Sunday, July 24, 2016

Madisonville Song

In 1991 I wrote what is possibly the longest song ever written about Madisonville. It wasn't supposed to be long, but there are so many interesting things to say about Madisonville, it was hard to stop. The song was later included in Carol Jahncke's music collection "The Rivers of St. Tammany." 



Here are the words to the song.

Madisonville  
(By Ron Barthet)

Quiet town, sleepy place, time to be still,
Restful calm, there in old Madisonville
Deeply felt, peace within, come down to the
City on the River Tchefuncte

Wooden boats, pirogue race, seafood restaurants,
Twilight walks, visiting your favorite haunts.
Playing cards, telling jokes, heading for again,
The village nestled near Lake Pontchartrain

Sailing shops, fishing piers, stop to buy bait,
Launch a boat, drop anchor, for the fish, wait.
Come on home, ice chest full, come down to the
City on the River Tchefuncte

Build a boat, have some fun, husband and wife,
Cast a lure, clean and pure, enjoying life.
Rest a while, bring your smile, heading for again,
The village nestled near Lake Pontchartrain

Weekend trip, festival, no need to fret,
Pack the car, it's not far, are we there yet.
Adventure, to be sure, come down to the
City by the River Tchefuncte.




Pleasant meal, what a deal, what a cool thrill,
To spend time here in old Madisonville.
You can go, with the flow, heading for again,
The village nestled near Lake Pontchartrain.

Front porch swings, choir sings, good things to eat,
Chat with friends, drink some beer, life can't be beat,
Sing a song, dance along, come down to the
City on the River Tchefuncte.

Museum sights, park campsites, never a rush,
Soothing waves, moss that sways, always a hush,
Beauty calls and enthralls, heading for again
The village nestled near Lake Pontchartrain.

Sun rising, birds on wing, natural high,
Just for you, all the things, money can't buy,
Far and near, find it here, come down to the
City on the River Tchefuncte.

Much to give, where to live, Madisonville,
Family love, old time ways, it's all there still.
Peace of mind, ties that bind, heading for again,
The village nestled near Lake Pontchartrain.


So that's the song. I would sing it for you if I could sing. The tune starts off with a slow, plodding pace, picks up speed and becomes lively around the middle, but then starts slowing down and at the end is thoughful and respectful. It reminds me of the end of a long busy day in the quiet, unassuming community that's been in that location for hundreds of years. 

The song doesn't mention the huge shipyards building hundreds of boats over the course of hundreds of years: the war vessels, merchant ships, tugboats, ferry boats, passenger ships, cargo freighters, LASH barges, etc., but the average visitor doesn't see those shipyards so I didn't include them. 

That's where Madisonville shines in the history books, all the ships it built that made a difference in the outcome of wars, the success of international trade, and the movement of people to places they had never been before. That's quite a historic shipbuilding legacy for a quiet little town to lay claim to. Might even call for another song. 



Your riverside bench is waiting for you.