WHAT IS CAJUN?


If you ever hear Cajun music you won't soon forget it. It's rousing rhythms, foot stomping beat and sweet lyrics make it special and THE COUNTRY CAJUNS play it that way. Most of them have played Cajun music as long as they can remember. As Louisiana "Acadians" it's a music they grew up on.

    The ACADIANS were French subjects in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia and when Great Britain acquired their country in 1713 they wanted to remain loyal to their French homeland. The British ordered them to pay the homage to the English Queen and to give up their Catholic religion. The Acadians (later shortened to "Cajuns") refused and begin what could be termed the longest "sit in" in history. The disagreement lasted forty-two years until 1755. In September that year the entire Acadian population, in all over 10,000 people, was loaded unto prison boats: families were sent to colonies and the British Isles as prisoners of war. Many hundreds died in route, many more found hope in stories of a place far to the south where they would be understood. As they escaped they made their way to the heart of Louisiana. On farms many could only see as unworkable swamp and barren grassland they built their paradise. It is this spirit of survival against all odds, a unique spirit that could only come from hardship, that gives Cajun music its own personality and character.

     Today the Cajuns are basically a very earthly, happy people and a lot of folk call their music "happy, people music". But if you speak Cajun French you might be surprised at what the music has to say. The happy tunes often words of tragedy, the slow mournful ones might capture a story of joy. Their songs are about life-love, loss, home, family, death and "a fate worse than death".....life without love. The music almost always tells a tale or spins a varn but the best part is, you don't have to understand to enjoy.

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