May 28

“Jambalaya (On the Bayou)”: The Carpenters’ Distinct Version


The Carpenters

Indeed, “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” is one of the most recorded songs, the most with numerous versions and covers. In fact, the song even reached the different music genres. Of course, it was reimagined by the great and credible country artists and legends. One of the distinct and worth listening covers would be from The Carpenters.

The Carpenters’ songs can give us the feels and chills. No doubt, they’re one of the best duos in the music industry. Karen and Richard, indeed, know how to melt our hearts through their songs.

Jambalaya (On the Bayou)…

Hank Williams wrote and originally recorded the song and was released in July 1952.  The song also reached No.1 on the country charts.

On the other hand, The Carpenters featured the song, in an uptempo MOR version with country flourishes, on their 1973 album “Now & Then.” Their version was released as a single outside the United States in 1974 and sold well in the UK and Japan.

Furthermore, “Jambalaya” is a “Cajun” cuisine of rice with shrimp, chicken, and vegetables. Cajuns are the ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana.

In this song, Hank Williams offered a musical interpretation of “Cajun Culture,” completing the Americanization of “Cajun Music.” Furthermore, the song helped “Cajun” became part of mainstream American culture through the endorsement of the American Superstar.

Also, the song, retaining its “Cajun Theme” interprets life, parties and of course the “Cajun Cuisine.”

During the first half of the twentieth century, south Louisianians adapted American pop culture and made it their own. Moreover, the complexities of this social interchange are intimately linked to economics and into the Bayou State’s evolving social strata. Louisiana’s middle and upper class embraced American pop music distributed via sheet music, nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, and nationally distributed recordings. Meanwhile, most working-class Cajuns socialized to the local sounds of accordion-based music performed at local dances.

The Lyrics…

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 the style, they go hog wild, me oh my oh

Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Jambalaya, crawfish pie and fillet gumbo

For tonight, I’m-a gonna see my ma cher a mi-o

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

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hank williams, Jambalaya (On the Bayou), The Carpenters

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