Thursday, July 18, 2013


Here, just because, is Claude Debussy’s La cathédrale engloutie (The Engulfed Cathedral) (5:09).

*la·gniappe [lan-yap, lan-yap]
1. Chiefly Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas. a small gift given with a purchase to a customer, by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus.
2. a gratuity or tip.
3. an unexpected or indirect benefit.

Origin: 1840–50, Americanism; < Louisiana French < American Spanish la ñapa the addition, equivalent to la feminine definite article + ñapa, variant of yapa < Quechua**: that which is added

**Quech·ua [-wah, -wuh]
noun, plural Quech·uas (especially collectively) Quech·ua for 2.
1. the language of the Inca civilization, presently spoken by about 7 million people in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
2. a member of an Indian people of Peru speaking Quechua.

I must say I am surprised to learn that the origin of lagniappe is not French but Spanish, by way of the Inca civilization. If you ask me, it’s downright Pizarro bizarre.

Here’s Claude Debussy.

Here’s Francisco Pizarro.

And here, for those of you who are still with me, is a little something extra***.

***Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, op. 66 by Frédéric Chopin (5:14)

P.S. -- If you watch that last video and think you hear “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” in the middle of it -- you’re right!


  1. It is easy to see why Debussy immersed himself in music and Pizarro became a conquistador . Both of them were very ugly and if they had turned up for a pint in my local pub they would have been shunned and asked to drink outside.

  2. Y. P., oh, I don't know, they seem rather suave and debonair to me. Since one is French and one is Spanish, I think your anti-continental bias is showing.

  3. Sir RWP, I like that new word lagniappe, and am wondering if it would be appropriate to add to my vocabulary. Is the word still used in your parts to this day or has it fallen by the wayside?

  4. Wishing you a good morning from over the pon Rhymes - I love words,and word-play, especially unusual ones like this, and 'Lagniappe' is certainly new to me, so I shall add it to my mental folder of 'interesting bits and pieces' and hopefully remember it to use in some form at another time. The music is very, very pretty, and not something I would have chosen myself, wafting it away initially as too 'flowery' for me, but I listened to it all, and aside from how telented the pianist is, I enjoyed it, it's a happy piece, and I'm always drawn to sad music, so I feel better for the video, and yes, chasing rainbows is right in there. Somebody stole it from under his bearded nose methinks heh. I think they're both very smart looking chaps with good taste in beard, of which I am a fan.

  5. Carol in Cairns, I once ate at a restaurant named Lagniappe on the square of the little town of Cleveland, Georgia (I don't believe it is still in business), so the word did spread from Southeast Texas and Southern Louisiana. Of course you may add it to your vocabulary! But I should warn you that a person who would say "lagniappe" would also say "lavaliere" and probably "antimacassar" as well....

    All Consuming Across the Pond, the Fantaisie Impromptu is very, very difficult to play (it's a bit beyond me). I don't think of it as happy exactly. To me it is energetic, surprising, riveting, poignant, and even a little sad, and yet satisfying in the way only Chopin can be. Oh, by the way, the bearded nose belongs to Debussy (who wrote the piece in the first link), not Chopin (who wrote the piece in the second link). I did not include a photo of Chopin, but if I had you would see that he did not have a beard at all!