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Lakes of Ponchatrain


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Reading the news yesterday that word 'Ponchatrain' popped up. I hadn't really heard the word since 20 years ago when I had taped a version of this song off of a Cetlic music program on NPR. So, I Googled it up (searched the line 'if it weren't for the alligators, I would sleep out in the woods') Apparently, this Traditional first appeared in the early 1800's and has been performed and recorded by LOTS of people. Damn, it's beautiful... ;)





Twas on one bright March morning, I bid New Orleans adieu

And I took the road to Jackson town, my fortune to renew

I cursed all foreign money, no credit could I gain

Which filled my heart with longing for the lakes of Ponchartrain


I stepped on board of a railroad car beneath the morning sun

I rode the rods till evening and I laid me down again

All strangers, they're no friends to me, till a dark girl towards me came

I fell in love with a Creole girl by the lakes of Ponchartrain


I said, "Me pretty Creole girl, me money's here no good

And if it weren't for the alligators, I would sleep out in the woods"

"You're welcome here, kind stranger, our house is very plain

And we never turned a stranger out on the banks of Ponchartrain"


She took me into her mammy's house and treated me right well

Her hair upon her shoulders in jet black ringlets fell

To try to paint her beauty, I'm sure 'twould be in vain

So handsome was my Creole girl by the lakes of Ponchartrain


I asked her if she'd marry me, she said this could never be

For she had got a lover and he was far at sea

She said that she would wait for him and true she would remain

Till he returned to his Creole girl by the lakes of Ponchartrain


"So fare thee well, my bonny own girl, I never may see you more

But I'll ne'er forget your kindness in this cottage by the shore

And at each social gathering, a flowing glass I'll drain

And I'll drink a health to me Creole girl by the lakes of Ponchartrain"

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