Saturday, October 16, 2010

Samedi: The Barons' Song

Papa Gede bel garcon!
Papa Gede bel garcon!
L’habille tout ennui!
Pou’l monte au palais!

Papa Ghede is a handsome man!
Papa Ghede is a handsome man!
He is wearing all black!
And he is going to the palace!

The song of the Barons, in Haitian Creole and English, from Harold Courlander’s book The Drum and the Hoe

Header: A New Orleans Mardi Gras voodoo doll guised as Baron Samedi


Charles L. Wallace said...

Ahh, where to begin?
Baron Samedi.... Having spent much time in Gainesville, Florida, soon after Tom Petty left and went to Los Angeles, I am a bit partial to that fellow and his music. Having arrived, the band (Mudcrutch) cut a single. It went nowhere, they split up. Tom and a couple of the guys added new members, called themselves Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, and the rest is history. Except, Tom is partial to friends and family.... soon after headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show, TP and the HB's were on hiatus. Tom contacted the former members and re-formed Mudcrutch, and toured and put out an album. One of my faves is "Lover of the Bayou", the old Byrds number. You know "...Baron Samedi is on your tail... I'm the lover of the bayou..." Good stuff. I actually perfer Tom's number, but for some reason, he alters the lyric to "...and there are zombies on your tail...." Oh, well, good song anyway.

Charles L. Wallace said...

(Paranoid over last time I left a lengthy response) haha!
I love the blues. Robert Johnson, they say, walked down to dat ol' crossroads at midnight and handed his guitar to Papa Legba, who tuned it up and handed it back to him. So they say.... Anyway, Robert Johnson sang and wrote some epic material, but he loved women, even other guy's gals... he was poisoned in 1938, I think it was, by a jealous lover. Some say coffee, but Rice Miller said it was an open bottle of whiskey. Robert had gone to drink from an opened bottle and Miller swatted it away, saying who knows where it had been... later, Robert got another opened bottle, and it was poisoned. Or, was it Papa Legba collecting his due?

[sidebar - the word verification on this one is "sisal". Nicely done! :-)]

Pauline said...

Wow! Some obscure and awesome references there! Well done indeed.

I can't think of Robert Johnson anymore without running that scene in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" where Everett, Pete and Delmer pick Tommy up at the crossroads through my head:

"Oh, son. You sold your immortal soul to learn how to play the guitar?"

"Well, I wasn't usin' it none."

Good answer, Tommy.

Charles L. Wallace said...

Thank you, kind lady :-)
Tommy - what a hoot! hahaha!
Good answer!

Timmy! said...

"Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" is a popular movie at our house, indeed, Pauline...

And like Everett McGill in the movie... "I appear to be the only one who remains unaffiliated."

Pauline said...

That movie is funnier every time. And yeah; I think you might be...