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Places - Beaverbrook, NB “Glou Glou Glou”

Song: “Glou Glou Glou”
Singer: Allan Kelly
Town: Beaverbrook, NB
NA 1.120    CD 150    Track 22
Collector: Sandy Ives
Date: 14 August 1961

Glou Glou Glou” appears in Helen Creighton’s collection of Acadian folksongs, La Fleur du Rosier, as the “B” version of a song called “Le Matin Quand je me Leve,” or “In the Morning When I Get Up.” Both are versions of a French song well-known in French Canada and Louisiana, with a version dating back to at least 1658. There are significant lyrical differences between the two versions, but both resemble another song called “Knights of the Round Table” because both describe the burial of a drinker. Kelly’s refrain in the song heard here consists of “diddling” a very quick tune while using both feet to mark time in style of French Canadian fiddlers. This is done in many Acadian versions of the song, but not in “Le Matin.” “Diddling” is a form of “music of the mouth” native to Ireland, Scotland, and Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Although it can consist of actual words, in the Acadian tradition diddling is usually sung as vocables which serve as music for dancing.

Some Acadian songs are known to exist only in Canada, but this is not true of all Acadian songs as the portion of the St. John Valley in northern Maine is also home to Acadian people and their cultural heritage. The people known as Acadians, a small band of middle class French farmers, first came to Nova Scotia in the seventeenth century. As the settlement grew, they were increasingly isolated from France, and as such developed their own culture, dialect, and institutions. Trapped in a power struggle between France and England, the Acadians were ultimately expelled from the region by the English in 1755. Most either settled in Louisiana or returned to Quebec or New Brunswick in search of the loved ones from whom they had been separated. In the St. John Valley after the American Revolution, Acadians found a place isolated enough to allow them to practice their culture and religion, and they have continued to do so in the more than two centuries since. Music was an important part of this Acadian heritage, as it was the means by which history and culture passed from one generation to the next, and the people of this region continue to preserve this musical link to the past in spite of modern pressures. “Glou Glou Glou” may not pass along any important or obvious historical knowledge, but it serves to demonstrate one of many Acadian musical styles, the unique dialect, and even a particular sense of humor. Complete French lyrics and an English translation follow.

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Le matin quand je me leve,
J’y mets ma main sur le cou,
Sur le cou de ma bouteille,
J’y fait faire’un glou glou

C’est ma femme qui jure, ell’ tempete
Quand je veux la caresser;
Quand j’en ai un coup en tete,
Je n’ peux plus m’empecher.

Fras-tu l’diable dans l’autre monde
Comme tu fais dans c’ monde ici?
Fras-tu l’diable dans l’autre monde
Comme tu fais dans c’ monde ici?

Dans la cav’ la plus profonde,
Y ou-c qu’ils creuseront ma fosse,
Les deux pieds contr’ la muraille,
La tete sur un glou glou.


In the morning when I rise
I put my hand on the neck
On the neck of my bottle
I make it go glou glou

It’s my wife who swears and makes a fuss
When I want to caress her;
But when I’m drunk,
I can’t help myself.

Will you be as devilish in the next world
As you are in this one?
Will you be as devilish in the next world
As you are in this one?

In the deepest pit,
They will dig my grave,
Both my feet against the wall,
My head on a glou glou.


Source: Creighton, Helen and Ronald Labelle. La Fleur du Rosier: Acadian Folksongs.Sydney, Nova Scotia: University College of Cape Breton Press, 1988, 108-9.

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