Still Standing after all These Years

80 Days to Mardi Gras ~

I’m hoping to connect with Miss Ginny, the writer and seamstress of finely-made whalebone corsets. I’m thinking of one in purple, gold, and green for part of my Mardi Gras costume.

This week, I’m mixing it up with some contemporary news and history tidbits.

Steve Earle. Heard of the three-time Grammy winner? He’s a songwriter and novelist (actor, play write…) born at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and raised near San Antonio.

His debut novel, I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive shares the same title as one of his albums.

I hope you will enjoy Steve Earle.
The lyrics to his song are below the uTube link.

liz0923 uploaded the video on 7/29/10 on uTube. Many thanks to her.

My favorite song from the I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive album is This City.

This city won’t wash away
This city won’t ever drown
Blood in the water and hell to pay
Sky turned gray when the pain rained down

Doesn’t matter, let come what may
I ain’t ever going to leave this town
This city won’t wash away
This city won’t ever drown.

Ain’t the river or the wind to blame
As everybody around here knows.
Nothing holding back Pontchatrain
Except a prayer and a promise’s ghost

This town’s digging our graves
In solid marble above the ground
Maybe our bones will wash away
This city won’t ever drown

This city won’t ever die
Just as long as our heart be strong
Like a second line stepping high
Raising hell as we roll along
Gentilly to Vieux Carre
Lower 9, Central City, Uptown
Singing Jockamo fee nane

This city won’t ever drown.
Don’t matter cause there ain’t no way
I’m ever going to leave this town.
This city won’t wash away,
This city won’t ever drown.

~Thank you to Steve Earle. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, The Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others.

My family had house in the Lower 9th Ward in the Gentilly areas. The Vieux Carrè is the Quarter, or the French Quarter, and you know all about Jackamo fee nane if you read my earlier posts. Steve Earle’s song is a gumbo close to my heart. But are you familiar with a second line stepping high? I’ll write about it soon.

Now let’s step into the past.

Many events through the years, the Civil War, police and sanitation worker’s strikes, Hurricane Katrina, to name a few, cast a pall over New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. A testament to the resiliency of the people of the Big Easy, Mardi Gras survives. Even when the National Guard stood on street corners and toted weapons. (Yes, I was there during one Carnival to see it.)

Carnival celebrations started early in the 19th century. Impromptu processions sometimes got out of hand – what would they think of Bourbon Street today?

By 1850, city officials wanted to ban the processions. Then Mistick Krewe of Comus formed in 1857 and held the first themed nighttime parade, which brought order to the celebrating. However, Comus was a secret society and the public had no direct access to organization.

In contrast, Rex was established 1872 as New Orleans struggled to recover from the civil war. Rex’s motto is “Pro Bono Publico—for the public good.”

In 1872, New Orleans’ city leaders wanted order for the chaotic parades on Mardi Gras day. The visit by Russia’s Grand Duke, Alexis Romanoff, was the catalyst for change.

During the first Rex Parade, Rex (which means King) rode a horse. Informal maskers and marchers made up the parade. By the next year, Rex organized and presented a grand procession that launched their long tradition of colorful themed parades pulled from literature or mythology.

The Rex website tells about their official name, the Title of King, Early Edicts and Proclamations, Royal Invitations, Colors and Flags, Boeuf Gras, the Arrival of Rex, and the Rex Anthem: If Ever I Cease To Love.

Click below to listen to a performance of the song on uTube.

If Ever I Cease To Love.


In a house, in a square in a quadrant
In a street, in a lane, in a road.

Turn to the left on the right hand
You see there my true love’s abode

I go there a courting, And cooing to my love like a dove;
And swearing on my bended knee, If Ever I Cease To Love,
May sheep-heads grow on apple trees, If Ever I Cease To Love.


If Ever I Cease To Love, If Ever I Cease To Love,
May the moon be turn’d to green cream cheese,
If Ever I Cease To Love

She can sing, she can play on the piano,
She can jump, she can dance, she can run.

For she’s a wonderful girlie; She’s all of the rolled into one.
I adore her beauty, She’s like an angel dropped from above;
May the fish get legs and the cows lay eggs’
If Ever I Cease To Love

May all dogs wag their tails in front,
If Ever I Cease To Love

Second Chorus:
If Ever I Cease To Love,If Ever I Cease To Love,
May we all turn into cats and dogs,
If Ever I Cease To Love

Yes, the words are silly, however, I’m a HUGE dog-lover. Get to know me and you’ll see. So if I ever come back as a dog, I hope I get me for a master.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Linda Joyce


About Linda Joyce

Writing is a curious journey. You don't pick it, it picks you. See my website at to learn more about me.
This entry was posted in Mardi Gras, Music, New Orleans, Uncategorized, Writer's Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Still Standing after all These Years

  1. G. Aliceson says:

    Interesting post! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. “May all dogs wag their tails in front” – what a visual! Thanks for bringing another corner of Mardi Gras alive for us 🙂

    • Maggie,

      I get a completely different picture when you wrote it. Before I was seeing a dog do a 4-legged moon-walk.

      Starting 2013, I’m going to be doing give aways of Mardi Gras “throws.” I hope you’ll stay tuned for that.



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