Voodoo Music and Jazz

March 23rd, 2009

Gottschalk was a famed New Orleans composer who wrote much Voodoo music in his day and was said to have pleased Chopin. The queer strains of the Voodoo music contain the rudiments of jazz. This makes sense because New Orleans is both the birthplace of Jazz and Voodoo, therefore the two have a common origin. Most of the Voodoo chants and music were hummed in sotto voce with a barbaric effect. The following is a portion of a song that was published in the New Orleans Times-Picayune on March 16th, 1924. It displays the power and dominance of the Voodoo queens:

“I- the Voodoo Queen, With my lovely handkerchief am not afraid of tomcat shrieks, I drink serpent venom! I walk on pins, I walk on needles, I walked on gilded splinters, I want to see what they can do! They think they have pride with their big malice, but when they see a coffin they’re as frightened as prairie birds. I’m going to put gris gris all over their front steps and make them shake until the stutter!”

(Source: Tallant, Robert. Voodoo in New Orleans. 1994)

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