♫ 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

♫ Crazy ♫

I was going to play one for Ellen tonight, but I remembered (with a little nudge of a reminder) that I had promised Larry last week that I would play this by Patsy Cline!  I tend to forget things, like where my car keys are when they are in my hand, and to put clothes into the washer before I run it, so it was no surprise that I forgot to play this for Larry.  Sorry, my friend! I will get to Ellen’s song tomorrow, if somebody will remind me.

Patsy-Cline

I had no idea, until 3 minutes ago, that this song, released in 1961, was written by none other than Willie Nelson!  At the time, Willie was a struggling country singer and got a big break when Cline recorded this and made it a hit. It has become one of Nelson’s most enduring songs. He covered the song for his own debut album, …And Then I Wrote, in 1962.  Willie later revealed that the original title of the song was to be Stupid.

I also did not know that just two months before she recorded Crazy, Ms. Cline was in a serious auto accident and was thrown through the windscreen (remember, they didn’t even have seatbelts back then), and at the first session, she couldn’t hit the high notes because of a broken rib, so the studio musicians recorded their parts without her. Two weeks later, she did her vocals while standing on crutches.

Tragically, Patsy would die in a plane crash just two years after the release of this song, at the young age of only 30.

There is so much fascinating trivia about Patsy Cline that I cannot possibly include it all here, but here are a few tidbits …

  • She was the first female country singer to headline in Vegas
  • She became the first solo female artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973
  • In 1997, Cline’s recording of “Crazy” was named the number one jukebox hit of all time
  • Her given name was Virginia Patterson Hensley and as a child she was known as Ginny
  • In 1993, the U.S. Postal Service created special-issue postage stamps to honor Patsy Cline, along with other country superstars such as Hank Williams, the Carter Family and Bob Wills.
  • When Patsy was 13, she was hospitalized with a throat infection and rheumatic fever. She later said, “The fever affected my throat and when I recovered I had this booming voice like Kate Smith.”

Wikipedia has an impressive amount of detail about Patsy’s life, death, and the mark she left on the music industry … check it out if you’re interested.  And another article I came across, 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Patsy Cline, also had some really interesting facts and trivia.

Thanks Larry … I had fun doing the legwork on this one!

Crazy
Patsy Cline

Crazy, I’m crazy for feeling so lonely
I’m crazy, crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you’d love me as long as you wanted
And then someday you’d leave me for somebody new

Worry, why do I let myself worry?
Wondering what in the world did I do?
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I’m crazy for trying and crazy for crying

And I’m crazy for loving you
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I’m crazy for trying and crazy for crying
And I’m crazy for loving you.

Songwriters: Willie Nelson
Crazy lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC