Hey folks, I was viewing a youtube video called "Preserving Cajun Culture" and noticed in the comments section, none other than Greezy McGill had posted a comment only one day ago. After watching the video and reading his comment, it was like being slapped across the head with understanding about the Cajun language and also the culture and music. I thought maybe some of you would want to read his mind, or what was on his mind.
And I quote"
Greezy Mcgill1 day ago (edited)
"There is a problem with trying to teach the old Cajun language as spoken in the past and still in the present amongst the small communities of Louisiana. It was not written nor read nor taught. It was spoken as it applied to life, and spoken with a certain flow and manner that was not necessarily correct to people from France and Canada or even language "experts". Also, Louisiana is not France nor Canada. It's Louisiana, with it's own flora and fauna and way of life and living language. A Cajun conjugates verbs by letting you know what time frame he or she is talking about with the use of other verbs and word combinations, tones, facial expressions, and hand gestures that are thrown at you in a manner that is so subtle that you hardly notice what was just said if you're not a Cajun whose heard the language all one's life. It's sort of like the accordion and fiddle music that "WE" hear all of our lives. We just pick up the music and play it the way Cajuns from the past played it. We don't count chords, buttons, finger positions, musical notes, etc.......we just play it from having heard it so got dam much. Now figure out a way to put that in a book and teach it in a classroom. Good luck with that! Ain't gonna happen. You learn Cajun French by spending time listening to your grand parents, parents, aunts and uncles, parans and nanans, and your cousins, brothers, and sisters speaking it, and applying the Cajun language to life. Unfortunately, we stopped using it for the most part out of shame, preoccupation with technology and money, the breakdown and slow death of the Cajun family and community, and because of the invasion of the English language that was forced on the Cajuns by the got dam outsider Anglo Saxons Americanz. We adopted the American ways too much and consequently just about lost our Cajun ways because of it. What we have now is plenty of divorce, drugs, loss of morals, dissatisfaction of life, and separation amongst family and even with your next door neighbor because nobody trusts nor really knows one another any more. And now you know the rest of the story. And to think, I never went to college, nor do I get paid by government funded organizations like the Louisiana Folklife Center or Codifil, yet I know this stuff and can put it to you in words in a way that no one else seems to be able to. You're welcome!"
Bloviation knows no bounds.
The most avoided Cajun song of all time for most accordion players. The "Hee Haw Breakdown". Oh God forbid that some jack wagon come up to you at a jam session, workshop, or even on stage and request the "Hee Haw Breakdown"!
Well, I'm going to help you to get ready for it, if by chance, this ever happens to you. You can start by grabbing your "C" accordion. This song is played in the 3rd position key of "F". Haha, I can hear the moaning and groaning already. To start an "F" song on the "C" accordion you simply pull on the "false octave" of buttons 5 and 8, then jump down to the "C" chord of buttons 6 and 9 on the push. I think you can figure it out from there if you are worth your salt. Merry ChristMass and Happy New Year!
P.S. Hey 33, the video that you got my got dam comment from was called "Preserving French Culture".
Sometimes I feel like you're reading my mind.
I spent my practice time last week delving into the 3rd position, and I stole a few licks from the Hee Haw Breakdown.
Also, this performance of Joe Hall of a tune very much like the Hee Haww is interesting. And guess what, the tune starts exactly with the notes you mentioned (5-8 pull / 6-9 push).
(How the f°°° can one embed a youtube vid on this forum? This is so retarded)
Joe Hall is playing the same song. Cool video - I haven't heard much from Joe lately.
The song usually goes by the name Mardi Gras Jig. I used to play it, and I am feeling like it is long overdue that I revive it and put it back in rotation for gigs.
Ha Boudreaux, I've tried to embed the video of how to embed a video no less than 3 times and the video failed every time. And if I type the way to embed a video, it automatically embeds a non existent video.
Maybe if I do it on separate lines.
Go and copy the youtube link address on the video you want to embed.
Next, come to the bravenet and reply to someone or create a new topic.
Then, type an open bracket [ then the word youtube and then close bracket ]
After that, paste the video addresss link with no spaces after the last bracket.
And then, after the link with no spaces type another bracket [ and a slash /
then the word youtube followed by the closing bracket ].
This is all done on the same line.
Why is this "Preserving French Culture " when the mini essay was about Cajun, not French, culture ?
Okay so here's the vid I was talking about. Thanks Greezy for the embeding technique.
Yeah you right David it IS the Hee Haw, or is it really? Can't be the heehaw if there ain't no donkey soundz.
Joe Hall is doing his thing I guess. He played the blackpot not too long ago. He's got a sweet series of vidz on youtube that showed up recently. He's one of my fave accordian player.
Maybe it's like this:
(Mardi Gras Jig) + (Hee Haw sounds) = Hee Haw Breakdown
"Joe Hall is doing his thing I guess. He played the blackpot not too long ago. He's got a sweet series of vidz on youtube that showed up recently. "
Can someone post a link to one of his youtube vids? Every "joe hall" I come across over there is not this guy.
Dis 'un is a chestnut:
Thanks Greezy for that Shamrock tune. Fun stuff!
Hey Grease, I got this idea to put a spin on your stuff and make more of a defined point to accordion discussion. Read closely now.
"There is a problem with trying to teach Cajun accordion as it was played in the past and still in the present amongst the small communities of Louisiana. Cajun accordion was not written down on sheet music so it could not be read. For that matter, it was not taught note for note from one accordion player to another. The accordion was played in a manner that linked it deeply to the Cajun life. It was played with a certain flow and manner that was not necessarily correct to the people from France, Germany, Canada, Mexico, or even music experts world round. That's because Cajun accordion playing is from South Louisiana, a small pocket of the United States that has it's own flora and fauna, way of life, and unique interpretation of the older Cajun folk music. A good Cajun accordion player can present almost any Cajun song. He can play it in an old style, a modern style, or he can even play it in a brand new way that no one ever heard done before. He'll let you know what time frame and feeling he's playing or trying for by the choice of song, the tempo he chooses to play in, the key and position he chooses to play in, the thrills and slurs combinations, added whoops and yells, the way he moves his body and taps his feet, the tone and depth in which he sings the song, all of which are thrown at you in a manner that is so subtle that you hardly notice what was just done if you're not a Cajun accordion player whose played or heard the music all his or her life. It's sort of like the Cajun French language that "WE" hear all of our lives. We just pick up the language and speak it the way Cajuns from the past spoke it and every so often we add a new word, or forget one or two. We don't learn the Cajun French from books or at school, nor use it in a formal manner, etc......we use it in a friendly manner and we learn to speak it by having heard it so got dam much when we was growing up. Now figure out how to put that in a song book and teach it for an accordion lesson or on a Cajun Accordion DVD that you charge way too much money for. Good luck with that! Ain't gonna happen. You learn Cajun accordion by spending lots of time listening to family and friends playing it. You listen to those recordings and Cajun radio stations day in and day out until the music becomes part of your life and you can take it and interpret it in your own way or apply it on the accordion.
Unfortunately, we stopped listening to and playing to old Cajun accordion styles and music out of shame, preoccupation with modern life, the breakdown and slow death of the Cajun culture, and because of the invasion of country and rock-n-roll that was forced on the Cajuns by the got dam outsider Anglo Saxon Americanz and those got dam Beatles from England. We adopted the American music and show style too much and consequently, just about lost our own unique old styles of playing accordion because of it. We've got young Cajun accordion players and non Cajun players that haven't a clue as to what they're doing and they're presenting it to the world to make a buck or two, or show that they can do it better than anybody else, and misleading the people away from what really counts when it come to playing Cajun accordion. What we have now is plenty of youtube accordion heros, parents pushing their little Cajun accordion players who do nothing more than parakeet Marc Savoy or Steve Riley to the point of being sick with it. They play too fast, or try to sing like they're an old Cajun man when they don't even know how to speak Cajun French. They have no morals or sense of humbleness because they'll make a CD filled with a bunch of fake or directly copied songs from other Cajun musicians both of the past and present, which causes dissatisfaction and separation amongst Cajun accordion players both of south Louisiana and abroad to the point where some accordion players just fade back and go at it on their own trying to perfect a true and heartfelt "real" Cajun accordion style that no parakeet accordion player can copy. And now you know the rest of the story. And to think, I too never went to college, nor have I paid Steve Riley, Marc or Wilson Savoy, or anybody else to teach me Cajun accordion lessons, yet I know this stuff and can put it to you in words that no one else seems to be able to. You're welcome!"
Whew! LOL. That was both mind boggling and fun at the same time. "Twisty"...as Greezy might say it.
Excellent post !
My taste in Cajun music is ... the older, the better.
I have limited exposure to current players who emulate the older, or their own, style.
I completely agree with playing too fast. That is also a problem with Irish music and becoming so with many Quebec players.
It's all about NPM, notes per minute, aka BPM, beats per minute.
How about just one soulful note, that would make me happy.
Hey Mr Jeff....there are a couple of young up and coming players that are getting air time on the local Louisiana stations. I'm not going to name any names, but they play with a twittley finger style that's so fancy and fast that it's starting to nauseate me when I hear them play a two step. They even do it when they play some waltzes. They're trying to show their skills so much that it's getting out of hand. Well maybe I'll just go ahead and give an initial or two.....K.H. and the other is C.D. But if this happens to get back to them, maybe it will make them aware and sort of give them a reason to PUT A CORK IN IT!
33rd, you definitely crack me up.
However, if the young hot players like "KH" or "CD" (LOL) wanna play like they're the Jimi Hendrix of the cajun accordion, more power to them. Personally, I like the old style but must concede everyone can not play like Joe Falcon. We need a little variety dam it!
Welp, here it is...the revealing.
What happens when you take the most avoided Cajun two step of the Hee Haw Breakdown played in 3Rd position key of "F" on a "C" accordion?
And switch to playing it in the 2nd Position or in the "5th" key of "G" on that same "C" accordion?
You get........"The Shamrock!"
And yes, "The Mardi Gras Jig" is the same song as "Hee Haw Breakdown" without the Woe Rock!
And You're Welcome once again!
And once you learn the "Shamrock", go ahead and play it straight, just like Nathan Abshire on your "C" accordion in the easy 5th or 2nd position on the pull "key of G". While you're doing that, go ahead and sing the Hee Haw Breakdown. Do it on a C or even a D accordion if you want to. Also, you can take your "D" accordion and play along with Nathan's "Shamrock" in the above video. But to do this, you will have to play the 3rd position key of "G" on that "D" accordion. And that will teach you all these Hee Haw versions mentioned in every position, backwards, forwards, upside down and sideways, so that you can never be baffled by this tricky bull sh** ever again when you watch another accordion player wowing the crowd. From now on, that accomplished accordion player will be YOU! No More of this so called Accordion Penis Envy! Your dissatisfaction, anger, feeling of being left behind or left out will decrease and your confidence and standing amongst accordion players will begin to climb for the stars. The 2nd Gifts of Gifts.