a ritual for almost all of the overnight trips to the camp. 

 

 

10.   La Valse de Roiville      

(Youngsville Waltz)

Music and lyrics by Rick Michot

Rick: fiddle, vocals; Tommy: accordion, vocals; André: guitar; Louie: contrebasse, p’tit fer.

Roiville is the original name for the community now known as Youngsville, located in Lafayette Parish not far from the communities of Pilette, Broussard, and Milton.   This song is a valse de deux temps (double-time waltz).

 

La Valse de Royville

 

J’m'ai reveillé à ce matin dans mon gros tronc d'arbre.

C'etait froid, mais pas si froid

Que dans tes bras, ma chère bébé.

Mon p'tit cheval est mort longtemps passé,

Et à cette heure moi, j’peut juste marcher

Jusqu'à mes jonglements sont arretés,

Et ma vie va être arrangé.

 

Aujourd'hui, j’suis juste un hobo

Avec cinq sous dedans ma poche.

J’devrais acheter un p'tit morceau de pain,

Mais ça va pas arrêter la peine…

 

Youngsville Waltz

 

I woke up this morning in my big hollow log.

It was cold, but not as cold

As in your arms, my dear baby.

My little horse died a long time ago,

And now I can only walk

Until my longings have stopped,

And my life will be back in order.

 

Today I’m just a hobo

With five cents in my pocket.

I should buy a little piece of bread,

But that would not stop the pain…

 

 

11.   Baieonne

(Baieonne)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Tommy: accordion, p’tit fer, vocals; Louie: fiddle; André: guitar; Mike, contrebasse.

Blind Uncle Gaspard, a distant relative of the Michots on their paternal great-grandmother’s side from Avoyelles Parish, first recorded this old ballad in the 1930s with fiddle player Dela Lachney.  It is said that Baieonne is the name for a woman with chestnut or auburn-blond hair, the word having been derived from “baie,” which is French for “bay,” as in a bay horse (Raymond Francois, 1990, “Y¾ Yaille, Chère!”  Thunderstone Press, Lafayette).

 

Baieonne

 

Oh, chère, ma chère Baieonne, viens donc encore, ma chère amie.

Ma vie est ruini, c’est la cause de toi, ma chère Baieonne.

 

Si j’avais déjà ecouté ma chère vielle mama, je n’serais pas dans les misères.

Oh, chère, ma chère mama, tu m’as laisse ici, comme une pauvre orphelin du pays.

Oh, chère, viens donc me rejoins, un cher bon jour avenir, ma chère Baieonne, ma chère amie. 

 

Oh, chère, chère Baieonne, au jour de ma morte, c’est toi, je voudrais donc,

qui serait au ras de moi avec ton mouchoir.

Oh, chère, si jamais je viens mourir, viens donc, passer ta chère grosse main blanche autour de ma tête.

 

 

Baieonne

 

Oh, dear, my dear Baieonne, come here again, my dear love. 

My life is ruined because of you, my dear Baieonne.

 

If I had listened to my dear old mama, I would not be in such misery.

Oh, dear, my dear mama, you left me here like a poor country orphan!

Oh, dear, come back to me one dear good day to come, my dear Baieonne, my dear love.

 

Oh, dear, dear Baieonne, on the day that I die, it’s you that I want at my side with your handkerchief.

Oh, dear, if ever I die, come pass your dear big white hand around my head.

 

 

12.   Ton Papa M’a Jeté Dehors

(Your Father Threw Me Out)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Tommy: accordion, p’tit fer; Louie: fiddle, vocals; André: guitar; David: contrebasse.

This catchy tune was first recorded by Leo Soileau and Mayeuse Lafleur in the late 1920s, then later by several other artists, including Lawrence Walker.

 

Ton Papa M’a Jeté Dehors

 

Oh, ton papa et puis ta mama m’a jeté dehors.

M’a jeté dehors de ma maison, ma maison que moi j’aime autant.

 

Oh, chère p’tit fille, mais quoi faire donc mais tu fais ça?

Moi, j’connais j’merite pas, mais, tous ça que t’après m’faire.

 

Oh, malheureuse, moi, j’connais un jour dans l’avenir,

Tu va voir ton erreur mais il sera trop tard pour t’en revenir!

 

Your Father Threw Me Out

 

Oh, your father and your mother, threw me out.

Threw me out of my house, the house that I love so much.

 

Oh, dear little girl, why did you do that?

I know that I don’t deserve all that you have done to me.

 

Oh, unfortunately, I know that one day in the future,

You will see the error of your ways, but it will be too late to come back!

 

13.   La Vielle Valse de Bayou Teche

(Old Bayou Teche Waltz)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Tommy: accordion and vocals; Louie: fiddle; André: guitar.

This traditional song has special significance because Rita Marie Marin, maternal grandmother of the Michot Brothers, was born and raised on Bayou Teche in Loreauville and New Iberia, then later moved downstream to St. Mary Parish.  There, on the Lower Atchafalaya River, she raised her family, including Patricia Michot, the mother of the Michot Brothers.  This song was first recorded in the early 1930s by Columbus Frugé, a distant relative of the Frugé family who inherited La Roue Qui Pend from their uncle, Msgr. Sigur, after his death.  A different version of La Valse de Bayou Teche was later recorded by Nathan Abshire and others.

 

La Vielle Valse de Bayou Teche

 

Si t’aurais voulu m’ecouter, chère,

Toi tu serais au Bayou Teche avec ton negre, chèrie!

 

T’as ecouté ton papa et ta mama, chère,

Les embarras de ton papa et ta mama, chère,

C’est la cause, chère, que tu vas pas avec ton negre aujourd’hui, ye-yaille!

 

Moi, j’connais tu vas pleurer, te lamenter, ye-yaille,

Pour les miséres que t’après faire avec ton vieux negre, chère.

 

Je suis parti m’en aller (tu sera) toi tous seule, chère,

Dans le chemin à la traine avec ta valise, ye-yaille!

 

Old Bayou Teche Waltz

 

If you would have listened to me, dear,

You would be on Bayou Teche with your man, dearie!

 

You listened to your father and your mother, dear,

The troubles of your father and your mother, dear,

That’s the reason, dear, that you are not going with your man today, ye-yaille!

 

I know you will cry and lament, ye-yaille,

For the miseries that you have caused for your old man, dear.

 

I’m leaving to go away and you will be all alone,

On the road wandering with your suitcase, ye-yaille!

 

14.   La Jument de Michot 

(Michot's Mare)      

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Tommy: accordion, vocals; Louie: fiddle, vocals; André: guitar, spoons; David: contrebasse, vocals.

When the Michot brothers were growing up in Pilette, they always had horses on the family property because Louis Michot loved horses and often took the boys for long rides in the surrounding countryside. The horses would sometimes break through the fence and wander onto neighboring fields, and the brothers would have to catch them and bring them back to the home pasture.  On one such occasion, the boys were late for school because they had to catch the horses.  Louis Michot wrote a note to the teachers at Cathedral School to explain the situation.  Tommy’s teacher, Brother Bernard, who had also taught Louis Michot, put an exclamation mark at the end of the note and sent Tommy to see the principal.  They had a good laugh because, as Brother Bernard pointed out, “This was a common excuse when your father was here, but now it is rare!”  On another occasion, the horses got loose on Christmas Day, in the middle of a “bal de maison” at Pilette.  Professor Bernard Bienvenue, from St. Martinville, arrived at the Michot household just as all of the brothers were running out of the house, grabbing ropes and bridles, and running after the horses.  As he moved aside to avoid getting knocked down, he exclaimed, “What is this?  I get invited to a Christmas party, and when I arrive, everyone is out chasing some mare!”   This traditional song is well known throughout France, and is appropriate for the Michots in more ways than one.  The Michot in the song, who owned the mare, was not related to the Michot Brothers as far as we know, but the mare could well be related to our Michots’ mare!  The traditional version of this song starts with ten years and goes all the way down to one year in five verses; here, only the first and last verses are presented.

 

La Jument de Michot 

 

C'est dans dix ans, je m'en irai,

J'entends le loup et le renard chanter.

(bis)

 

J'entends le loup, le renard, et la belette.

J'entends le loup et le renard chanter.

(bis)

 

C'est dans neuf ans, je m'en irai,

La jument de Michot a passé dans le pré.

 

La jument de Michot, et son petit poulain,

A passé dans le pré et mangé tout le foin.

(bis)

 

L'hiver viendra, les gars, l'hiver viendra!

La jument de Michot, elle se répentera!

(bis)

 

C'est dans deux ans...

 

Michot's Mare

 

In 10 years I’m going to go there,

I hear the wolf and the fox singing.

(repeat)

 

I hear the wolf, the fox, and the weasel.

I hear the wolf and the fox singing.

(repeat)

 

In nine years I’m going to go there,

Michot’s mare broke into the meadow.

 

Michot’s mare and her little foal,

Came into the meadow and ate all of the hay.

(repeat)

 

Winter is coming, boys, winter is coming!

Michot’s mare will be sorry!

(repeat)

 

In two years…

 

15.   Mon Cher P’tit Monde            

(My Dear Little World)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Rick: fiddle; Tommy: accordion, vocals; André: guitar; Louie: contrebasse, p’tit fer.

This song was first recorded in the late 1920s by Joe Falcon under the name, “Aimer et Perdre.”  Similar versions were also recorded by Leo Soileau and Moise Robin in the1930s as “C’est Pas La Peine Que Tu Pleut,” later again by Soileau as “Ma Chère P’tit Fille,” and yet later by Nathan Abshire as “P’tit Monde.”

 

Mon Cher P’tit Monde            

 

Oh, cher p'tit monde, moi je t'aimais,

Mais je t'ai perdu pour roulaier le grand chemin.

Gardez donc quoi j'ai fait avec moi même, chère.

Tu connais, cher p’tit coeur, t'es (trop) mignonne, oui, pour moi,

Oui, pour moi, mais j'ai oublié quoi j'ai fait.

 

Garde donc quoi, chère, t'es (trop) mignonne, oui, pour moi,

Joli coeur, malheureuse,

Tes beaux yeux et ta belle figure que moi j'aime un tas, chère,

Mais juste pour te voir mais t'en aller

(Me) préparer pour ma mort…

 

Oh, cher p'tit monde, aye-yé-yaille, jongle a moi, malheureuse.

Tu va attraper quoi t'as fait avant longtemps, chère.

Mais si t'aurais bien du regret, tu va voir pour toi-même…

 

Oh, toutes les belles filles dans la Ville Platte,

Ils resemblent mignonne, mais j’sais pas quoi y a avec eux.

Eux, ils m’resemblent si vailliantes, si adorables, chère.

Mais y a pas une qui me demande.  Moi, j’sais pas si c'est moi,

Si c'est moi qui est malchanceux dans la Ville Platte.

 

 

 

My Dear Little World

 

Oh, dear little world, I love you,

But I lost you to run the streets.

Look what I’ve done with myself, dear.

You know, dear little heart, you are too cute for me,

Yes, for me, but I forgot what I did.

 

Look, dear, you are too cute, yes, for me,

Pretty heart, so sad,

Your beautiful eyes, your beautiful face that I love so much, dear,

But just to see you leave,

Makes me want to die…

 

Oh, dear little world, aye-yé-yaille, think of me, it’s sad.

You are going to realize what you did before long, dear.

But if you have some regrets, you will see for yourself…

 

Oh, all the beautiful girls in Ville Platte,

They seem cute, but I don’t know what’s wrong with them.

They seem to me so upstanding, so adorable, dear.

But there’s not one who asks for me.  I don’t know if it’s me,

If it’s me who is unlucky in Ville Platte.

 

16.   Le Lapin a Volé Le Giraumon

(The Rabbit Stole the Pumpkin)

Traditional tune; lyrics by Rick Michot

Rick: fiddle, vocals; Tommy: accordion, vocals; André: guitar; Louie: contrebasse, p’tit fer.

John Bertrand and Milton Pitre recorded this song in the late 1920s, and it is a well-known traditional Cajun tune.  It was originally recorded as an instrumental, but the colorful title inspired Rick’s imagination, and he came up with a story about a rabbit that was big enough to steal a pumpkin.  It has since become a children’s song that is often sung around Halloween.  The true origin of the title to this song is not known, but it could have come from a similar song, “Boui de Peau d’ Lapin,” which means “Boil the Rabbit Skin.”  The same title (“Rabbit Stole the Pumpkin”) is sometimes applied to a different tune, also known as “T’en a eu, Tu n’aura Plus,” or “Vas y Carrément.”

 

Le Lapin a Volé Le Giraumon

 

Je m'ai reveillé beaucoup des années passés

(J'étais) après marcher dedans ma cour.

Et quoi j'ai vu, laisse moi vous dire,

Ça (que) j'ai jaimais vu encore.

 

Le gros giraumon que j'ai élevé moi-même,

Il était après s’partir.

Et ça qui l’a volé c'était un gros lapin,

Il était après voler avec ses pattes.

 

Je connais, mes amis, que c'est dûr à croire,

Mais j'ai vu ça avec mes yeux.

C'était pas un petit giraumon,

C'était gros et aussi dur.

 

J'ai vu un tas de lapins dans ma vie,

Et j'ai tué un tas beaucoup des matins.

Mais la raison cette lapin était si fort,

C’était un lapin Cadjin!

 

The Rabbit Stole the Pumpkin

 

I woke up many years ago

I was walking in my yard.

And what I saw, let me tell you,

I had never seen before.

 

The big pumpkin that I raised myself,

It was leaving.

And what stole it was a big rabbit,

He was carrying it away with his paws!

 

I know, friends, that this is hard to believe,

But I saw it with my own eyes.

This wasn’t just a little pumpkin,

It was big, and also hard.

 

I‘ve seen many rabbits in my day,

And many mornings I’ve [hunted and] shot a bunch.

But the reason that this rabbit was so strong,

Is that it was a Cajun rabbit!

 

17.   La Mazurka de Eugene Michon 

(Mazurka of Eugene Michon)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Rick: fiddle; Tommy: accordion, p’tit fer; André: guitar; Louie: contrebasse.

Rick learned this interesting tune from (now deceased) Cajun fiddle master Varis Conner.  Varis said that the song was named for this fellow, Michon, who lived near Grand Chenier.  Canray Fontenot later told the Michot Brothers a story about Eugene Michon being kicked by a mule near Grand Chenier, but he was able to avoid serious injury because the mule’s hoof hit a tobacco tin in Michon’s pocket.  The brothers always liked the song not only because of the obvious similarity in names (their paternal great-grandfather was Eugene Michot), but also because not many mazurkas have been preserved in modern Cajun music.

 

18.   La Valse du Marais Bouleur

(Buller’s Swamp Waltz)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Rick: fiddle; Tommy: accordion, p’tit fer, vocals; André: guitar; Louie: contrebasse.

Cleoma Falcon recorded this song in the late 1920s; Dewey Segura and Didier Hebert recorded a very similar song in the late 1920s under the name, “You’re Small and Sweet.”  The French word “marais” means swamp.  According to the late Monica Landry, Marais Bouleur (or “Buller”) is an area northeast of Crowley, in Acadia Parish, centered around land owned by the Buller family.

 

La Valse du Marais Bouleur

 

Tu m'as pris de les bras de mon papa et ma mama.  Tu m'a promis

De m' soigner comme l'enfant de la maison.  Mais c'est toi,

T'après m'quitter moi tout seul.

 

Mon Dieu sait, y a pas juste toi dans le pays,

Mais y a juste toi qu’mon p'tit coeur désirait d'avoir.

Mon Dieu sais j’mérite pas, oui, tous ça que t'après m' faire.

 

Si tu voudrais t'en revenir avec moi,

Je te pardonnerais pour tout ça qu’tu m'a fait.

Mon Dieu sais, y a pas juste toi dans le pays,

Mais y a juste toi qu’mon p'tit coeur désirait d'avoir.

 

Écoutez les conseils, les conseils de les autres.

Écoutez les conseils.  C'est juste toi,

Qu’moi, j’voudrais avec moi.

 

Buller’s Swamp Waltz

 

You took me from the arms of my father and mother.  You promised

To take care of me like the baby of the house.  But it’s you

Who are leaving me to be all alone.

 

God knows, you’re not the only one in the country,

But you are the only one that my little heart desires.

God knows I don’t deserve all that you are doing to me.

 

If you would come back to me,

I would forgive you for all that you have done to me.

God knows, you’re not the only one in the country,

But you are the only one that my little heart desires.

 

Listen to the advice, the advice of the others.

Listen to the advice.  It’s just you

That I want with me.

 

19.   La Vie Malheureuse

(The Unhappy Life)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Tommy: accordion; Louie: fiddle, vocals; André: guitar.

This song was first recorded under this name by Leo Soileau and Moise Robin in the late 1920s.  Later recordings included “Tante Aline” by Amédé Ardoin and the “Iota Two-step” by Nathan Abshire.

 

La Vie Malheureuse

 

P’tite fille tu m’fais pitier de te voir après pleurer,

De te voir après pleurer comme une pauvre malheureuse, chère,

C’est moi qui c’est la cause si ton coeur est si casse.

P’tite fille prends donc courage, prends pas donc ça si dur.

 

P’tite fille prends donc courage puis viens toi avec moi.

P’tite fille mais je vas t’soigner jusqu’à la jour de ta mort, chère.

Comment tu veut je fais, j’suis assez mais moi tout seul?

P’tite fille prends donc courage, prends pas donc ça si dur.

 

The Unhappy Life

 

Little girl it’s pitiful to see you crying,

To see you crying like a poor unhappy one, dear,

It’s because of me that your heart is so broken.

Little girl be brave, don’t take it so hard.

 

Little girl take courage and come with me.

Little girl I will take care of you until the day you die, dear.

How do you expect me to make it alone?

Little girl have courage, don’t take it so hard.

 

20.   La Valse de Lac Charles

(Lake Charles Waltz)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Tommy, accordion, p’tit fer, vocals; Louie, fiddle; André, guitar; Mike: contrebasse.

Anatole Credeur recorded this song in the late 1920s.  Lake Charles is a large city in southwest Louisiana, about 60 miles west of Lafayette, and is the gateway to Calcasieu Lake, a large brackish estuary that is popular for hunting, trapping, shrimping, and fishing.  The song has special meaning to Tommy because he has done extensive field work in the marshes of Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, adjacent to Calcasieu Lake.

 

La Valse de Lac Charles

 

Oh, prépare toi, chère. 

Prépare toi, je vas quitter pour t’en aller.

Oh, viens avec moi, chère.

Viens avec moi au Lac Charles avant longtemps.

 

Oh, moi je m’en vas, chère.

Moi, je m’en vas te joindre au Lac Charles, chère.

Oh, tu garde bien, chère.

Tu va avoir ton heure de pitié.

 

Lake Charles Waltz

 

Oh, get ready, dear.

Get ready because I’m leaving.

Oh, come with me, dear.

Come with me to Lake Charles before long.

 

Oh, I’m going, dear.

I’m going to join you in Lake Charles, dear.

Oh, look here, dear.

You will have your time of pity.

 

21.   J'Irais la Voir un Jour

(I'm Going To See Her One Day)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Tommy: accordion: vocals; Louie: fiddle, vocals; André: guitar; David: contrebasse, vocals.

This religious song is frequently sung at funerals in south Louisiana and is thus very well known among the Cajun people.  The song has always been a favorite of the Michots’ mother, Pat (la mère des Frères!).  Thanks to the late Monica Landry for providing the lyrics. 

 

J'Irais la Voir un Jour

 

J'irais la voir un jour,

Au ciel, dans la patrie.

Oui, j'irai voir Marie,

Ma joie et mon amour.

 

Chorus:

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel,

J'irai la voir un jour.

(bis)

 

J’irai la voir un jour.

J’irai m’unir aux anges,

Pour chanter ses louanges,

Et pour former sa cour.

 

Chorus

 

J'irai la voir un jour.

J'irai près de son trône.

Recevoir ma couronne,

Dans l'éternel séjour.

 

Chorus

 

I'm Going To See Her One Day

 

I'm going to see her one day,

In heaven, in the homeland.

Yes, I'm going to see Mary,

My joy and my love.

 

Chorus:

In heaven, in heaven, in heaven,

I'm going to see her one day.

(repeat)

 

I'm going to see her one day,

I'm going to unite with the angels,

To sing her praises,

And to form her court.

 

Chorus

 

I'm going to see her one day,

I'm going to be near her throne.

To receive my crown,

For the eternal stay.

 

Chorus

 

22/23.              Mélange Réligieux         

(Religious Medley)

Traditional, arranged by Les Frères Michot

Rick: fiddle, vocals; Tommy: accordion, vocals; André: guitar; Louie: contrebasse, vocals; David: p’tit fer, vocals.

Rick came up with the idea of putting these three songs together in the mid-1980s, and the Brothers first performed this medley at the Mamou Cajun Festival circa 1985.  It was the last song of the set, and as they came to the final verse of “Les Flammes d’Enfer,” they could see a dark wall of heavy rain moving toward the stage from across the festival grounds.  The dance floor was packed with dancers who could all see the rain coming, but no one wanted to break from the dance to run for cover as long as the music continued.  The rain hit the dance floor just as the Brothers played the final notes of the song, at which time the crowd scattered for cover like a bunch of chickens, and the Brothers grabbed their instruments and dove for shelter as well!  While it rained, they ended up sitting in an old van with Canray Fontenot, jamming on the fiddle and eating cracklins!  This medley was performed many times by the Brothers and was later recorded at the Liberty Theatre in 1989.  The first song, “Kyrie Eleison,” is a Latin Gregorian chant that Rick, Tommy, and David learned as choirboys in the early 1960s; that is also where the brothers picked up on many of their harmonizing skills.  The second song, “Le Temps Est Après Finir,” was recorded by Nathan Abshire in the 1970s.  The melody of the third song, Cajun classic “Les Flammes d’Enfer” was first recorded in the late 1920s by Bixy Guidry and Percy Babineaux under the title, “She Cried to Come Back.”

 

Kyrie Eleison

 

Kyrie Eleison.  Christe Eleison.  Kyrie Eleison.

 

Lord Have Mercy

 

Lord have mercy.  Christ have mercy.  Lord have mercy.

 

Le Temps Est Après Finir

 

On lit dedans la bible, le temps est après finir. (x3)

Oh, le temps, le temps est après finir.

 

Allons nous mettre sur genou, pour faire notre prières (x3).

Oh, le temps, le temps est après finir.

 

The Time is Coming to an End

 

We read in the bible, the time is coming to an end.

 

Let’s get on our knees and say our prayers.

Oh the time, the time is coming to an end.

 

Les Flammes d’Enfer

 

Hey mama,  t’as tous le temps m’dit

J’aurais pleurer.  “T’as tué ta p’tite tante.

C’était une p’tite fille, elle était si belle.

Garde quoi t’as fait pour un bon temp.”

 

Dans quoi j’ai vu, j’suis condamné.

J’suis condamné pour la balance de mes jours.

Priez pour moi.  Priez pour moi.

Sauvez mon âme de les flammes d’enfer!

 

 

Dans quoi j’ai vu,

(Hey, mama)

J’suis condamné.

(Priez pour ma)

J’suis condamné

(Je suis condamné)

Pour la balance de mes jours!

(De les flammes d’enfer)!

 

Priez pour moi.

(Priez pour moi)

Sauvez mon âme.

(Sauvez mon âme)

Sauvez mon âme.

(Je suis condamné)

De les flammes d’enfer!

(Pour la balance de ma vie)!

 

The Flames of Hell

 

Hey, mama, you always told me

I would cry.  “You have killed your little aunt.

She was a little girl, she was so pretty.

Look what happened while you were having a good time.”

 

From what I’ve seen, I am condemned.

I am condemned for the rest of my life.

Pray for me.  Pray for me.

Save my soul from the flames of hell!

 

From what I’ve seen,

(Hey, mama!)

I am condemned

(Pray for me).

I am condemned

(I am condemned)

For the rest of my days

(To the flames of hell)!

 

Pray for me.

(Pray for me)

Save my soul.

(Save my soul.)

Save my soul.

(I am condemned)

To the flames of hell

(For the rest of my life).