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Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?

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GUEST,Knappo 29 Jan 04 - 09:22 AM
Sorcha 29 Jan 04 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Knappo 29 Jan 04 - 05:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Jan 04 - 08:04 PM
Sorcha 29 Jan 04 - 08:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Jan 04 - 09:46 PM
Dead Horse 30 Jan 04 - 05:19 AM
PoppaGator 30 Jan 04 - 04:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jan 04 - 05:00 PM
PoppaGator 02 Feb 04 - 01:40 PM
PoppaGator 09 Jul 04 - 06:05 PM
PoppaGator 07 Jan 05 - 09:36 PM
PoppaGator 07 Jan 05 - 09:41 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: GUEST,Knappo
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 09:22 AM

I have done a number of searches and haven't had much luck. Does anyone know of a site that would have a number of mardi gras song lyrics? Iko-Iko I have but two that I'm looking for are; Shoo Fly Don't Bother Me(not the childrens version), Mardi Gras In new Orleans. Any help is greatly appreciated.   Thank You, Tom


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 02:15 PM

MIDI's to listen to
Some lyrics


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: GUEST,Knappo
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 05:50 PM

Cool site! Thanks Sorcha. Tom


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:04 PM

In thread 66516 I have posted the lyrics of "Shoo Fly" from the "Cook," 1869, on which the Mardi Gras song is based.
I vaguely remember the song which I heard in New Orleans; I believe the lyrics are somewhat different.
Thread 66516: Shoo Fly


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:29 PM

Tom, just go to Google, and type in "mardi gras songs", hit enter, then scroll down to Search Within Results, click and type in lyrics...there were several other sites.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 09:46 PM

Here is a typical fragment from the Mardi Gras song, probably no longer sung since the lyrics often change:

Shoo fly, don't bother me,
Shoo fly, don't bother me,
If it wasn't for the warden and them low down hounds
I'd be in New Orleans 'fore the sun go down.

From an article by Rick Bragg in the NY Times on the Mardi Gras 'Indians':
www.pulitzer.org/year/1996/feature-writing/works/mardigras.html

Some of the Indians have been in jail or Angola and the songs reflect that. There are many groups (some say over 35), not all active at any one time, and with different viewpoints.

Available is a band version without lyrics on the cd "The Mardi Gras Indians, Super Sunday Showdown" (available through Amazon). Can be downloaded. Look through the Neville albums at Amazon. They have recorded some 'Indian' material and might have a vocal arrangement..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 05:19 AM

There are a few sites for Cajun stuff (Mardi Gras aint all N'Orleans)
but the blighters mostly sing in some furren lingo, French I think:-)
http://membres.lycos.fr/breric/
Not especially Fat Toosdy, but its all about singin', dancin' & passin' a good time, I gaWANtee!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 04:16 PM

It's hard to pin down lyrics for Mardi Gras Indian chants like "Shoo-Fly" because the Big Chiefs generally improvise them on the fly.

The typical song structure consists of a *single* chanted line repeated by the tribe members, against which the chief riffs in a call-and-response matter. The chief's lyrics are generally patched together from a reservoir of catch phrases, some English, some nonsense syllables, and some in a half-forgotten Creole-variant "Indian language" (e.g., "mitey-coodie-fiyo," "two way pocky way," "sholla wolla you mama," etc.)

I don't know of any recordings that present Indian music exactly as it is done in the streets, with no instrumental accompaniment except for percussion. The two earliest commercial albums of MG Indian tribes are about the most authentic re-creation you'll find; both feature rock/funk band accompaniment that enhances and sorta "regularlizes" the traditional numbers without realy changing them very much. Both recorded in the 1970s, those would be:

The Wild Tchoupitoulas: This project came about when Art and Cyril Neville quit the Meters to start a new group with their other two brothers. Before starting to record as The Neville Brothers, the brothers dedicated themselves to this project, accompanying and reinterpreting the music of their uncle, Big Chief Jolly Landry, and his tribe. This is a *great* record that must be heard to be unbelieved.

The Wild Magnolias: This was the groundbreaking/pioneering MG Indian "rock" album, recorded a few years earlier than the Wild Tchoupitoulas. The bands on the two albums are both outstanding; the Nevilles contribute harmonies -- "backup" vocals -- to their project that outshine anything heard on this one, but on this record, Big Chief Bo Dollis of the Magnolias shows that he is, by far and away, the outstanding *lead* vocalist among all the Big Chiefs in the city. Plus which, he is joined on this recording (and on many live gigs and other recordings ever since) by "rival" Big Chief Monk Boudreaux of the White Eagles, another outstanding singer.

More recent Indian recordings of interest include a very recent collabortation between Monk Boudraux and 40-something white rocker Anders Osborne, and the "Guardians of the Flame" projects of jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. and his Big-Chief father Donald Sr.

This Indian music represents a pretty phenomenal living urban tradition, the semi-secret language of a network of private clubs or gangs that have been in existence in the black neighborhoods of New Orleans for at least 125 years, maybe more. Their costume-making is, if possible, even more impressive than their music, and the entire phenomenon is tremendously interesting as anthropology.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jan 04 - 05:00 PM

Poppagator, thanks for the recommendations. Unless someone at Xavier or UNO is collecting this material, most is lost. As you say, improvisation means that the words are never fixed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 01:40 PM

Q:

This won't help with lyrics, but the best available documentation of New Orleans street culture, including but not limited to Mardi Gras Indians, would have to be Michael P. Smith's photographic work. Books of photographs are, of course, very expensive, but you should be able to borrow from a library (even if you need to wait a while for an inter-library loan).

Mike has been shooting incredible photos in New Orleans since he was a Tulane college boy in the 1960s. While he's only about 59-60 years old right now, he has fallen prey to early-onset Alzheimer's, so his days of producing great documentary art are probably over. I've seen him wielding his Nikon at the Jazz Festival as recently as this past spring (2003), but I'm not sure what kind of results he's getting these days. (On the other hand, I saw him attending Tuba Fat's funeral last week -- the type of event he would *always* have photographed -- without his camera.)

Mardi Gras this year is Tuesday February 24; c'mon down if you can!


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Subject: Lyr Add: MARDI GRAS IN NEW ORLEANS (Henry R Byrd)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 06:05 PM

The original post requested lyrics for "Mardi Gras in New Orleans," which is the title used for the first recording of Professor Longhair's classic also known as "Go to the Mardi Gras."

From this link:

Mardi Gras in New Orleans 1949©
Words and Music by Henry Byrd (Professor Longhair)
Henry Roeland Byrd * Bogalusa, La Dec 19, 1918
+ New Orleans, La Jan 30, 1980

Henry Byrd, Professor Longhair, debuted on wax in 1949, laying down four tracks (including the first version of his signature "Mardi Gras in New Orleans," complete with whistled intro) for the Dallas-based Star Talent label.

Lyrics:
Well I'm goin' to New Orleans
I wanna see the Mardi Gras
Yes I'm goin' to New Orleans
I wanna see the Mardi Gras
When I get down there,
I wanne see that Zulu Queen.

I've got my ticket in my hands
Goin' down to New Orleans
I've got my ticket in my hands
Goin' down to New Orleans
When I get to New Orleans
I wanna see that whole parade.

Way down in New Orleans
Down on Rampart and Dumaine
Yes down in New Orleans
On Rampart and Dumaine
Gonna make it my standin' place
Until I see the Zulu Queen

The above three verses are presumably all that appeared on that first recording. When I heard Fess (many times) in the 70s & 80s, he had made a few changes and added a couple of verses -- I'll be back later with more.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 09:36 PM

Well, I'm back -- six months later, almost to the day.

When I posted a set of lyrics back in July, they seemed wrong to me, but it was the only version I found on the Internet (and so could quickly copy-and-paste). I knew y'all needed the *right* lyrics, and I figured I'd take my time, do a transcription, and post the result on January 6, which is not only the twelfth and last day of Christmas BUT ALSO the *first* day of Carnival (Mardi Gras season). Then yesterday, I was too busy and didn't get it done ~ but I'm ready now.

The following is transcribed directly from "Professor Longhair: The Complete London Concert" (JSP CD 202), one of my favorite Fess records, a great live performance on a high-quality acoustic piano accompanied solely by Albert "Uganda" Roberts on congas. This is the way I first heard the master, and this duet lineup (and also a trio with bassist Will Havey joining in) always showcased the Professor's virtuosity damn near perfectly.

Fess played with the most amazingly subtle and delicate polyrhythms, and most of the other musicans he had recorded with throughout the 40s and 50s ~ especially the ham-fisted drummers ~ stepped all over him and kinda dumbed-down the music.

Uganda, in contrast, was the perfect accompanyist ~ not only because he had such a light touch and clear understanding, but also just because the single conga drum is so much quieter than a set of traps, allowing us to really hear Fess's ever-so-percussive touch on the piano.

OK: here goes ~ Henry Roeland Byrd's immortal answer to the musical question "What's Carnival For?":

You know if you go to New Orleans / You oughta go see the Mardi Gras
[repeat]
When you go to the Mardi Gras / Somebody's gonna tell you what's Carnival for.

You get your tickets in your hand / You oughta go to New Orleans
[repeat]
You know when you get to New Orleans / Somebody will show you the Zulu King.

You will see the Zulu King / Down on St. Claude and Dumaine
[repeat]
Down by the old Auditorium / Is where you'll wait to see the Queen.

That's it: play one verse instrumental, whistle (!) two verses, sing three verses, whistle one more, and out.

This version is closer to "definitive" than what I found on the internet and posted back in July, but this song has been very thoroughly "folk-processed," with many different performers (including the writer himself) introducing all kinds of variations. The Zulu King and Queen get interchanged, the streetcorner where you'll see either or both of them sometimes moves a block towards the river to Rampart and Dumaine, Fess sometimes sings the line "I'm gonna make that my standin' place" in reference to the corner, etc. etc.

If you've never heard Professor Longhair's music and you're willing to spring for a CD, the one album I most highly recommend is "Crawfish Fiesta" on the Alligator label. For the first time ever, Fess recorded with a truly excellent and thoroughly sympathetic *big* band, and the results are spectacular. Alligator released a second album from the same sessions after Fess' untimely death at age 61, and it's a fine record, too, but "Crawfish Fiesta" includes the first choices among all the songs they cut, and it's just great.

The London Concert CD from which I transcribed the above lyrics (and to which I'm listening right now) is great, too, and has a nice live, simple, acoustic, almost "folk" quality. Plus, for me, it evokes nostalgia for many wonderful evenings hearing Fess in person along with just the one or two musical friends.

But for those of you for whom the nostalgia factor doesn't exist, listen to "Crawfish Fiesta" to catch Fess at the absolute height of his powers, with (among others too numerous to mention) Mac "Dr. John" Rebennack on guitar and the peerless Johnny Vidacovich on drums. Johnny V ("The Painter") is amazing, every bit as subtle as Uganda and 'way more powerful.

PS: Also recommended, video: "Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together." Fess passed away during production of this documentary, and his funeral became a central part of the story. Plenty of fine music, as you might imagine.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mardi Gras lyric info?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 09:41 PM

Ooops ~ I screwed something up trying to make a link on the title of the video. When I previewed, that last sentence appeared just as above, *looking* like a hyperlink butr not behaving like one.

Let's try again:

"Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together"


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