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Re: What does it mean to be "American"?
« Reply #180 on: October 13, 2019, 12:38 »
Cajun is/was the appellation for the mixed race population of Louisiana, and typically rural and/or lower class. Creoles were the city French, the high-falutin' cream of the crop class. Those definitions were loose, and have even changed somewhat over my lifetime. Today, Creole seems to refer more to the mixed-race parentage, and Cajun more to the Acadian ancestry, but both can be mixed-race. But all this is just to say that African heritage, and voodoo, was a significant factor in the evolution of that culture.

Just what I thought, yes. Wiki page says there had been ethnic mixing over centuries since the Acadian migration. They are referring to people with Irish and Spanish heritage and to a lesser extent German or Italian heritage. Then also there had been intermarriages with Amerindians and African Americans. "Historian Carl A. Brasseaux asserted that this process of intermarriage created the Cajuns in the first place". Wikipedia is not always reliable, so I don't know how accurate this is. I've also read that the famous Cajun accordions were partly imported from Germany. And more recently, many Vietnamese Catholics settled in Louisiana after the Fall of Saigon in 1975. That makes me think of the "True Detective" series. The series is very well done but just like "Southern Comfort", the Cajuns are despised. It's all set in Louisiana, in the Cajun heartland and the villain has a French last name "Ledoux". However you see nothing of Cajun culture and cuisine. However in one episode, I think you would see the detectives eating Vietnamese food! If I remember correctly!

The Creoles were the French people who had settled in Louisiana before the Acadian migration. They were the slave-owning people. Slavery was extremely rare among the Cajuns, actually it only started a few generations after the migration. A small Cajun elite would get rich enough to buy slaves but they usually would be deny their own low-class Cajun identity as though they were ashamed of it. They would rather consider themselves Creoles. Then of course, what can be confusing is that next to this "Creole population", you also had the Louisiana Creole language which was spoken by the slaves and the Free African American (during the slavery era) but not by the so-called Creole. So the two shouldn't be confused. However after the abolition of slavery, the former free Black people, also tried to identify themselves as Creole to distinguish themselves from the former slaves. I guess all of that led to a mixed culture.

[I believe it's Rollin' as in a contraction of "rolling."]

I'm pretty sure "Rollin' with a Cajun Queen" is just a reference to a romantic encounter with a beautiful Cajun woman.

The whole premise for the song was a fabrication though, as John Fogerty had no such upbringing, nor was he raised anywhere near a Bayou.

Thanks for the correction! In my defence, it's not always easy to get the Fogerty accent as in "Proud Mary keep on boyning/burning" :D

What makes me think it's a story about an African American family is the line "My Poppa said "son, don't let the man get you do what he done to me"". I was told that "the man" among the African American community refers to the "White" man exploiting their labour. Just like that line from "Proud Mary": "Working for the Man every night and day". Then also you have an occurence of the phrase "Cajun Queen" in the Rolling Stone's "Brown Sugar", which is all about slavery in the US (lyrics). It really makes me think that "Cajun Queen" doesn't refer to a Cajun woman but to an African American woman.

But it's true that John Fogerty wrote all those songs without ever having been to Louisiana before. CCR guys are from California, around San Francisco, if I'm not mistaken?

we lived in TX for a spell - near the state line - and my sisters would cross the state line to LA to get drunk.

You couldn't get drunk in Texas?  :D
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