"A happy manner of announcing dinner in the nursery or in the children's dining-room was with the singing of 'Tant patate-là tchuite,' which, with its incessantly recurring 'refrain,' seemed the most persuasive of appetizers." -Mina Monroe (Bayou Ballads, 12 Folk-Songs from Louisiana)

Tan patate-là tchuite -  - Cajun Children's Songs - The Cajun Culture - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Mina Monroe wrote the following about this song in "Bayou Ballads, 12 Folk-Songs from Louisiana":

"It was one of the popular 'Bamboula Songs' of the dances on the Place Congo in New Orleans… The word 'bamboula' is itself derived from the drums of bamboo which chiefly furnished the music for the dances, bamboula meaning literally in the negro patois 'that bamboo.' The easy rhythm, smacking somewhat of the tom-tom, soon communicated itself from the dancers to those looking on, until scores of voices twice as many clapping hands kept time to the never-ending refrain, and the dancers moved to the accompaniment of the entire audience."

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

This song was collected by Mina Monroe (1921). It can be found on the album called "All Day Singin'" - Louisiana and Smoky Mountain Ballads, sung by Adelaide Van Wey. It can be found with the translation in Schirmer's American Folk-Song Series, Set 2, Bayou Ballads, 12 Folk-Songs from Louisiana, Text and Music collected by Mina Monroe (1921). Thanks to Wade Falcon for pointing out this song to us!

Image: Dance in Congo Square in the late 18th century, artist's conception by E. W. Kemble from a century later.