Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 20, 2019 / Cristina Pennington
Mardi Gras Day is also known as the Fat Tuesday. It is an interesting fact that Mardi Gras came to New Orleans with the French colonists in the 18th century. You would be amazed to know that it is not only in New Orleans that this event takes place but it also occurs in many parts of the world. In United States Mardi Gras takes place at Detroit Galveston Island Mississippi Mobile Pensacola St. Louis Port Arthur San Diego etc. Mardi Gras also takes place in many other countries which includes Australia Argentina Belgium Brazil Caribbean Italy Mexico Panama Slovenia Sweden and Uruguay.
After the founding of the Mystic Krewe of Comus in 1857 (and their nighttime torch-lit parade) the Krewe Of Rex established several key factors that would become staples for the entire Carnival tradition in 1872: the Mardi Gras flag the official colors of purple green and gold and the "royal anthem" of a song titled "If Ever I Cease To Love." In classic New Orleans style the song comes from a burlesque show entitled "Blue Beard" and features some of the craziest lyrics this side of a Christina Aguilera National Anthem performance: "If Ever I Cease To Love If Ever I Cease To Love/May cows lay eggs and fish grow legs If Ever I Cease To Love." Our very own Edward Branley recently told the fascinating story of how these insane lyrics have anything to do with Mardi Gras.
So here we are a bunch of hung-over exhausted sunburned Popeyes-eatin twenty somethings on Mardi Gras night...without a clue that this song (played over and over at the Rex Ball) is quite literally a key link to the birth of modern Carnival. If I Ever Cease to Listen to Mardi Gras Music You won t find the tune on many Mardi Gras compilation CDs. The song is practically buried under the classic Carnival R&B hits by guys like the Nevilles and even Oliver "Who Shot The LaLa" Morgan (yes that s the name on his birth certificate). There are several great versions of "If Ever I Cease To Love" on iTunes ready for download.