LAKES OF PONCHARTRAIN
“The Lakes of Pontchartrain” is an American Civil War song. It shares similar chords and
tuning with the Beatles hit Blackbird. All known recordings of the song title “Lakes” as
plural, but geographically there is only one Lake of Pontchartrain north of New Orleans.
(Lake Pontchartrain, however, connects to two other lakes – Lake Borgne to the East and
Lake Maurepas to the West -, which may explain the plural.) The song was recorded on
the 1978 album called “Welcome Here Kind Stranger” by Paul Brady.
T’was on one bright March morning I bid New Orleans adieu
And I took the rode to Jackson town, me fortune to renew
I cursed all foreign money, no credit could I gain
Which filled me heart with longin’ for the Lakes of Pontchartain.
I stepped on board of a railroad car beneath the morning sun
And I rode the roads ’til evening and I laid me down again
All strangers here, no friends to me ’til a dark girl towards me came
And I fell in love with a Creole girl from the Lakes of Pontchartrain.
I said my pretty Creole girl, me money here’s no good
If it weren’t for the alligators I’d sleep out in the wood
You’re welcome here kind stranger, our house it’s very plain
But we never turn a stranger out at the Lakes of Pontchartrain.
She took me to her mummy’s house and she treated me quite well
The hair upon her shoulders in jet black ringlets fell
To try and paint her beauty I’m sure t’would be in vain
So handsome was my Creole girl from the Lakes of Pontchartrain.
I asked her if she’d marry me, she’d said it could never be
For she had got another and he was far at sea
She said that she would wait for him and true she would remain
‘Til he returned for his Creole girl from the Lakes of Pontchartrain.
So fair thee well me bonny o’ girl I never see no more
But I’ll ne’er forget your kindness and the cottage by the shore
And at each social gathering a flowin’ glass I’ll raise
And drink a health to me Creole girl from the Lakes of Pontchartrain.