Zydeco music is a uniquely American genre that developed in Louisiana as several cultures came together in the 1700s, including French settlers, indigenous peoples (in particular the Atakapi-Ishak), and African-American slaves and freed slaves (who incidentally enjoyed greater rights and freedoms under the French Code Noir than their counterparts elsewhere in America at the time).
French immigrants brought their traditional customs with them and began celebrating Mardi Gras in the area around New Orleans as early as the 1730s. By the 1800s, Zydeco – with its syncopated rhythms and toe-tapping accordion – had become an integral part of Mardi Gras celebrations in the area.
One characteristic of Zydeco music is the tempo often speeds up as the song goes along, forcing dancers to try to keep up – and often producing much merriment and laughter in the process! This family-friendly song by the late, great accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco is really fun to share with a group of kids, especially if you have a basket of egg shakers. Tell the kids the train is starting slow, but they have to pay attention and keep up with the beat as it goes faster and faster.
You can listen to the song on YouTube or purchase the whole album here.
For more information about my music classes, please visit www.misscharlottemusic.com .