One of the most persistent searches that pick up this blog is for Cajun music lyrics.  So I’m starting a series on sources of lyrics.

Ye yaille chere - p267The first is a wonderful book entitled Yé Yaille, Chére! It was written by Raymond E. Fançois and published in Lafayette, Louisiana by Thunderstone Press in 1990.  There are about 250 songs covered, each with music and French and English lyrics.  The entries include the title, alternate and related titles, the musical key, pattern and the version given in the book.  The book is 506 page and retails for $39.95.  The book gives the address as Thunderstone Press, 123 Florida Court, Lafayette, LA 70503.  The ISBN is 0962554200.  It may be out of print.  The initial link goes to the Louisiana Music Factory, which seems to have it.  Amazon lists it as used for $74 and up.  Also available from Alibris and AbeBooks.  I use this book when I can’t find lyrics as part of a recording package or in other sources.  More sources coming!

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There’s a web site that has collected lyrics to numerous Cajun songs, called simply CajunLyrics.  The home page lists the most recently-added lyrics, the most-viewed lyrics,  and the most-commented lyrics.  A small Acadian flag marks French-only lyrics, an American, English-only, and a dual flag, French and English lyrics.  A French flag signals European French music.    One can also browse by artist and search by title words.  Each of the lyrics has been viewed several hundred times, so this is obviously a useful resource.  The copyright statement is 2007-2009, so presumably it began in 2007.  There’s a beta version of a French-language interface.   There’s a long list of requested lyrics with song title and performer.   The Radio link pops up a new window with links to five online sources:  Cajun Fest Radio, Cajun Music Radio Network, Gumbo Radio, KRVS 88.7 (FM Lafayette), and Radio Louisiane.  The Shop links to a t-shirt site.  And the Links section brings up a rather jumbled list of sites united only by being Cajun and French-language related.

The performer is given for each song, but not the recording from which those lyrics are taken.  This could make a difference when looking at multiple versions, such as Nathan Abshire’s Pine grove blues.  The use of accents in French lyrics is inconsistent, likely because different people are entering lyrics.  There are also numerous advertisements, though no pop-up ads that I found.  Comments include English lyrics for French and alternate versions and corrections.  One must register to add lyrics.   The alphabetic browse lists performers by first name, not last, so that “Al Berard” is next to “Aldus Roger” in the A section.  As a librarian, I’d expect them to be alphabetically by last name.  Also song titles include the initial article, “Le,” etc., forcing lots of things together that shouldn’t be.  Searching is on substrings, so a search on “le” brings up every word with those letters in that order.  And search results aren’t entirely in alphabetical order by title.   Search titles and performers are clickable, which is a good feature.   Some performers have photos and links, including personal sites and YouTube videos.  In all I give it an “Eh Bien” rating, not a “Tres Bien.”