We saw lots of interesting things on the streets of New Orleans, but this was one of the most compelling and evocative sights — a trash can, decorated to resemble a human face, with the words “If ever I cease to love” on it. When I tossed my trash away through the wide mouth, I wondered what the heck was the significance of those words.
There is, in fact, an explanation: “If ever I cease to love” is the name of a classic Mardi Gras song. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune blog, the song has been the anthem of the Rex’s Boeuf Gras parade ever since the Rex organization first marched in 1872. I think that explains the trash can’s crown and the bright coloring.
If you’re interested in hearing this Mardi Gras classic, a YouTube performance is below.