How the COVID Stole Carnival

Every Who Dat in NOLA liked Mardi a lot,

But the COVID who came into NOLA did not.

COVID hated Fat Tuesday! The whole Mardi Gras season!

Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.


It could be perhaps, that the crowds were too much.

It could be COVID hated marches, brass bands, and such.


But, whatever the reason (perhaps ladder faux pas?)

It stood there on St. Charles Ave hating the Gras.

Staring down from Napoleon with a sour, COVID frown

At the joyful decorations all over Uptown.


For it knew every Who Dat in NOLA these days

Was planning their costumes and spots for parades.

“And they’re buying their king cakes,” COVID thought with a sneer.

“Tomorrow is 12th night, it’s practically here!”


Then it coughed, with its COVID cough like a drum St. Aug is drumming

“I must find some way to keep the Gras from coming!”

For come Mardi, I know the Who Dat girls and boys

Will wake bright and early and start to make noise.


And then – oh the Joy! Oh the joy! Joy! Joy! Joy!

There’s one thing I hate – all the joy, joy, joy, joy!

They’ll stand close together, yes, needle and threading

They’ll stand hand-in-hand, and those germs will start spreading.


I know just what to do! COVID thought with insistence

“Make them all stay apart 6 feet and social distance!

Put on masks – not the fun kind! Oh what a cruel twist!

Alcohol’s not for drinking – just a sanitize spritz.”


Then he started his list, bringing sadness and woe,

“The parades,” COVID thought, “Are the first things to go.”

Then it slithered and slunk, with a contagion quite slick

Through Metry, Mid City, and the Garden District


“Pooh Pooh to the Who Dats!” it was gleefully humming

They’re finding out now that no Mardi is coming!


They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!

Their mouths will hang open a moment or two

Then the Who Dats down in NOLA will all cry boo-hoo


“That’s a noise!” grinned the COVID, “that I simply must hear!”

It paused, and it put a gloved hand to its ear.

And it did hear a sound rising over the Oaks

It sounded like brass bands and beautiful notes


But this sound wasn’t sad!

Why this sound sounded glad!

Every Who Dat in NOLA, the tall and the small,

Was celebrating without any parades at all!


It hadn’t stopped the Gras from coming – it came!

Somehow or another, it came just the same.

And the COVID, with no way to smell up its nose

Stood puzzling and puzzling, “how could it be so?”


“It came without flambeauxs! It came without krewes!

It came without second lines, moon pies, or booze!

COVID puzzled and puzzled ‘til its puzzler was sore.

Then COVID thought of something it hadn’t before.


Maybe Carnival, it thought, doesn’t come from a wholesale bead store

Maybe Carnival perhaps, means a little bit more.

And what happened then? Well in Nola they say

That the people rose up, unified, in their way


And the true meaning of Mardi Gras came through

Neutral Ground and Sidewalk side together (it’s true)!

And now that their hearts didn’t feel quite so tight,

They knew to beat COVID they’d use all their might.


And sit this one out, come on y’all we’re a team!

No one wants to go back into strict quarantine

So, welcome, Mardi Gras. bring your flare

But leave out the crowds at Jackson Square.


Mardi Gras is in our hearts,

So long as they sell beer at Breaux Mart.

Mardi Gras will always prove true.

But please let’s not go back to Phase 1.2


And maybe at next year’s Gras, we’ll have

Popeye’s biscuits on the Ave.



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