Hoo, darlin. Dis poor lil’ dog. Comin to New Orleans to get some new legs. Can you imagine? Someone sawed off it’s cute little hind legs so it wouldn’t jump over the fence. Dey should put dat guy (you know it’s a guy) away fa a hundured and seventy seven years.
Little dog comes to N’awlins for some new legs
This little dog, Fabio, is coming to New Orleans to get some new legs.
So dis cute lil’ thing comin all the way to da Crescent City to get himself some new paws, dawlin. How bout dat? Seems like we got ourselves some pretty expert vets here who are known fa doin dat kinda stuff. Dey do horses and dogs and all kindsa animals. Anyway, ya gotta take a look at dis video. It’ll just make yo heart melt, I garontee.
Anyway you can da video right here or click on da photo. Yeah, we folks in N’awlins really love us our dogs. We got dog parks and even dog parades. Ain’t nuttin like a dog, babe. You know it.
And dis cute lil thing in the video. Don’t ya just wanna adopt him?
– The views expressed by Mama Tujaque are not necessarily those of the management of this blog.
Hey, leave Mama a comment. What da ya think about dat?
OK dawlin. We just heard about dese folks that are comin’ to play fa da New Orleans Jazz Fest. And I don’t know dey don’t sound too jazzy to me.
I mean we got alla dem big name acts and such like here:
Billy Joel, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, BB King, Earth Wind and Fire, Jill Scott, George Benson, Dr John, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite. Headlining the second weekend are Fleetwood Mac, Maroon 5, The Black Keys, John Oates, Daryl Hall, Phoenix, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Cliff, Little Big Town, Marc Broussard, Kem and Patti Smith.
New Orleans Jazz Fest LIneup for 2013
I mean really. Dere ain’t nobody in dere that’s what I would call Jazzy or even New Orleans music or what not. OK, well, BB King and George Benson and Dr. John are some jazzy types but heck the rest o’ dem… Well, what da heck is dat all about.
And I don’t know, me, it’s just seems like dey just keep raisin’ the prices and all dat. I mean $50 now. I can remember when it was like $15 or so. I can remember going siting on the grass in front of this little stage listening to Doc Watson playing bluegrass. Dat was back in dose days, you know. I donno. I think maybe dis fest has maybe gotten way to big for lil’ ole me.
I remember going to da fest when Dave Matthews and Mystikal were playing on da same day. Dey were like 90,000 people dere or something on dat one day! Can you imagine. It was literally like walking through a sea o’ people. No kiddin. And I didnt’ go see neither of dem acts cuz I don’t like em. What can I say?
Me, I like going and listening to acts I ain’t never hoid before, ya know like finding dem little gems and such. And of course, da food. Hoo boy, dat food. But fa me the music is getting ta be too dang loud, ya know I wanna protect my hearing and all. Sometimes when I leave da jazz tent or da blues tent ma ears are ringing, dawlin. Dat ain’t no fun.
Anyway, when I go to the New Orleans Jazz Fest I like to get dere at 11 and leave at 7, ya know me, I wanna get ma money’s woith and all.
St. Patrick’s Day is sorta like a mini Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
OK, dawlin. We got the nice weather now going on here with mostly sun, some rain and just cool breezes alla da time.
It’s a nice time to be in New Orleans. The azaleas are all bloomin’ and the sky is mostly blue.
But you’ll still need a sweater on some days, and maybe even a jacket on the other ones.
And although Mardi Gras is over we still got some parades goin’ on.
Here we got some fun things to do for ya.
Stuff to do in March in New Orleans
Bach Around the Clock
A 24 hour+ Bach-a-thon starts Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7 pm and continues nonstop with 300 performers doing music, dance and other artistic things.
Home tours in historic New Orleans neighborhoods, a beautiful carriage parade with flowers thrown by riders dressed all Southern fancy. March 23 – April 1, 2012
St. Patrick’s Day Parade Irish Channel Parade – 1 p.m.
The Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club will hold its 66th Annual Mass and Parade celebration on Saturday, March 16th, 12:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Assumption Church (corner of Constance and Josephine Streets) followed by the parade (corner of Felicity and Magazine) at 1:00 p.m.
Tennessee Williams Festival
A literary festival full of literary types- music, foodie stuff, celebrity talks, theater, and more — and of course theIncluding the Stella – Stanley Yelling Contest. Mostly in the French Quarter; March 22 – 25, 2012.
They got a parade of piratical types on Friday and all kinds of other swashbuckling stuff. It’s actually more than a week. It’s the last weekend of March and first weekend of April
Algiers Friendship Parade
March 16, 2012 – Johnny’s Bar, Olivier St. at the River and the River Road in Algiers Point
The Algiers Irish Rebels and Friendship Club will be a part of St Patrick’s Day parading with crowds that spill into the street, painted with shamrocks, and also onto the Mississippi River levee.
The Jewish Federation celebrates New Orleans Jewish culture.
I remember when I was in Jerusalem walking through the old city in the Arab Quarter looking for one souvenir to bring back with me I saw this tile that said “Shalom Y’all.” I knew I had to have it.
How incongruous, I thought, to see such a thing so far away from the South in the ancient and holy city.
The guy at the stall tried to get me to buy all kinds of other things, making me offers, collecting other ceramics. I had to deal with his disappointed and dejected face, obviously well-rehearsed, when I told him, “No, I just want this one.”
The tile now hangs in my kitchen underneath a Turkish plate with the Arab word for Allah, which is just a couple feet away from a statue of the Virgin Mary on top of my fridge. It’s my little homage, unintentional I assure you and now just realized, to all three Abrahamic religions, all gathered in my kitchen inches away from each another.
Shalom Y’all: Jewish Culture in New Orleans
Jewish people have played an influential and colorful role in the history of New Orleans, a majority Catholic town. Since Hurricane Katrina the Jewish population has grown. And for Jewish visitors to our city there is a lot of interesting cultural things to do.
Dine at Casablanca Restaurant, a kosher Middle Eastern establishment opened before the storm and still carries on. It offers the best cuisine in town and is noted for its hand-rolled couscous and delicious moussaka, and of course features a special Passover menu. For fare that is equally delectable but infused with New Orleans flair, check out the Kosher Cajun New York Deli for your dining and grocery needs. That the words ‘kosher’ and ‘Cajun’ are in the same sentence, let alone the title of an eatery demonstrates the wonderful quirkiness and accessibility of Jewish culture in the Big Easy.
The odd character of the city merges into every facet of one’s own culture, personality, or religion, creating something unique, positive, and ultimately satisfying.
The very first Rex of the old and venerable Mardi Gras parade was Jewish. A few years ago I saw where a local rabbi jokingly said, “In New Orleans even the Jews are Catholic.”
Jewish culture in New Orleans is an integral part of the multi-colored fabric of the Crescent City.
There are very few cities in the world that have a cuisine named after it. New Orleans food is pretty much known around the world and is one of those rare examples. Each one of our famous dishes is basically a cultural expression of the its founding, it’s roots and the ethnic groups that have settled here over the last three hundred years.
Native Pens Cultural Cookbook About New Orleans Food
New cookbook reflects the cultural heritage of New Orleans.
Todd Michael St. Pierre, a New Orleans native has put together a cookbook, Taste of Treme, with an eye toward our famous foods’ cultural heritage.
The cookbook includes many recipes for favorite New Orleans dishes such as Crawfish and Corn Beignets, shrimp and okra hushpuppies, chicken and Andouille gumbo, Po’ Boys, bananas foster and much more. If that doesn’t make you hungry, the book has more to offer than just recipes. In addition to facts about the culture and history of New Orleans, Pierre includes a poem he wrote about Hurricane Katrina in the Appendix section.
Hurricane Katrina, although terribly tragic, in many ways was a gift to the city in that its people have really come to realize jus how special this place is and why our customs and foodways need to be promoted and celebrated.
One of the joys of visiting the French Quarter in is the chance to hear our fantastic street New Orleans street musicians. Here’s a video of a great jazz band headed up by Doreen, a fabulous clarinetist. I would say that she is about as good as you can get when it comes to her instrument.
Toward the end of the video she holds this high note by what seems to be the technique of circular breathing, the same one used by players of the Australian didgeridoo.
Amazing New Orleans Street Musicians – video
New Orleans street musicians give you a free concert almost every day in the Quarter. Well, sorta free. They love it if you tip them a dollar or so and maybe buy one of their CDs.
Le Krewe d’Etat has only been around for about 15 years but it has turned into one of the most popular parades of the entire New Orleans Mardi Gras season. Instead of a king like most parades, there is a dictator and his identity is kept secret. In fact, most of the what goes on with this krewe is kept secret. That’s just the way they like to roll, ha ha, pun intended.
The Dancin’ Darlins, Premiere New Orleans Mardi Gras Troupe, Dance Gangham Style – Video
This krewe is actually a throwback to the early days of carnival in New Orleans where it was common to lampoon politicians, celebrities and the like. And each year Krewe d’Etat does not disappoint. This time in 2013 the theme was “The Dictator’s Reading Room” and used a bookish theme to make fun of those who’d made news over the past year. No race, color, political persuasion or religion is spared. All is fair game to be skewered by these folk.
[Just by way of note for the uninformed the term "krewe" is a word used for a carnival organization.]
Several years ago the krewe debuted the first New Orleans Mardi Gras dancing men’s group and each year they don different costumes to “honor” someone who’s made the news. This year they dressed as old time football players and danced Gangham style to revamped lyrics of the popular Youtube video calling it Tackle Bounty Style in honor of Roger Goodell who gutted the New Orleans Saints in 2012. This all had to do with some bogus and completely unproven bounty scandal veritably destroying the team’s chances for making an attempt for the Super Bowl held in the team’s own city.
As you can see in this video, the Dictator’s Dancin’ Darlins, as the group is called, does it’s all in an attempt to honor the Saints and in some small way to rectify this scandal by creating a scandal of their own on the streets of the Crescent City.
We have guys in our group of are all ages, shapes and sizes. Some of the big guys, I just don’t know how they do it, dancing for five miles for three and a half hours. Perhaps they have that light-on-the-feet Jackie Gleason gene. I’m amazed at their stamina.
What’s It Like Being in a Mardi Gras Parade – Part Three
New Orleans Mardi Gras. Night parade on Canal Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
And tonight there were no breakdowns of any floats in the parade ahead of us so we moved along at a steady clip.
Sometimes even our dancing slowed the parade so we would occasionally find ourselves sprinting ahead to catch up with the float in front of us. Pity the poor people who missed the chance to see us dancing by.
We move passed Gallier Hall and to the intersection of Poydras where the street is wide and parade gawkers are confined behind barricades. Here we have a lot of space to stretch out and as we move on down toward Canal Street.
But first we must put on a really great show for the Pickwick Club there at the corner of St. Charles and Canal where members and family crowd the balcony overlooking the street.
The spectators on the ground now all behind barricades seem so far away, no one can reach out to touch us but the cheering goes on and we feel like we a part of the privileged few, the one per-centers, who get to be in a parade.
Ah yes, the adoring fans cheer and wave as we make it onto Canal Street marking the near end of our three and a half hour, ordeal…er… dance. Because the parade is moving so fast we find ourselves sprinting again to catch up with the float in front of us.
We manage to squeeze out one more display of excellent dancing ability, to get the last little bit of the adoration that’s been showered on us over the last five miles. My toes are aching and finally we come to the end of the line and we peel off into the hotel to rest, change into street clothes and see what damage we may have been done to our dogs.
Because the parade was moving at a steady clip the whole night I didn’t have the time nor the inclination to go back to the trailer to get a beer which may account for the fact that when the parade was over I really didn’t feel tired or worn out. So I found it funny when as we were going up the escalator the youngest fellow in our group whom I have about 30 years on said he was exhausted. Not only did I not feel exhausted I actually felt great. But my poor toes… ouch.
I got to the changing room that was now busy with dancers shedding themselves of their dancing paraphenalia, talking and laughing, trading stories about their experiences in the parade. I sat and took off my shoes afraid of what I might see but luckily all my toenails looked fine with just some redness of the skin next to the big nails.
I changed and went over the table and poured me a Coke. I never drink Coke or any soft drinks for that matter but heck that icy Coke was so refreshing I went back several times and had a couple more glasses.
It was now about 10:30. My girlfriend picked me and my brother up. As we were pulling away down Canal Street I got a cramp in my right leg and we had to stop so I could get out of the car and shake it off. And as we moved through the traffic my feet began to ache… a lot… throbbing really.
The next morning when I got up my feet felt fine but my back was aching, let me tell you. By the next day my back was fine and all that was left of my dancing the night away on the streets of New Orleans were great memories.
The dancing group coordinators usually give out awards for best dancers which I have been nominated for each year over the last four years I’ve been dancing. I’ve won twice. I don’t know if I’ll get any awards this year but I felt like this was my best dance because I had good energy the whole way and to me that’s really all that matters. I think this year was my best year dancing in a Mardi Gras parade. Can’t wait to do it again.
Out of the crowd I see a cousin and I hand him one of the tokens and we have only a few seconds to talk. He asks me which float my brother is on. I know he’s behind us and I tell him so as the parade moves on.
What’s It Like Being in a New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade? – Part Two
Catching beads at Gallier Hall – New Orleans Mardi Gras
Now it’s on to Superior Grill where the college student crowd seems to be the most thick. More cheering and reaching out, the sound deafening, more happy faces, more smiling, laughing, applauding.
Now the next place to look out for is where my family and their friends are, a spot in front of a building they’ve rented for carnival season for decades. We break into a dance right before we get there and when we pass the spot I’m able to pick out two nephews one of which I break through the crowd and hand a token to.
As I jump back into line I see my sister-in-law and my girlfriend right next to me both grinning ear to ear. And the parade moves on.
It’s amazing really that you only have a few moments at each spot to really see anyone. You are moving so fast you’re able to just catch glimpses if at all.
By the time we get to Jackson Avenue the crowds have thinned out a little bit but they are still thick. My big toes are beginning to hurt from one of the dance steps that during rehearsal we had practiced stationary but have to change it to a moving forward step which is making it feel like big blisters are forming. I wonder what the heck my feet will look like when I take off my shoes at the end.
The parade is moving quicker than we thought. And we are all thankful that we have not had long stops as we’ve had in prior years. We pass The Avenue Pub and out of the crowd I see an old friend and we shake hands quickly in between my dance steps.
We head into Lee Circle and we’ve been dancing for about three hours now. Some of us are beat and we know that we are close to the reviewing stand at Gallier Hall so it’s time to gather all the energy and strength and crisp dance steps we can muster. I’m feeling good and no worse for wear except for the pains in my big toes.
I’m hoping that it isn’t my toenails because the first year of my dancing with this group when I took off my shoes at the end the nail on my right big toe was black, fell off a few days later and took months for it to get back to normal.
We round Lee Circle and turn right and back onto St. Charles Avenue, the crowd mostly in stands above us on either side cheering as we break into our dance. I see people waving and laughing reaching out trying to touch us.
Finally, we make it to the reviewing stand in front of Gallier Hall where politicians, dignitaries and celebrities are gathered. We break into our now familiar dance with everyone in our group doing their best to be at the top of their game.
I usually like to get in the very front of the group on the right hand side. I know this is where the TV cameras will be and since I am one of the better dancers I help to inspire some of those behind me who may be a little lacking in the dancing ability department. Hey, I’m a pretty good dancer and a showoff, what can I say.
I’ve had the privilege over the last few years to be in a men’s dancing group for one particular New Orleans Mardi Gras parade that occurs on the weekend before Mardi Gras. No it is not the 610 Stompers, our rival group. In fact since those in the krewe like to keep things secret I am not going to reveal which parade I’m in. Anyway, it does not matter, other than that it has become one of the most popular parades of all carnival season and usually draws huge crowds.
What’s It Like Being in a New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade?
Mardi Gras Day, New Orleans: Krewe of Kosmic Debris revelers on Frenchmen Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Each year we dress as something different, something topical usually either to make fun of someone in the news, mainly local news, or in some strange way to honor them.
One year we wore red dresses in honor of a deceased sportscaster who said if the Saints ever won the Super Bowl he’d wear a red dress.
Well, he passed away before that happened so in honor of his promise we wore red dresses, sheer red dresses.
And on the night of the parade it was freezing, literally. So many of us wore long johns under the dress, but some went with hardly anything under it at all. Don’t know how they did it. Some were even sweating when the parade was over.
We rehearse once a week a few weeks before the parade date. We practice our moves and dance steps in between feasting on pizza and beer. We give our measurements for the costumes and we are sworn to secrecy about who we are portraying even to the rest of the krewe and friends and family until the float viewing day party a week before the parade where we put on a dress rehearsal, the main act of the float viewing festivities.
The day of the parade there’s a lunch for the entire krewe at one of the hotels downtown and by 5 in the afternoon all the dancers and float riders, some of them merry, pile onto buses to take the back route along the river docks to the parade line up. There we do a quick rehearsal of our dance steps to get some of the out of town members of our group who come in just for the parade up to speed with the moves.
We have a while to wait till the parade starts up so there’s time for a beer or two, some tasty fried chicken and a po-boy sandwich. This year, 2013, the evening air is perfect, just a trifle on the cool side.
It’s 6:30 and the floats begin to pull out, flambeaus moving with them and we line up behind our given float behind us a trailer with a porta potty and refreshments with speakers blaring the music that we dance to. It takes a while to get warmed up, only a few minutes really and away we go. The cheering starts immediately from the crowd. When we launch into a dance of a popular song a roar goes up.
Napoleon Avenue is packed with people cheering and clapping many reaching their hands out wanting you to slap their hands as you walk by. Turning the corner onto St. Charles Avenue there is a throng at Fat Harry’s and the crowd begins to get thicker.
Here at these turns folks are behind barricades, not really sure why since most of the parade route has no barricades whatsoever. Between Fat Harry’s and Superior Grill is where it gets the most exciting and you really feel like a rock star. Here is where most of the college kids hang out and the crowds are so thick they pour into the streets.
When we launch into one of our dances the sound from the crowd is so loud that you can barely hear the music, folks are cheering and reaching out to you, everyone has a big smile on their face and their eyes are lit up, girls, guys, old folks, little kids all look so incredibly happy and seem like they are having such fun watching our dance group do our well-rehearsed synchronized dancing.
Sometimes the sound from the spectators is so loud it hurts the ears, I can hear a crackling in my ear drums. From out of nowhere bounds the daughter of a friend of mine who comes up to me big smiles and puts her arm around me. I give her one of the five tokens I’m giving out to only people I know. The parade stops momentarily and I pose for a photo with her and give her a kiss on the cheek and say hi to her friend. The parade starts up again and away we go.
Sometimes it’s fascinating to read a foreigner’s take on the city of New Orleans, its food and its culture. Mary Hart of the Telegraph in London gives an account of her recent trip to the Crescent City and its environs and her “search” for her son who’s a student at Tulane University.
A British Reporter’s New Orleans Food Tour
A Lazy Afternoon in French Quarter – New Orleans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There a few inaccuracies in her article, like Brad Pitt buying land in the French Quarter to build homes for people who lost theirs during after Katrina.
I had to laugh at that.
In reality these homes were built in the flooded Lower Ninth Ward and as far as I know Pitt didn’t buy the land on which the homes currently sit.
And, there is no vacant land to build anything on in the Quarter.
Also, she calls Morgan City “Morgan” which sounds strange to our ears.
Besides all that she really does a great job at capturing the essence of the city and would be a perfect guide for anyone coming here who wants to do their own food tour.
The Café du Monde is the city’s meeting point. It is right on the banks of the Mississippi, behind a massive flood wall, but this is one of the few places where you can get up on to the river walk and watch the oil tankers gliding past at eye level. Across the road is Jackson Square and St Patrick’s Cathedral; further down the road is Central Grocery, home of the original muffuleta – a gigantic sandwich large enough to feed a family of four for a day, containing layers of ham, salami, cheese, mortadella, salad and olives in Italian bread. You can sit in the back of the grocery to eat your sandwich, or, if you’re feeling strong, carry it away, ‘cut and wrapped to travel’.
Beyond Central Grocery is the French Market, seething with the kind of chic goth-punk characters who throng the streets of New Orleans. There are 250,000 people in New Orleans who speak French, and the food, the architecture and the shops all reflect this; the music that assaults you from every street corner, however, is entirely Cajun. It is exhilarating, noisy, rhythmic and thoroughly enlivening. Indeed, it is impossible while wandering these streets to feel anything but exhilarated. Years fall away. Everyone looks – and you feel – like a student here.
I just want to correct a few things she says here. I would be surprised if 250,000 people in New Orleans spoke French. Would that it were true. Probably the correct answer is that that number in all of Louisiana speak some form of French.
Also, I’ve gotta say I’ve never heard Cajun music played on the streets in the French Quarter. However, if she is speaking of canned music coming out of some of the souvenir shops, then that’s for the most part’s correct. It’s loud, really too loud. And yes, it does assault you, but I don’t think in a good way.
I do like her final sentence:
The next day we had to fly home, leaving behind an enchanted city – a place, like Venice with added voodoo, that sometimes seems to the outside world to be dancing crazily on the brink of destruction.
Yeah, she kinda nails it. New Orleans is alla dat.
Please leave a COMMENT. Tell us what you think. SHARE.
Back in the early days of Mardi Gras in New Orleans before there was electricity the night parades needed illumination. So the carnival krewes hired people to carry the flambeau to walk along side each float. Flambeau literally means “torch” in French.
New Orleans Mardi Gras: What Are the Flambeau?
Traditionally the job went to black members of the community and pretty much stayed that way until after Hurricane Katrina. Many of the members of the New Orleans community who usually carried the flambeau had been scattered to the four corners. So non-traditional carriers (meaning whites and latinos) were in demand. Today you still see mostly black flambeau carriers with a smattering of whites and other ethnic groups filling in.
Most flambeaus are of simple design, a pail of kerosene at the top that gravity feeds fuel to burners. Some modern units run on gas attached to the carrier’s back. Despite how they look with these massive flames shooting out, they are actually pretty safe.
A flambeau carrier can make a couple hundred dollars during a parade from tips that people hand to them as they go along. When I was growing up folks would toss them coins and they would scatter to pick them up sometimes spilling fuel on the ground and each other.
Nowadays people hand them dollar bills as they stroll along. If you pay attention to the video you will see a guy in the street (actually my brother) reaching into his wallet and handing the carrier a buck. Many of these carriers will work several parades so you can see that it can be rather lucrative for them each year. So if you wanted to become a carrier you’d have to already know somebody who knows somebody to be able to carry and then on top of that there’d have to be an opening. It’s a plum carnival job.
Although practically the flambeau are no longer necessary to light up the night parades it’s still a tradition that adds this element of history and charm to carnival. May they forever light up the skies.
Western sky, out there somewhere.
Here in the city it calls me, the soul of it the crying of it
like a lost soul suspended over the river.
The cry goes up from the ancient soil, the soul will,
the pale moon suspended over the rooftops and lawns
and palm trees swaying from the Caribbean breeze.
Smell of the islands and the sea and shore.
Muddy river churning itself, plying the waters,
plying the souls that wash ashore during the night,
carrying the message of the ancient sound.
Here in the city by the river
where people secretly mask throughout the year,
bent sasparillas and sazeracs,
smoky doorsteps and bright Sundays in the coffee shop,
the smell of the ancient brew mingle with the ancient air,
the muddy air the smoky air,
the air mixed from the wilds of Timbuktu
across the dark continent wafted on the air of the Atlantic,
passed the Sargasso Sea, through mountains of the Cuban island
and passing over the surface of the Gulf of Mexico,
up the mighty river Mississippi
and plying and playing itself through the homes and rooftops,
the raintops, the stormthrusts, the wildwinds.
the fasting people in their churches,
the celebrations of life and death, to where they are one,
no life no death just beingness,
the happy faces and crying smiles, stumbling home from a night out,
tumbling home from the soul filled music,
from the air of the coffee bean and the alcohol
and the mixed number that brought the thunder,
the stewed beans and meat and the bay leaves
and trinity garlic mixed all in one, the thunder,
the plunder of the thunder, number and number.
One and one. Ona and ona.
Hefty carvings, leavings, heavings as the heavens open
and the almighty stove shoves its bright food stuffs
and french cuffs and tuxedos in the damp air.
Nonsense spills out of the poet, mixed words and metaphors,
and images all rolled like a beignet in apple sauce,
like a beignet in sugar powder,
like a beignet in a rolling midnight marching soul parade.
While folks sleep the ghosts of the city parade through the streets
sending out dreams and schemes and ideas and crazy notions,
the images of people from the past,
the images of those who have not moved on.
This is New Orleans, why move even after death,
they stay and enjoy the revelry into the night,
the parade the music the celebration of all existence.
Here we hold the party for the world,
the never ending everlasting celebration.
While the nuns in their cloisters pray for the world
the city by the crescent in the river turns and turns,
runs north while flowing south, and holds the world in celebration.
By us being insane we keep the rest of the world sane.
We hold the gratitude and celebration of life
for those who are afraid to do it, we do it day in and day out.
We are the souls who celebrate,
who hold the notion of God close to our breast
and sigh and scream and wail and laugh and cry
and christen each new day: Gratitude to the Universe.
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.
Here’s a new song I wrote and recorded. It reflects my love for the city and its people, culture, heritage, history, music, festivals, architecture, cuisine and all around celebration of life. Hope you enjoy it. Please send it to as many people as you know who love New Orleans too. Oh yeah, babe!
I Love New Orleans – Song by Richard Bienvenu
I Love New Orleans
by Richard Bienvenu
Red beans and rice and a whole lotta spice
Redfish cookin’ on the grill.
Gumbo and greens, you know what it means
Standin’ on the top of Monkey Hill
Coffee at dawn at Cafe Du Monde
And watchin’ all the boats along the river
We pay for our sins with hurricane winds
And wonder what the next one will deliver
And I love New Orleans
Yes, and I love New Orleans
Everyday I wake up and say
Dere ain’t no place bettah on dis oith.
And I love New Alyuns
Yes and I love New Awlins
I hear that sound all over town
Oh yeah, babe.
Great restaurants and neighborhood haunts
But the food is bettah ovah by yo’ mama’s
Folks in straw hats and hey where y’at,
Some people walk the street in their pajamas.
We may not go far on the streetcar
But no one’s in a hurry way down here.
We sit on the porch when sidewalks are scorched
Cicadas just a buzzin’ in our ear.
Tropical breeze through the palm trees
Strollin’ through the Quarter ain’t it quaint
Sweet Dixieland played by a band
Now everybody’s marchin’ with the Saints
OK it’s hot but sometimes it’s not
And sometimes skeeters fly through the air
But we got shrimp creole to nourish your soul
And a lazy moon shines over Jackson Square
Don’t forget what you saw at ole Mardi Gras
That guy with all the feathers on his head
Stand in the shade to watch the parade
Just open up your arms and you’ll get fed.
With family and friends the party never ends
You got a great big smile upon your face
The land of dreamy dreams is more than it seems
We’re so lucky livin’ in this place.
Red beans and rice, Louisiana spice
Catfish cookin’ by the shed
Sun shinin’ down on this Caribbean town
We’re risen’ up like Lazarus from the dead.
That’s why I love New Orleans
Yes, and I love New Orleans
Everyday I wake up and say
Dere ain’t no place bettah on dis oith.
And I love New Alyuns
Yes and I love New Awlins
I hear dat sound all ovah town
Oh yeah, sugah, oh yeah, honey, oh yeah, dawlin
Oh yeah, babe.
I live in New Orleans and love the city, was born and raised here. Although I have lived other places I always felt New Orleans was home and returned here to stay many years ago. It’s said that if you are a native of the city and you move away eventually you’ll move back. Very true with me. So being a musician and songwriter I wrote an homage to the city that I love.
A mambo style beat I use in the piano and rhythm guitar, the lead guitar, played by Christopher Gretchen, adds blues licks throughout with a great solo toward the end.
I’ve played piano all my life but never learned how to play New Orleans style piano. But I knew I wanted that for this song, so I taught myself how to play the basic New Orleans piano style from watching YouTube videos! Ha, ha. Now I love it and am all over it.
Vocals/Piano/Guitar – Richard Bienvenu
Lead Guitar – Christopher Gretchen
Music Copyright 2013 – Richard Bienvenu
Please leave a COMMENT. Tell us what you think. Share this with others.
“It is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than own the entire state of Ohio.” — Lafcadio Hearn…. New Orleans is one of the most magical cities in the world. There is something about this city that has a tendency to take hold of you and won’t let go. If you are born [...]more →