Eh, La Bas

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Eh, La Bas
New Orleans folk music
LanguageCreole, French, English

Eh La Bas is a traditional New Orleans song. Originally it was sung with Creole lyrics but was later given French lyrics and the common title from the French lyrics. There have been numerous versions, including English lyrics that refer to both the Creole and French versions, and all employ a call and response.

Lyrics[edit]

Original Louisiana Creole lyrics and English translation:

E la ba! (E la ba!) Hey over there! Hey over there!
E la ba! (E la ba!) Hey over there! Hey over there!
E la ba, chèri! (E la ba, chèri!) Hey over there, dear lady! (Hey over there, dear lady!)
Komon sa va? (Komon sa va?) How's it goin'?
Mo chè kouzen, mo chè kouzin, My dear cousin (male), my dear cousin (female),
mo lenme la kizin! I love the kitchen!
Mo manje plen, mo bwa diven, I eat a lot, I drink wine,
e sa pa kout ariyen. and it costs me nothing.
Ye tchwe kochon, ye tchwe lapen, They kill a pig, they kill a rabbit,
e mo manje plen. and I eat a lot.
Ye fe gonmbo, mo manje tro, They make gumbo, I eat too much,
e sa fe mon malad. and that makes me sick

French lyrics and English translation:

Eh la bas (Eh la bas) Hey over there
Eh la bas (Eh la bas) Hey over there
Eh la bas cherie (Eh la bas cherie) Hey over there friend
Comment ça va (Comment ça va) How are you
Mon cher cousin, ma chère cousine My dear cousin (male), my dear cousin (female)
J’aime la cuisine, I like the kitchen (cooking)
Je mange beaucoup, je bois du vin I eat a lot, I drink wine
Et ça ne me coûte rien And it costs me nothing
Je tue un cochon, je tue un lapin I kill a pig, I kill a rabbit
Et je mange beaucoup And I eat a lot
Je fais du gumbo, je mange trop I make gumbo, I eat too much
Et ça me rend malade. And that makes me sick
L’autre jour j’ai mangé trop The other day I ate a lot
Court-bouillon poisson Court-boillon fish (fish cooked in wine)
Mon conte a vous allant vomis My story to you goes vomit
Vomis, comme un cochon. Vomit like a pig

English lyrics[edit]

English lyrics by Louis Brown and Bob Stevens:

Eh la bas (Eh la bas)
Eh la bas (Eh la bas)
Eh la bas (Eh la bas)
Eh la bas (Eh la bas)
Tra-la-la (Tra-la-la)
Sis-Boom-Bah (Sis-Boom-Bah)
Eh la bas (Eh la bas)
Eh la bas (Eh la bas)
Well, I can't speak French, not in a pinch, so I don't know what it means.
But it sounds real good, like I know it would, like down in New Orleans.
I love to hear that clarinet burn, and hear them trambone glisses,
I'd like to sing French when I take my turn, but that ain't the kinda' band that this is!
Kid Ory sang that Cajun French in a fine ol' Creole way,
but the only Cajun I can say is "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"
So let the good times roll my friends, and let the music play,
Tomorrow may never come to be, so let's live it up today!

Versions[edit]

As a traditional song it has no copyright and its origins are uncertain. It has been widely recorded by New Orleans bands since the 1940s:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Preservation Hall Jazz Band". youtube.com. Retrieved 18 June 2018.