Happy Mardi Gras! Chair dance to ‘Iko Iko’ by The Dixie Cups

There’s no Mardi Gras in New Orleans without Iko Iko. Do you know what the song is about? Here’s the story, from Wikipedia:

“Iko Iko” is a much-covered New Orleans song that tells of a parade collision between two “tribes” of Mardi Gras Indians and the traditional confrontation. The song, under the original title “Jock-A-Mo,” was written in 1953 by James “Sugar Boy” Crawford in New Orleans. The story tells of a “spy boy” (i.e. a lookout for one band of Indians) encountering the “flag boy” or guidon carrier for another “tribe.” He threatens to “set the flag on fire.”

Crawford set phrases chanted by Mardi Gras Indians to music for the song. Crawford himself states that he has no idea what the words mean, and that he originally sang the phrase “Chock-a-mo,” but the title was misheard by Chess Records and Checker Records president Leonard Chess, who misspelled it as “Jock-a-mo” for the record’s release.

“Jock-a-mo” was the original version of the song “Iko Iko” original recorded by The Dixie Cups in 1965. This version came about by accident. They were in a New York City studio for a recording session when they began an impromptu version of “Iko Iko,” accompanied only by drumsticks on studio ashtrays.

“We were just clowning around with it during a session using drumsticks on ashtrays,” said Dixie Cup member Barbara Hawkins. “We didn’t realize that Jerry and Mike had the tapes running.”