Fais do-do

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Fais do-do is a name for 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."

'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".

Sheriff Harry Lee of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana used to host one of the most famous contemporary fais do-do, an annual bash which raises money for his reelection campaigns and for charity. The fais do-do was featured in the November 28, 2006 broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.


  1. ^ Notes from the Roots n' Blues CD "Cajun Dance Party - Fais Do-Do" Sony, 1994.

[1] KIDiddles.com (1998–2010). Song page : Fais do. [2] Lisa Yannucci (2010). Mama Lisa’s World :Children's Songs and Nursery Rhymes.

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