Mardi Gras/Carnival Song Suggestions

Many countries celebrate Carnival or Mardi Gras, but the cities that come to mind with the biggest celebrations are Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. But it’s also an important celebration in Jamaica, so Reggae music can also make an appearance. You can do a New Orleans theme or mix and match songs from many cultures. This Wikipedia description gives an example of how many countries around the world celebrate Carnival.

If you’re on Spotify, here’s a Carnival playlist I found on Spotify.

Or you can purchase a New Orleans Mardi Gras Compilation like this one.

For Brazilian inspired music, here is a 2012 list of traditional Carnival songs. You can also do a search on iTunes or eMusic for samba or Batacuda, which is a substyle of samba that incorporates African beats.

The following are some Brazilian inspired suggestions:
Na Onda do Berimbau, Monobloco
Magalenha (Brasileiro), Sergio Mendes
Queen of Carnival, Latin Touch, Barrio Latino III
Brazilenco, Zeb
Batacuda (The Beat), Sergio Mendes
Ipanema (Castelli Ipanema Remix), Ariel Perazzoli

New Orleans Zydeco/jazz/conga
Iko Iko, The Dixie Cups (this is a must have song!)
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Professor Longhair
Cajun Club Mix feat Conga and Hot Hot Hot, Miami Sond Machine and Buster Poindexter
Alligator Stomp, Buckwheat Zydeco
Ya YA, Buckwheat Zydeco
Buck’s Boogie, Buckwheat Zydeco
Oldtime Zydeco, Lifescapes, Cajun Bayou
Cochon de Lait, Beausoleil
Sophie, Beausoleil
Alligator Stomp, Cajun & Zydeco Classics
J’ai Ete au Zydeco, Beausoleil
Cajun Crawl, Beausoleil
My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now, Buckwheat Zydeco
Walking to New Orleans, Buckwheat Zydeco
Zydeco Boogaloo, Zydeco Dependents
Keep a Knockin’, Beau Jocque And The Zydeco Hi-Rollers
Go To The Mardi Gras, Professor Longhair
Mardi Gras City, Olympia Brass Band
Mardi Gras Mambo, Cubanismo
Danse De Mardi Grass, The Balfa Freres
Marti Gras Mambo, The Meters
Hey Pocky A-Way, The Meters
Jambalaya, Eddy Raven & Jo-El Sonnier
I’m Walkin’ to New Orleans, Fats Domino
Mack the Knife, Louis Armstrong
Crawfish Song, Buckwheat Zydeco
Cajun Party, Wayne Toups & the Zydecajun Rockin’ Flames
Go to the Mardi Gras, Professor Longhair
Jockomo, Sugarboy Crawford
Olympia Special, Olympia Brass Band
Cajun Two Step, Ned Landry
Pine Grove Blues, Cajun Playboys
Les Bons Temps Rouler, Waltz Michael Doucet & Beausoleil

New Orleans 
Ragin’ Cajun, Charlie Daniels Band
Party, Wild Magnolias
House of the Rising Sun, The Animals
The Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
The Saints Are Coming, Green Day
The Saints Are Coming, U2
The Old Man Down the Road, John Fogerty
Riding on the City of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie
The Witch Queen of New Orleans, Leon Redbone
Down South in New Orleans, The Band
King of New Orleans, Better than Ezra
Way Down Yonder In New Orleans, Freddy Cannon
Voodoo, Godsmack
Proud Mary, Tina Turner
Heard it Through the Grapevine, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Born on the Bayou, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Jambalaya (On The Bayou), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
The Witch Queen of New Orleans, Leon Redbone
Cajun Moon, Randy Crawford
New Orleans, Gary US Bonds
Way Down Yonder In New Orleans, Freddy Cannon
King Creole, Elvis Presley

Dances of Resistance, Babylon Circus
J’aurais bien voulu, Babylon Circus
Parade Acoustique, Babylon Circus

In 2005 my club put on a Carnival Ride to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Here are a few photos of the event. Even though it was in September, we celebrated the tradition of New Orleans and passed out beads, decorated the gym, and played some Carnival tunes (but since the ride was 3 hours long, we also played a lot of other songs as well).

Last Minute Mardi Gras/Carnival Song Suggestions



  1. Yes would love to get your favorite Mardi Gras songs!

  2. I have two different rides: a “senior” ride dedicated to three different Carnival Cities (Naples, Venice and Rio)and a “junior” one where I play with CARtoon CARnival. The second ride is criterium-based in Spinning terms.

  3. I have a mardi gras ride that I do yearly as I live in nola. glad to share if you let me know how

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