© 1958 by
Beechwood Music Corp. New York, NY
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|Nick Reynolds (vocal, percussion), Bob Shane (vocal (solo verses), guitar), Dave Guard (vocal, guitar), Buck Wheat (bass) 10-6-00:|
|Song Specific Liner Notes|
|Other Notes of Interest|
Posted to the Musicians Rendezvous board by Pete Curry on 2/14/2002, 10:29 pm:
In a posting I made here a year or so ago I said that according to the book "Folksingers and Folksongs in America" by Ray M. Lawless (Duell, Sloan & Pearce, N.Y., 1965), the otherwise obscure Adalaide Van Wey had recorded the KT song "Gue, Gue" on a 1950 Folkways 10" LP titled "All Day Singing: Louisiana and Smoky Mountain Ballads." What intrigued me was the complete title of this song as reported by Lawless: "Gue, Gue, Solingaie (Sweep the Dreampath Clear)."
Since was the only pre- (or post-?) KT version of that song that I am aware of, I tracked down a copy of the Van Wey LP to see what it might reveal. As it turns out, the melody of Van Wey's version differs somewhat from the KT version. She does not repeat the first line as per the KT version (lyrically or melodically). There is no refrain. And her version is entirely in Creole French. The Creole lyrics are not included in the printed notes that accompany the LP, but Van Wey does provide this English verse rendering:
"Dreamland opens here,
Listen, little child,
Listen, baby, close your eyes,
Also in the notes she tells us that the song was collected by Mina Monroe. In the bibliography for the notes we learn that Ms. Monroe was the author of a book titled "Bayou Ballads" which presumably was Van Wey's source.
A copy of that book was listed at Advanced Book Exchange (www.abe.com). And according to the bookseller's description, it was published in 1921 and contained "12 songs with melody line and piano music, verses and English translations." I ordered the book, it arrived today, and here is the complete original Creole (or "patois") version of "Gue Gue," with an English verse translation supplied by Ms. Monroe:
Given this information, the KT's source could have been either the Van Wey LP or the Monroe collection. (In an interview conducted by Pete Pardee in 1979, Dave Guard says that his friend and Stanford musicologist Erich Schwandt was paid a small fee to make tape recordings of songs from songbooks, so the non-music reading Trio could learn them.) What is interesting to me is the changes the KT made to the song (in particular, the addition of the refrain "Oh, dreaming, we'll go dreaming...") which, to my ear, make it much more appealing.
"GUE GUE"--KT Version
Gue-gue solingaie, balliez chimin-la
Sleep, sleep, don't you weep
Sail, sail, pretty babe
|Covers by other artists|
|Artist's Name||ALBUM||CATALOG NO.|
|Gue Gue solingaie,
balliez chimin la.
Gue Gue solingaie, balliez chimin la.
M'a dis li, oui, m'a dis li.
Calbass' li connain parler.
Calbass' li connain parler.
Sleep, sleep, don't you weep, dry your tears
Sail, sail, pretty babe,
while the moon is low.