A Louisiana Sunday Hymn

This is a popular hymn in Cajun Country. Sometimes I am homesick for the food and the music…but seldom the (below-sealevel) climate. Maybe in January??

Though I got to know some of the Canucks in New England, I never heard their music. However, what that Canadian French remnant who managed to survive the trek to Louisiana created still lives deep in my Irish soul. The similarities of the heart converge sometimes.

The French lyrics are below the jump as is the English translation.

The images you see are the large extended family of L’Angelus. It looks like they’re on a levee.

J’irai la voir un jour
Au ciel dans la patrie
Oui j’irai voir Marie
Ma joie et mon amour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai mourir aux anges
Pour chanter ses louanges
Et pour former sa cour

J’irai la voir un jour
Cette vierge si belle
Bientôt j’irai près d’elle
Lui dire mon amour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai près de sa tombe
Recevoir la colombe
Dans l’éternel séjour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai loin de la terre
Sur le coeur de ma mère
Me poser sans retour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour.

In English
I’ll see her one day
In the Sky, in the Garden
Yes I will see Mary
My joy and my love

In the Sky, in the Sky, in the Sky
I’ll see her one day

I’ll see her one day
I’ll join the angels
To sing her praises
And form her court

I’ll see her one day
This so beautiful Virgin
Soon I’ll be near her
To say my love

In the Sky, in the Sky, in the Sky
I’ll see her one day

I’ll see her one day
I’ll go near her tomb
To welcome the dove
For the eternal stay

I’ll see her one day
I’ll go away from earth
To the heart of my mother
To rest with no return

In the Sky, in the Sky, in the Sky
I’ll see her one day

I’ll see her one day

19 thoughts on “A Louisiana Sunday Hymn

  1. 250+ years later, and it still amazes me how similar the accent has remained to New Brunswick Acadian French.

    I could be told that the entire thing was produced in a New Brunswick Acadian village, and I’d believe it.

    • The singing stays the same, but the spoken voice is very different. This group, L’Angelus, is a military family who moved all over before settling back home in Louisiana.

      Though the New England Canucks had an accent (many didn’t learn English until they were teenagers) they spoke clearly enough to be understood by outsiders like me.

      However, while I lived in New Orleans, the Cajun girls I met spoke a patois they claimed was “English” but I couldn’t make it out. Nawlins natives, otoh, sounded like Brooklyn.

      The Cajuns who settled in Louisiana intermarried with an already-established Creole group – French, Spanish, African, and Native Americans.

      Their cuisines diverged too. Never had crawfish gumbo in New England.

      Many of their feast days were the same; the food for each differed, though both liked pork dishes.

  2. Lovely music and storyline. Thank you for this “peaceful” and uplifting interlude in troubled times. Keep well in all you do…so well. God Bless and keep you in His care.

    • Wonderful interlude post, today, Dymphna, in these challenged times. I broke a smile at the twirling smiling delightedly happy little girl, and let the soft voice wash over. Wonderful comments, also. I particularly echo Charlie W.s comments here.

      It is well to also remember the loving delight filled times, which we work to save….

  3. Indeed a lovely piece. I just do recall similar postings.
    I don’t speak French but sometimes early of a morning, there’s pleasure in listening to a little Cajun music on KLEB in Golden Meadow, Louisiana. Some mornings I even get to hear the national anthem sung in French! Internet radio is a wonderful thing.

  4. Fighting back the tears here. As Robert A Heinlein said, little girls are like kittens and butterflies- sent to delight us.

    You don’t get these lovely interludes on Jihad Watch or the Geller Report!

    • It’s good to be sometimes reminded what we are fighting for: not just freedom (and I say that with some reservation since without freedom, what is anything worth?) but for art, music, etc. – things of beauty that have been created by Western civilization.

  5. My Irish soul was also moved by this beautiful hymn about our love for Mary Most Holy. Beautiful!

  6. Wow, L’Angelus is fantastic! Sadly, web searches suggest that they stopped performing at least three years ago, and abandonded their website five years ago.

    • That does seem to be the case. They were a set of siblings (sometimes their mother performed with them) and I presume they quit to raise their own families.

    • This was great, yes! Still, let’s at least have hope that no true beauty ever goes lost finally.

  7. I thank you with tears in my eyes, so moving, so beautiful …
    J’espère bien aller La voir un jour au Ciel ! Merci mille fois !
    Note en passant, le Ciel dans cette chanson se réfère au paradis (heaven)

  8. I live now in Montréal. I am a french canadian and when I heard this song, it took me back 55 years, back to the time I went to school in a convent with the nonnes. I was a teenager at that time. I see myself, walking and singing ¨Au ciel¨ and other religious songs with all the classes of my scholl.
    The month of may in the catholic religion is the month of Mary. And in my little town (suburb of Montréal), one week night in May , the convent and the Church organized a procession for the Holy Mary. We were walking and singing religious songs about Mary. ¨Au ciel¨ and ¨C’est le mois de Marie¨ were amond the songs we sang. Thank you for this wonderful souvenir. Que c’est loin tout çà et comme le temps passe vite…

    • That was my childhood also. The month of May has long since become plagued with sadnesses for me, but back then I loved the processional singing that marked the whole of the Liturgical Year, but especially May. It moves one’s heart to hear again the hymns from a long-ago innocent and vanished time.

      I remember we always carried calla lilies; I take pleasure in growing them in my garden now.

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