Gue', Gue'

Dave Guard / Nick Reynolds / Bob Shane

1958 by Beechwood Music Corp. New York, NY
All Rights Reserved

 

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Song Specific Liner Notes

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Song lyrics or .txt file of lyrics with CHORDS

Nick Reynolds (vocal, percussion), Bob Shane (vocal (solo verses), guitar), Dave Guard (vocal, guitar), Buck Wheat (bass) 10-6-00:
        Album: THE KINGSTON TRIO FROM THE HUNGRY I (Original Capitol LP record release) T-1107 - 1959 -- TRACK TIME: (2:52) Album: THE KINGSTON TRIO / . . . FROM THE HUNGRY I (Capitol CD re-issue of previously available tracks from THE KINGSTON TRIO and . . . FROM THE HUNGRY I) CDP 7 96748 2 - 1991 -- TRACK TIME: (2:52) Album: THE GUARD YEARS (Bear Family Records CD re-issue of previously recorded material) BCD 16160 JK - 1997 "The Kingsston Trio / . . . From the hungry i" (Collector's Choice Records) June 2001
Song Specific Liner Notes    
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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,
so sweep the dreampath clear.

Listen, well,
what the tortoise has to tell.

Listen, little child,
to the song of the crocodile.

Listen, baby, close your eyes,
in the canebrake the wildcat cries."

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:

Gue-gue Solingaie,
Dreamland opens here
balliez chimin-la
Sweep the dreampath clear
M'a dis li,
Listen, chile
oui, m'as dis li
now listen well
Calbasse, il connain parler
What the tortoise may have to tell
Calbasse, il connain parler
What the tortoise may have to tell

Gue-gue Solingaie
Dreamland opens here
Balliez chimin-la
Sweep the dreampath clear
M'a dis li
Listen, chile
oui, m'a dis li
now listen well
Cocodril, li connain chanter
To the song of the crocodile
Cocodril, li connain chanter
To the song of the crocodile

Gue-gue Solingaie
Dreamland opens here
Balliez chimin-la
Sweep the dreampath clear
M'a dis li
Listen, chile
oui, m'a dis li
now close your eyes
Pichou, li connain trangier
In the canebreak, the wildcat cries
Pichou, li connain trangier
In the canebreak, the wildcat cries

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
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 a-while
Dream, dream, then you'll hear
the singing crocodile
Oh, dreaming, we'll go dreaming
Hush, now, baby don't you cry

Sail, sail, pretty babe
while the moon is low
Through bright bayou night
the dreamboats drifting slow
Oh, dreaming, we'll go dreaming
Hush, now, baby don't you cry

 
Covers by other artists    
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Gue' Gue'
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 a-while.
Dream, dream, then you'll hear, the singing crocodile.

Chorus:
Oh, dreaming, we'll go dreaming.
Hush, now, baby, don't you cry.

Sail, sail, pretty babe, while the moon is low.
Through bright bayou night, the dreamboats drifting slow.

Chorus

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Last revised: March 30, 2006.