As Long as There’s Been an Earth..
Here’s a program from our archives.
Music; Ambience: Mardi Gras Song
This week, in south Louisiana, many small towns are celebrating their version of Mardi Gras. Bands of masked revelers visit their neighbors houses, begging for food and money to hold a community feast at night. And as they make their rounds, they’ll be singing the Mardi Gras song. There are different versions of it; this one is sung in the town of Basile. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Rider: The music that we play at the Mardi Gras is handed down from old French music generations back, ever since they started.”
Potic Rider has been participating in Basile’s Mardi Gras since he was a boy.
Rider: When we start off the Mardi Gras song we start off by saying, Capitaine, capitaine, voyage ton flag, which means, captain, captain, wave your flag! Then they say, la route est grande, la nuit est longue, et les belles sont pas invitées: we have a long road, a long night, and we haven’t invited the women yet. Then the next part of the song is, les Mardi Gras ça devient de l’Angleterre, which means as long as there has been an earth there’s been Mardi Gras. Then it goes on to tell you, les Mardi Gras c’est pas des malfecteurs. . . c’est juste des chamondeurs: we’re not some trouble makers, we’re just some early birds looking for a little mischief and a little fun. C’est les Mardi Gras, ça demande pour une petite poule grasse et du riz ou de la graisse., which means: we’re looking for a little, fat chicken, some rice or some grease, or sausage to make us a gumbo that night. Then after that we thank the people. But we’re inviting them to come back and eat gumbo with us for nothing. It’s free. We’re doing this for them.”
Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.