Fais do-do

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A fais do-do is a Cajun dance party, originating before World War II.

According to Mark Humphrey, the parties were named for "the gentle command ('go to sleep') young mothers offered bawling infants."[1] He quotes early Cajun musician Edwin Duhon of the Hackberry Ramblers:

"She'd go to the cry room, give the baby a nipple and say, 'Fais do-do.' She'd want the baby to go to sleep fast, 'cause she's worried about her husband dancing with somebody else out there."[citation needed]

"Do-do" itself is a shortening of the French verb dormir (to sleep), used primarily in speaking to small children. The phrase is comparable to the American English "beddy-bye",[citation needed], and is embodied in an old French lullaby, a song sung to children when putting them down for the night. Its existence in Cajun culture as a source for dances, or bands, comes from an affection for the term itself.[citation needed]

Joshua Caffery, however suggests the true derivation is more plausibly the dance call dos à dos (back to back), the do si do call of Anglo-American folk dance; and that sources such as Duhon are merely "repeating the same apocryphal explanation known by almost anyone who lives in Southern Louisiana."[2]

Occurrences include the following:


  1. ^ Notes from the Roots n' Blues CD "Cajun Dance Party - Fais Do-Do" Sony, 1994.
  2. ^ Joshua, Caffery. "The Folk Etymology of the Fais Do-Do: A Note". Folklife in Louisiana. Retrieved 17 April 2018.

External links[edit]

"Fais do" (1998–2010)
"Mama Lisa’s World :Children's Songs and Nursery Rhymes", Lisa Yannucci (2010)