Jole Blon

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Jole Blon is a traditional cajun waltz, often called "the cajun national anthem" because of the popularity it had in cajun culture. The song was then later popularized on a nationwide scale by a series of renditions and references in late '40s country songs. It has been the subject of occasional cover later in the 20th century by cajun and classic country revival bands. Becoming a part of the band's repertoire in 1951, "Joli Blon" became the official fight song of McNeese State University in 1970, and it is played by the "Pride of McNeese" band upon scoring at athletic events.[1]

History[edit]

Cajun traditional song[edit]

The original cajun version is a brief address to a "pretty blonde" who had left the singer and moved back in with her family, and is also now in the arms of another man. The singer concludes that there are plenty other women, and pretty blonde women out there that he can find.

The earliest recording of the song is believed to be a 1928 version by the Atlanta, Georgia family trio Breaux Freres titled "Ma blonde est partie".[2]

Country popularization[edit]

During the late 40s, as country's nationwide market had solidified, a number of country artists popularized the song Jole Blon.

The song was originally popularized by Harry Choates, considered to be the "godfather" of modern cajun music, in a recording created in 1946. As is not infrequent in country music, once a song is popularized, several other contemporaries covered it. In this case, it was common for the covers to be not so much reproductions as they were songs in the same spirit, making use of the same subject, melody, or cajun theme. Several of them used "Jole Blon" as the name of subject of the song, instead of using the original meaning of 'pretty blonde.'

Many of the covers included self-referential humor in regard to the production context of the song. A popular rendition, first published by Moon Mullican (and Moon Mullican's first major hit), consists of a purposeful mix of unrelated English, French, and nonsense words: a joke attempt at "translation" of the original. Johnny Bond's "The Daughter of Jole Blon" exemplifies this contextual humor, describing the titular character as "so round, so firm, so fully packed" (itself the title of a popular country song at the time), and "Jole's only daughter... but she knows all the tricks that Jole taught her."

The following contemporary artists' renditions or songs which make reference to Jole Blon. Listed next to each song is if, and the year when, that version reached the Billboard 100 for country at the time (The country billboard charts began in 1946).

  • Harry Choates: Jole Blon (Billboard Country Top 100 1947)
  • Roy Acuff: (Our Own) Jole Blon (Billboard Country Top 100 1947)
  • Red Foley: New Jolie Blonde (Billboard Country Top 100 1947)
  • Moon Mullican and the Showboys : New Pretty Blonde (New Jole Blon) (Billboard Country Top 100 1947)
  • Moon Mullican: Jole Blon's Sister (Billboard Country Top 100 1947)
  • Johnny Bond: The Daughter of Jole Blon (Billboard Country Top 100 1947)
  • Cliffie Stone: Peepin' Through The Keyhole (Billboard Country Top 100 1948) - in this song the chorus announces that the singer learned how to dance by "peeping through the keyhole at Jole Blon"
  • Bud Messner: Slippin' Around With Jole Blon (Billboard Country Top 100 1950)

Late 20th century and recent covers[edit]

There has been some recent covers of the song by cajun revival and popular artists, though these have not enjoyed the same widespread popularity. The following are some of the artists have covered Jole Blon:

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://library.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/encyclo/encyclosz.htm#song. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  2. ^ a b "Early Cajun Music". Archived from the original on 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2012-04-23.