Chez Seychelles

So my wife and I are sitting in the Glendale Arena a few weeks ago, waiting for Bruce Springsteen to take the stage. The pre-show music that’s piping over the PA is great stuff, most of it I don’t recognize. One in particular gets my wife’s attention. She remembers hearing it as she grew up in Seychelles…. an old traditional folk tune.

So the other night, I’m checking out Bruce’s web site, and lo and behold, he mercifully has provided us with a list of the pre-show ‘walk-in’ music! It turns out the name of the tune is “Chez Seychelles”, as performed by the keepers of the Cajun sound, Beausoleil. It is indeed a traditional song, and Michael Doucet (of Beausoleil) gets writing credit on the tune (just wondering, does a person get composition credit by offering a new arrangement of a traditional song?).

Ah, the power of music. The way one song can take you back in time.. it’s an amazing thing. My wife hadn’t heard this song in years, and suddenly, waiting for a Springsteen show to start in the middle of the Arizona desert, she suddenly finds herself back in her homeland, a beautiful tropical island in the Indian Ocean.

Beausoleil: Chez Seychelles (mp3)


  • David Rhees

    I thought your wife might enjoy hearing the “original” version of “Chez Seychelles” that Michael Doucet adapted. It is on the following webpage, about 4 songs from the bottom, called “Mazok (mazurka)”, performed by Jacob Marie (a legendary Seychellian folk performer fondly known as Ton Pa — just do a web search on him and you’ll find wonderful and wild performances!). I think it likely that this mazurka arrived in the Seychelles from a source in the British Isles, but no one really knows. I do think Doucet should have credited Ton Pa for the song, as I am almost sure he got it from this recording. Cheers!

    • ick1999

      Thanks for the link, David! It’s been 15 years since I wrote this blog post. Since then, I visited Seychelles for the first time (2015), and actually have a photo of my kids next to a Ton Pa statue! Thanks again!

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