The Lakes of Pontchartrain

I was looking for version of The Lakes of Pontchartrain to post and so very happy to find this live video recording from just this summer. I wish I could have been at this gathering of talents. And I don’t know a much better example of the tradition than the way the music is shared here between the likes of the wonderful Mary Dillon, John Spillane, and others.

The Lakes of Pontchartrain

It was one fine 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 a longing for, the Lakes of Pontchartrain

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 there no friends to me ’til a dark girl towards me came
And I fell in love with the Creole Girl, by the Lakes of Pontchartrain

I said “Me pretty Creole Girl, me money here’s no good,
If it weren’t for the alligators, I’d sleep out there in the wood”
“You’re welcome here kind stranger, from such sad thoughts refrain”
“For me Mammy welcomes strangers, by the Lakes of Pontchartrain”

She took me into her mammy’s house and treated me right well
The hair upon her shoulders in jet black ringlets fell
To try and paint here beauty, I’m sure ‘twould be in vain
So handsome was my Creole girl by the Lakes of Pontchartrain

I asked her if she’d marry me, she said that ne’er could 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’d return to his Creole girl, on the Lakes of Pontchartrain

It’s fare thee well, me Creole girl, I’ll never see you more
I’ll never forget your kindness in the cottage by the shore
And at each social gathering, a flowing bowl I’ll drain
And I’ll drink a health to my Creole girl, by the Lakes of Pontchartrain

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