Mudcat Café message #546900 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #38525   Message #546900
Posted By: Joe Offer
11-Sep-01 - 07:29 AM
Thread Name: Cajun Mardi Gras songs
Subject: Other Cajun Mardi Gras songs
Additional Mardi Gras Songs

In the past, there were additional songs associated with Mardi Gras runs regardless of the form of Mardi Gras songs utilized. These were sung during the play that accompanied visits. For example, Post (1936) reported the Ridelle, whose verses called for "the successive touching of the foot, knee, stomach, head and back to the ground in unison with the words." This was a parallel custom to holidays elsewhere. For example, Que Sais-Tu Bien Faire, performed as part of La Chandeleur visits on L'Isle du Cap Breton in Acadia earlier this century, is similar to La Ridelle (Leblanc 1954).
Other songs were performed as Mardi Gras groups departed a location and these were verses of thanks or reproach depending on the generosity of the hosts or the lack thereof (Sexton 1996; Ware 1994). For example, Lindahl (1996a) reports that in Basile, the Cajun Mardi Gras sang verses stating that it was hoped that the chickens of uncooperative households would die. This practice is also related to parallel French and French Canadian traditions: for example, in some continental French Guignolee songs and Acadian Chandeleur songs, cooperative hosts were informed in verse that God would reward them, while inhospitable hosts were insulted or threatened with some sort of punishment (Arsenauk 1982; Postic and Laurent 1986). Few, if any, of these songs are still performed. This is due to the decline of the French language in Louisiana, which makes learning and maintaining a repertoire of French songs difficult.