Now that the Super Bowl is over and New Orleans has shown it’s best face to the world it’s time to get down to business, to the real business of partying and Mardi Gras. Time to get down and blow it all out before the days of Lenten conscious deprivation.
So, I thought I’d post what I consider are the best New Orleans Mardi Gras songs in the world.
The Best New Orleans Mardi Gras Songs In The World
1. Go To The Mardi Gras
This one is by Professor Longhair. It’s raucous, it’s fast and raw and just really reflects the wildness and celebratory attitude of the city during Carnival.
2. Carnival Time
Al Johnson wrote this while he was driving a taxi. The first verse is based on a real incident of the Green Room and the Plaza burning down years ago on Mardi Gras day. This immediately became a hit when it was released and I remember when I was a kid riding in my dad’s car to the parade on Fat Tuesday and thinking that it was the perfect Mardi Gras song.
3. La Dance Des Mardi Gras
There’s something mysterious about this song by the famous Cajun band the Balfa Brothers. It’s not a New Orleans Mardi Gras tune at all but reflects the custom of Mardi Gras riders on horseback who ride from door to door in the Cajun country collecting all the ingredients for a good Cajun gumbo at the end of the ride. The lyrics below are in Cajun French.
Les Mardi Gras s’en vient de tout partout, Tout alentour le tour du moyeu, Ça passe une fois par an, demandé la charité, Quand-même ça c’est une patate, une patate ou des gratons Les Mardi Gras sont dessus un grand voyage, Tout alentour le tour du moyeu, Ça passe une fois par an, demandé la charité, Quand-même ça c’est un poule maigre, ou trois ou quatre coton maïs. Capitaine, capitaine, voyage ton flag, Allons chez un autre voisin,
4. Iko Iko
Sung by the Dixie Cups, although not officially a Mardi Gras song, it’s a Mardi Gras Indian chant that may be heard on Fat Tuesday and other times during the year when the Indians come out and strut their stuff. Although recorded by other artists no one has been able to match the simplicity of this original 1960’s recording.
5. Mardi Gras Mambo
When I play at the Neutral Ground Coffee House this is one of my favorite songs to sing. This popular tune performed here by The Hawketts can be heard as many Carnival parades pass.
I know there have been many Mardi Gras tunes recorded but these are the ones I picked that are most popular and iconic with catchy melodies and lyrics. No new songs about Mardi Gras have been recorded in recent memory that I think capture the spirit and the real essence of the Carnival season as these five do.
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