Music is the essence of Mardi Gras – you can’t have a parade, a carnival ball, or even a party without it. Our carnival music reflects our joie de vivre spirit, our desire to let the good times roll. The classic hits range from funk to R&B to brass band, but they have one thing in common – they make you want to dance. To get you in the mood, I’m going to let you listen to some of them.
Perhaps the epitome of Mardi Gras songs is Professor Longhair’s “Go to the Mardi Gras”. Can you hear the parade coming down the street?
Next, try Al Johnson’s “Carnival Time”. His one hit was big enough to propel him into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Here’s “Mardi Gras Mambo”, by the Hawkettes. This little known group would evolve into the Meters, the standard bearer for New Orleans music. The lyrics are great.
Finally, there is “Second Line” by Stop, Inc. If you’re actually part of a parade, you’re the first line; if you’re just dancing behind it, you’re in the second line.
There are many other classics, such as the Meters “Hey Pocky A-Way”, “Iko Iko” (originally by Sugar Boy Crawford but popularized by the Dixie Cups), and, “Big Chief, Pt. 2“, also by Professor Longhair.
Are you dancing?