Beausoleil Is Coming Your Way!

Bob & Evann's wedding waltz, Le Petit Theatre, French Quarter, 10.18.86

Beausoleil, the best Cajun band in the world, is playing in Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin next week — and Chicago, Minneapolis, Wilkesboro, and other venues nationwide early next year. Michael Doucet (the fiddler) and his group played at our wedding in the French Quarter in New Orleans in 1986 (see photo above).

I first heard Beausoleil (and their Cajun rock incarnation, Coteau) in Lafayette, Louisiana in 1976. Mike’s wife at the time was one of the best two-steppers in Acadiana, and I often took advantage of the fact that her husband was unable to dance with her while playing the fiddle. The story I wrote about my Sunday night trips to Boo Boo’s Lounge in Breaux Bridge to hear Coteau and dance with Linda Doucet was published in a Baton Rouge weekly and quickly led to my first real job, as editor of the bilingual Cajun monthly La Gazette des Acadiens.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the publication of “The Fiddler’s Wife,” I decided to turn the story into a song:

THE FIDDLER’S WIFE
My favorite Cajun band
Is playing here tonight,
So I’ll grab a seat
And tap my feet
Near the fiddler’s wife.

She can’t dance with him
While he plays the fiddle.
That gives me
A chance to dance
With the fiddler’s wife.

Have the fiddler play
The song called “Jolie Blonde,”
‘Cause the prettiest blonde
In tout le monde
Is the fiddler’s wife.

She can’t dance with him, ETC.

She’ll go home with him
When the band is through,
But until they’re done
I’ll have some fun
With the fiddler’s wife.

She can’t dance with him, ETC.

Beausoleil came to St. Louis early last year and played at a casino near our house. I hadn’t seen Mike in years and had a lot of fun getting caught up with him. And my wife and I got a chance to demonstrate that we can still do a mean two-step — mais, chere, next day we were sore, yeah!

Inspired by the outing, I decided that Doucet deserved his own song, so I wrote this for him a few days later:

DANSER, DOUCET
Little Doucet when he was young
Didn’t know how to dance.
All the girls in town would crowd around,
But he wouldn’t give them a chance.

Danser, Doucet?”
“Je ne peux pas, ma chere.”
“Danser, Doucet?”
“Je ne sais pas le faire.”

Little Doucet had to compensate,
So he picked up grandpa’s fiddle.
He tightened the strings till they started to sing
And he learned how to play a little.

“Danser, Doucet?” ETC.

Little Doucet got to be real good
And formed a band called Beausoleil.
They worked real hard, won a grammy award,
And they’re playing for you today.

“Danser, Doucet?” ETC.

Despite his fame, Doucet hasn’t changed,
He’s a victim of circumstance:
All the girls in town are still crowding around
Trying to get Doucet to dance.

“Danser, Doucet?” ETC.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Politickles » Blog Archive » It’s All About Boudin

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