MARIE LAVEAU LA BELLE VOODOOIENNE


Marie Laveau la mère was mulatto
she married Jacque Paris a quadroon
her curly black hair reddish skin and good looks
made her the queen of Orleans voudoun.


In rituals on Bayou St John
Marie danced with her snake Zombi
a friend to the Marquis de Lafayette
in the town of Old Orleans.


Oh Marie Laveau eh bien!
Oh Marie la belle voodooienne.


When her husband Jacque disappeared
she became the Widow Paris
and bore fifteen children to Christoph Glapion
a quadroon from Saint Dominique.


The Creole women of Orleans
would come to mamzel Laveau
to confide their intimate secrets and fears
of their husbands their business and their souls.


The Orleans white masters feared her
with her African gibberish and stare
resolutions were passed confining her dance
to the place know as Congo Square


but the whites of every class still sought her
even judges would pay for her spells
for Marie Laveau was the queen of voodoo
and her gris-gris could make sick things well.


Marie Laveau was more than a witch
she practiced Catholicism
with prayers incense and statues of saints
nursed the sick the diseased and the condemned.


Now resting in St Louis Cemetery
sits the crypt of mamzel Marie
three crosses in red brick dust on the stone vault
grants a wish for those who believe.


Oh Marie Laveau eh bien!
Oh Marie la belle voodooienne.

 

(unrecorded, published in QUADRANT)