Mardi Gras Mambo ~ Parti Gras Mambo

Lundi

Photo: TED JACKSON / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE

Lundi Gras revelers second line with the Pin Stripe Brass Band down the riverfront as the riverboat Natchez passes and blows it’s steam whistle at Woldenberg Park, Monday, February 23, 2009.

73 Days to Mardi Gras

My Mardi Gras costume is taking shape. I’ll have a corset, purple, green and gold. I’m considering a parasol and some sort of noisemaker, maybe a tambourine, so I can join a Second Line.

The featured music this week is Mardi Gras Mambo. It’s an iconic Fat Tuesday song recorded in 1954 by the Hawketts, a musical group of teenagers that included Art Neville. Chess Records released the R&B song, written in 1953 by Frankie Adams and Lou Welsch, and the Hawketts made it a hit.

As you listen to the music, compliments of themusicmenTV, see the sights of New Orleans at Mardi Gras.

Pay close attention to the videos this week, there’s a quiz at the end of this post. 🙂

Lyrics:

(Uuh!)
Down in New Orleans
Where the blues was born
It takes a cool cat
To blow a horn
On LaSalle and Rampart Street
The combo’s there with a mambo beat

The Mardi Gras, mambo, mambo, mambo
Party Gras, pambo, mambo, mambo
Mardi Gras, mambo-ooh
Down in New Orleans

In Gert Town
Where the cats all meet
There’s a Mardi Gras mambo
With a beat

Join the Chief with the Zulu gang
And truck on down
Where the mambo’s swing

The Mardi Gras, mambo, mambo, mambo
Party Gras, mambo, mambo, mambo
Pardi Gras, mambo-ooh
Down in New Orleans

Down in New Orleans
Where the blues was born
It takes a cool cat
To blow a horn
On LaSalle and Rampart Street
The combo’s there with a mambo beat

The Mardi Gras, mambo, mambo, mambo
Party Gras, mambo, mambo, mambo
Party Gras, mambo-ooh
Down in New Orleans

(chorus)
Mardi Gras, mambo, mambo, mambo
Party Gras, mambo, mambo, mambo
Pardi Gras, mambo, mambo, mambo
FADES-
Pardi Gras, mambo, mambo, mambo
.

What is Mambo? Move your body and your feet. Rock steps, side steps, points, kicks, and flicks of the feet. But the important movement involves your hips. Mambo means: Shake it!

If you’re into the history and want to learn Mambo techniques, check out About.com Dance.

Krewe du Vieux

Are you ready to roll? Relative newcomer krewes to Mardi Gras launch the parade season on January 19th. Krewe du Vieux parades at 6:30 in the French Quarter.

Note: The Krewe du Vieux (KdV) Parade Route begins on the corner of North Rampart Street and Franklin Avenue in New Orleans. The parade turns east at North Rampart Street, and the parade will end at the corner of North Rampart Street and Spain Street.

As you can tell from Mardi Gras Mambo video, Rampart is an important landmark.

Following KdV’s show, krewedelusion is staging a satirical parade. Their theme is a secret until the actual day of the parade. If you’re into costumes, krewedelusion might be the group for you!

During Carnival, parades are held all over the city: French Quarter, Metairie, Uptown, West Bank, Slidell, Madisonville, Mandeville, Chalmette, Covington, and Mid-City. Every weekend is a treat. Then, starting on Wednesday February 6th, and every day until Fat Tuesday, February 12th , multiple parades can be viewed in and around New Orleans. You got to get out of bed early to see Krewe of Zulu – coconut throws anyone? Zulu rolls at 8:00 am.

I’ve mentioned Second Line in a previous post. Let’s get back to that. By now y’all now know about NOLA’s rich parade traditions. Well, Second Line is another exciting element. It works like this: the First Line is the main brass band of a parade. (Usually a designated group with a parading permits.) Followers tagging along strut to the music twirling parasols or waving handkerchiefs and it’s called Second Lining. Musicians wanting to show their stuff, fall in line and play, too.

Here’s a great view of a Second Line. It’s from 2006, the first Mardi Gras after the storm.

I promised a quiz: In the Mardi Gras Mambo and Second Line video, there was one thing that you did not see that people unfortunately equate with Fat Tuesday. What is it?

Answer: In the videos, you saw throngs of crowds, but nowhere did you a woman flashing her body parts. Mardi Gras is predominately a family-friendly event. 🙂

Hope you’re enjoying the journey to Fat Tuesday.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Linda Joyce
http://www.linda-joyce.com

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About Linda Joyce

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

2 Responses to Mardi Gras Mambo ~ Parti Gras Mambo

  1. Jackie Rod says:

    I enjoyed the videos. My husband and I love the Mambo. Occasionally you will see someone flash a little skin–usually when they’ve been drinking. About ten years ago, one of my friends had her purse stolen. She only had $20.00, lipgloss, and tissue in it. Her valuables were in a slim body pack. 🙂

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Jackie,

      I tried to find a clip of Harry Connick Jr. demonstrating for an audience at Lincoln Center in New York exactly how folks Second Line dance in New Orleans. Sadly, I couldn’t find it. You do bring up an excellent point ~ Don’t carry valuables in crowds! Unfortunately, pickpockets have stars in their eyes during Carniival. My poor grandmother, she worked for the NOLA police department pitched a hissy everytime we ventured into the Quarter. However, I’m living proof, that if you’re mindful, and not falling down drunk, no ill will come to you in New Orleans.

      Smiles,

      LJ

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