Blogging from A to Z: F is for Fais-do-do

fThe first time Miss Julie saw the young woman enter the Bayou Café, her hearty “where y’at” changed to “Welcome back, baby! Sit wherever you’d like.” She was sure that she’d seen her before that Monday morning.

Diana looked at her in confusion as she took the Formica table near the window and pulled out the red-upholstered chair to sit down. “I’m sorry?”

“No beignets today, baby. That fool in the kitchen, Felix, had himself a little too much fais-do-do over at Mulate’s last night, and everything coming out of the fryer is either burned to a crisp or raw in the middle. I’ll be over with your hot chocolate in a minute.” — From my forthcoming novel, Bayou Fire


Fais-do-do is a Cajun term for a party with music, dancing, and a lot of good food.  It has its origins in the French fais dormir, which means “you go to sleep.”  The Louisiana Creole/kouri-vini equivalent is fé dormi.  “Do-do” is like saying “nighty-night.”  Anyway, the adults get together after the kids have gone to bed for a party.  Those who play instruments bring them and they play familiar tunes for dancing.

As I planned this post, I realized that no song describes a fais-do-do so perfectly as Doug Kershaw‘s “Louisiana Saturday Night.”  This performance, with Dolly Parton, was filmed at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.  Laissez les bontemps rouler (that’s Cajun-speak for “Let the good times roll!”)!

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12 thoughts on “Blogging from A to Z: F is for Fais-do-do

  1. I’ll have to remember the fais-do-do, even if just to impress a few folks. 😉 I love the song. When I was quite a bit younger, I danced as a clogger with a small group that traveled around and performed. “Louisiana Saturday Night” (the Mel McDaniel version) was a favorite routine of mine.

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    1. What fun! Until I badly sprained an ankle, I was a tap dancer; I still remember the routines.

      I’m lucky enough to have gotten to know Doug Kershaw a little bit in the past couple of years, and have one of his violins. I love “Louisiana Saturday Night.”

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  2. I’m absolutely loving this term and plan to use it in the future. I definitely had one of those this weekend – a surprise 60th birthday celebration from my dear friend who’s an absolute party queen!

    Bunny and the Bloke

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