La Vida Es Un Carnivale :: In the Spirit of Mardi Gras

La Vida Es Un Carnivale :: In the Spirit of Mardi Gras

In the spirit of upcoming Mardi Gras, we celebrate with dance, music and costumes /  jewelry. I didn’t really want to write another post on the history of Mardi Gras, so you can go to an informative Mardi Gras site of your choice for that. I did however find the following interesting ideas that were very interesting when combined with the art, music, and spiritually of the season.

As taken from the Mardi Gras New Orleans site here :

”The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. From here, the traditional revelry of “Boeuf Gras,” or fatted calf, followed France to her colonies.”

Fatted calf…hmm, where have we heard this. The Bible! If you are a fan. The verse coming from the story of the prodigal son in Luke as seen below.

LUKE 15:23

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” Another celebration. Mardi Gras Masks

Comparison of celebration is evident, as well as color.  A trio of color. King of Carnival, Rex, was invented in 1872 to preside over the carnival’s daytime parade. I honor of the visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff, the businessmen introduced Romanoff’s family colors of purple, green , and gold as the official Carnival colors.

 

Purple: Justice

Gold : Power

Green : Faith

Official Tune : “If I Ever Cease to Love” (The Duke was fond of it)

 

Now my favorite parts. Costumes. I had no idea that the costumes were in influence of the Native Americans and their historical assistance from slavery during the time. See here. The masks may be dying out due to cost, but the feathers and colors that come around during this time of year are so exciting. Artists and dancers may see comparison to birds, Brazilian Carnivale, or dance styles. I express visually, so just see my photos in this post to tell where my brain may be going on this!

 

 

And birds. ParrotLet’s not forget the birds and the fashion inspired by them. Oh my goodness at the beauty in the colors and feathers. Think Rio, the movie.Parrot Costume

 

Last but not least, I always think of a certain song by famous artist Celia Cruz. La Vida Es Un Carnivale. The first time I ever heard it was at a salsa event. I was hooked from that moment on ; ballroom dance, Latin dance, culture, everything. Imagine the excitement when she came to perform in Atlanta and I got to dance to the song I loved so much.

 

 

 

May as well add my handmade jewelry here.Mardi Gras Owl Shameless plug. One of my favorite dance instructors and personalities is from Louisiana, as well as some of my family on my father’s side, and it so seems that Carnivale is somewhat in the blood. My mother being a costume designer and musician too, I find the connection to fashion, music, dance, nature, and much more so inspiring. So many choices I can’t decide what to draw, or make, or listen too! Just heaven on earth if you can see it.

Alexander McQueen

 

 

 

I hope this translates some visual energy in your direction. That’s what beauty is all about. Remember : La Vida Es Un Carnivale…So enjoy!

 

 

 

 

~ McGlamorous

 

 

 

 

Yellow Bird

Yellow Bird

Yellow Bird
Yellow Bird Necklace by McGlamorous

It’s time for a brighter post to thaw the cold. Let’s talk about “Yellow Bird”, originally a “Choucoune”, or lyrical poem that praises the beauty of a Haitian woman with the same nickname. It became a popular merengue lente (slow merengue) in Haiti,and was played prominently during celebrations at Port-Au-Prince in 1949.

It is one of Haitian poet Oswald Durand’s’ most famous works. There is a great in depth article here that tells the story of the poem and links to the original. Michel Mauleart Morton, an America-born pianist with a Haitian father and American mother, composed music for the poem in 1893. Naturally, it combines some French and Caribbean fragments to create a tune, but the lyrics for YB have no connection with the narrative of the poem. It became a minor hit on Billboard Hot 100 for the Mills Brothers in 1959, and continues to be popularly associated with Calypso and the Caribbean. It is often performed by steel-pan bands, but some versions  such as Chris Isaacks show a Hawaiian influence.

 

 

American Lyrics ::

Yellow bird, up high in banana tree.
Yellow bird, you sit all alone like me.
Did your lady friend leave the nest again?
That is very sad, makes me feel so bad.
You can fly away, in the sky away.
You’re more lucky than me.
I also had a pretty girl, she’s not with me today.
They’re all the same those pretty girls.
Take tenderness, then they fly away.
Yellow bird, yellow bird.
Did your lady friend leave the nest again?
That is very sad, makes me feel so bad.
You can fly away, in the sky away.
You’re more lucky than me.
Wish that I were a yellow bird, I’d fly away with you.
But I am not a yellow bird, so here I sit.
Nothing I can do.
Yellow bird, yellow bird.

 

 

 

Yellow bird was a dream
The dream came to be
Bright and beautiful
Caged not and free
He sang on his branches
He danced in the rain
The rays of the sunshine
Caused him no pain
His song now is lovely
Hopeful and true
He speaks of the ocean
Skies of bright blue
Sunshine sweet sunshine
Please come to me
Just like my Yellow Bird
I want to be free
~ Alison M.
P.S. My Mother plays this as a Tango for ballet barre and I wrote my own poem above. Thanks for reading and please share!
~ McGlamorous