Monday, October 8, 2018

The Lyrical Rebellion of French Folksong in Louisiana

Note: The following is a press release from the Center for Louisiana Studies.

Adding an educational component to Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, a symposium further explores the theme of lyrics and language this year. Scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Hilliard University Art Museum's A. Hays Town Building, "Work Is Too Hard, And Love Is a Cheat: The Lyrical Rebellion of French Folksong in Louisiana" will bring together scholars, authors and musicians to help kick off Festivals weekend.

Presented in partnership with the Center for Louisiana Studies at UL Lafayette, along with the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Louisiana Music, CODOFIL and the Hilliard Museum, the symposium will run from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The full schedule is below, but the symposium includes a panel discussion on language revival and song in Louisiana and a keynote address by Roger Mason, an internationally celebrated guitarist and interpreter of Louisiana French music who will discuss his forthcoming book on Louisiana French folksong, as well as the Louisiana singers he recorded in the 1970s.

"There's something rebellious about singing songs in French in the United States, especially here at the dawn of the 21st century," says Dr. Josh Caffery, director of the Center for Louisiana Studies. "The staff of the center is excited to be teaming up with Festivals Acadiens et Créoles and the Tommy Comeaux Chair to organize this mini-symposium spotlighting the lyrical ingenuity of francophone Louisiana and commemorating the role of CODOFIL in our region's linguistic and cultural revolution."

The event is free, but a brown bag lunch from Bread & Circus Provisions is $15. Attendees are asked to register and purchase lunch via Eventbrite at in advance.

2018 Symposium Schedule 
8:30-9 a.m. - Registration
9-9:15 a.m. - Welcome & Introductions by Dr. Josh Caffery & Pat Mould
9:15-10:45 a.m. - "Élever la voix: language revival and song in Louisiana" Panel Discussion Moderated by Maggie Perkins (CODOFIL) with Chris Stafford, Jimmy Louis-Marie, Ashley Hayes Steele, Sam Craft and Steve Riley
11-11:45 a.m. - Lyrical Presentation "Travailler, c'est très dur: The Story of Caesar Vincent's Iconic Song" by Dr. Barry Jean Ancelet
Noon-1:30 p.m. - Brown Bag Keynote: "Louisiana Native American Songstress Alma Barthelemy and the Lyricism of Colonial France" by Roger Mason

For more information about this event, the Center for Louisiana Studies and its many other activities, visit, call (337) 482-6027 or email

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