“Lake Pontchartrain” – Ludo
We talked in class on Wednesday (September 11) about how historians try to piece together someone’s history based on the poems they wrote. However, it is impossible to know if the poems were written because of something that happened to them or if they were written just because the writer felt like writing them.
The song I chose is “Lake Pontchartrain” by Ludo. Although the song is extremely ridiculous, what would happen if historians found this years from now? The song tells a story of a guy and his two friends heading out to Lake Pontchartrain in their car. His friends get crawfish to eat, the narrator gets chicken. Eventually, a storm makes the lake swell and it floods everything. Some sort of creature or creatures come out of the water. The narrator’s friends get out of the car because they think they see someone out in the water and go to save them. They disappear, and by the end of the song, the listener finds out that his friends didn’t survive, but he did. He argues that he wouldn’t lie about such a crazy story, and there are no bodies of his friends. Only Lake Pontchartrain knows of what happened.
Now, if someone were to find the lyrics to this song with no reference points (such as the internet or any mention of the band besides the name and a little background information), one might assume that this story really happened. No matter how ridiculous, someone might believe it. However, the only problem would be if supernatural things did not happen in the future, but even then the story is plausible. How many stories and tales are there having to do with creatures? It is completely possible! If a historian was to take the lyrics as fact, or as a highly embellished story, they would think that the writer had a run in near Lake Pontchartrain that resulted in his two friends dying mysteriously; whether by his hand or the lake’s or something else’s, his friends are dead.
Basically, reading lyrics or poems from long ago isn’t the best way to get ideas about the writer’s life, unless there are reliable sources that can back the information up. Too many people rely on hearsay rather than letting history lie. Instead of appreciating the written text, they want to pick apart every little thing from it in the hopes that it will magically reveal something new about the writer’s life. That is not a good thing to do, but it seems that people will probably be doing that forever.