I got the idea for this post from a discussion on Four Foxes One Hound, the group blog I’m part of and thought it would be a fun way to show the differences between Cajun music and Zydeco.
According to a site I found, Cajun music comes from the Acadians who were forced to leave Canada. It borrows some from Creoles of African descent, country and western, and in some cases, rhythm and blues. It’s a mishmash of genres. From what I gather (since I don’t speak Cajun French), most of the songs center around ill-fated love, death, and loneliness.
This Cajun French song is called”Jolie Blon”, or pretty blonde.
Zydeco is not Cajun music in origin. It was created by the Creoles of African descent who borrowed elements of Cajun music. They kind of copied off each other, pretty much which is kind of funny and probably why people get the two confused.
Zydeco became more popular after WWII and was heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and jazz. It’s considered party music now, but like most songs in the R&B genre, the songs were about hardship.
The song I’ll play for the Zydeco side is by Buckwheat Zydeco called “Tee Nah Nah”.
The major difference I find between these two similar genres is the instrumentation. Zydeco uses the accordion and washboard, while Cajun music relies heavily on the accordion, fiddle, bass, and drums.
What do you think? Can you tell the difference? Which one do you prefer? I’m partial to Cajun music, myself. It’s the perfect music to listen to when I’m going fishing or sitting on my porch.