Thibodaux, fontaineaux

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Alaor Santos, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Alaor Santos Senior Member

    Curitiba, Paraná, Brasil
    Portuguese Brazil

    Can anybody tell me what those two first words mean, please? It is in an old song by The Carpenters. Thanks!

    Thibodaux, fontaineaux the place is buzzin’

    A kin-folk come to see yvonne by the dozen

    Dress in style the go hog wild, me oh my oh

    Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou
  2. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    In this song, I believe that Thibodaux and Fontaineaux are names. Thibodaux is also a city in Louisiana.
  3. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    I agree these are probably names. The song comes from Cajun country and is of "zydeco" style.

    Cajun country is very near New Orelans, in Louisiana, and has strong French influences.

    Note that in the song, the "eaux" are both pronounced as "oh," so the rhyming scheme matches with "me oh my oh" as well as "on the bayou," which is normallly pronounced bai-yoo, except in this song, where it is pronounced bai-yoh.
  4. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    On second thought, the lyrics I found reads "Thibodeaux to Fontenot the place is buzzin" which means these must be towns. I am unaware of a Fontenot, Louisiana. And they spell it "Fontenot" there--not Fontaineaux.
  5. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    This song is NOT by the Carpenters! Thibodeaux and Fontenot are surnames, among the kinfolk who are attending.

    I never thought I'd see the days when a Hank Williams song, one of the Hank Williams songs, could be called a...gaagh, I can't even say it... and the error go unnoticed. And by Americans.

    Another couplet from a classic Cajun/Zydeco tune:

    "Every other name is Tibbodoo
    On de bayou."

    There's a healthy tradition of misspelling French so that hybridized franglais types can pronounce it down there. Like I said before, Zydeco is a souped-up form of les haricots.

    Google your way back to school, people, before it's too late. Searchwords to try, if you want the lyrics in full-- "Hank Williams" "Jambalaya." And don't go to lyrics sites unless your antispyware is up to snuff.
  6. KingPin86 New Member

    England; English

    In fairness to the people, The Carpenters DID release a cover of this song, and in some parts of the world, or among a younger audience, this version is more well known than Hank Williams' original.
  7. LanceRooke New Member

    Thibadeaux is NOT the name of kinfolk. It is the name of a city in Louisiana. The second name in the song is not Fontaineaux, it's Fontainbleau!!! Which is most probably the local park. In fact there is a real park in Louisiana by the same name. Just google "Hank Williams Jambalaya Lyrics" and you will see that I am correct. Think about it... "Thibadeaux, Fontainbleau the PLACE is buzzing." the PLACE is buzzing. PLACE!
  8. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I found this:

    Let's try to keep this a civilized discussion. There are multiple possibilities here.
  9. Mastoc Senior Member

    I guess that Thibodaux and Fontaineaux (or something alike) are, perhaps, very common family names in the Bayou, so the meaning of the song is that all the people is in the place that is buzzing. Surely a tavern.
  10. GinJarSnap New Member

    "Thibodeaux, fontainbleau"; as well as being Cajun Surnames, it is also a brand and style of a patterned hardwood floor. It may be describing the dance floor.
  11. Boomer424242 New Member

    This is from the Hank Williams song 'Jambalaya'. The Thibodeaux's and the Fontenot's are Cajun French family names. I live in Lafayette, Louisiana which is the heart of Cajun country. Anything else you want to know about Cajun culture or names, just ask.

    listen to the words more carefully. " The Thibodeaux's, the Fontenot's, the place (meaning the local venue) is buzzin' ". They are indeed kinfolk.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2014
  12. Wuestenratte New Member

    English - USA
    Boomer hit the nail right on the head except possibly for leaving the r out of Frontenot, at least in the French version of the song. Because Cajun is a very old version of French, there are alternate spelling for almost everything.

    If anyone reads Cajun or even standard French, I suggest looking up Jo-El Sonner's version of Jambalaya in Cajun. Even in Hank's version, it's obvious that the two names refer to the kinfolk who come "by the dozen." Jo-el Sonnier's version is a translation into Cajun.
  13. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    Boomer's explanation is the way I've always understood. I always pictured "the place" as being someone's cabin out in the bayou.
    There's a name I haven't seen in a couple of decades....
  14. Dicedude New Member

    English - UK
    Boomer424242 is absolutely correct. I'm from Britain so I don't know all the back story of the south, etc. but if you listen to Hank Williams singing Jambalaya (on the Bayou), he clearly says "The Thibodeaux's, the Fontenot's" (I left the apostrophes in) - making it abundantly clear that these are families that, when present, stir any party to a much higher level.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017

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