♫ Jambalaya ♫

I’m playing tonight’s song, Jambalaya by the Carpenters, for one person … ME!  This is one of those songs that no matter how dark your mood, it will get your toes tapping!  I’ve been in a dark place of late, partly for personal reasons and partly due to the state of our nation, and I needed to smile tonight.  This song makes me smile, so bear with me, please.

Hank Williams wrote this song and originally recorded it in 1952. Williams adopts a cajun drawl and sings from the perspective of a guy headed to the bayou for some fun. There will be drinking, good company, and food. Lots of food. Jambalaya, crawfish pie and fillet gumbo.

Richard Carpenter loved the song and recorded the instrumental track in 1972 with various session players. The next year, under pressure to complete the Now & Then album, he had Karen Carpenter add vocal to the track because they didn’t have time to write another original song. Karen made no effort to sound Louisianan, singing it with her trademark perfect diction.

Admittedly, I had never heard the Hank Williams version until tonight, and the Carpenters’ will always remain my favourite … especially after listening to Hank Williams!  I am not a fan of country music, that Williams’ twang just turned me completely off.  If you’re interested, you can go find the Hank Williams’ version yourself!

Interestingly, though the Carpenters didn’t release this as a single in the U.S., their version did go on to become a huge hit in Japan, the UK, Mexico, Holland, Germany and many other countries around the world.

Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
Carpenters

A good-bye Joe, you gotta go, me oh my oh
He gotta go-pole the pirogue down the bayou
His Yvonne the sweetest one, me oh my oh
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Thibodaux, Fontaineaux, the place is buzzin’
A kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen
Dressed in style they go hog wild, me oh my oh
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Jambalaya and crawfish pie and filé gumbo
For tonight, I’ma gonna see my ma cher a mio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Settle down far from town, get him a pirogue
And he’ll catch all the fish in the bayou
Swap his mon to buy Yvonne what she need-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Jambalaya and crawfish pie, filé gumbo
For tonight, I’ma gonna see my ma cher a mio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Jambalaya and crawfish pie, filé gumbo
For tonight, I’ma gonna see my ma cher a mio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Jambalaya and crawfish pie, filé gumbo
For tonight, I’ma gonna see my ma cher a mio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Jambalaya and crawfish pie, filé gumbo
For tonight, I’ma gonna see my ma cher a mio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Hank Williams / Sr.
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

13 thoughts on “♫ Jambalaya ♫

  1. Wow i never knew The Carpenters covered this song! Karen is amazing and sooo talented, and looked so gorgeous and healthy early on. It’s a real shame she succumbed to anorexia due to insecurity about her appearance and singing.
    Funny she never thought she was a good singer, John Lennon once walked up to her in a restaurant and praised her beautiful voice! She walked away without saying a word b/c she couldn’t believe it was true.
    Sadly own her mother criticized her whole life for being talentless and stupid, unbelievable! Then she listened to idiotic music critics who claimed she was to fat on stage. That was the beginning of the end as her life spiraled out of control.
    Her emotion pain and suffering added so much richness and depth to her songs, the whole world was blessed to hear the voice of a vulnerable angel. Shes’s such a beautiful soul, i wished she would have found happiness within herself and lived a fulfilling life instead of show business.
    She’s so incredibly beautiful singing this song, giving life to this performance. Many comment she could sing the telephone book and attract a worldwide audience, that’s how special she is.
    More Carpenter songs PLEASE!! ❤

    Like

  2. Thanks Jill. I’ll be headed for Bayou Country shortly to see my Dad. This song is most beloved in Louisiana; but as much as I adored the Carpenters in high school, I have to say I have never heard their rendition although I have toe tapped to many versions over the years at festivals, MardiGras, Crawfish boils and fairs. A little bit of Synchronicity for me today. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    • Awesome! I hope your dad is doing better and that you’re able to have a good visit with him. I’m also glad you liked the song! Perhaps you’ll hear a more authentic version while you’re “Down on the Bayou”! Have a safe trip, my friend!

      Like

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