||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|Music of Haiti|
|Media and performance|
|Nationalistic and patriotic songs|
|National anthem||La Dessalinienne|
Méringue, also spelled mereng in Creole, is a music genre native to Haiti. It is musically and historically connected to Dominican merengue. It is a guitar-based style (unlike the primarily accordion-based merengue), and is generally sung in Haitian Creole.
The history of méringue is similar to that of much Caribbean popular music. The blend of African and European cultures has created popular dance music, music played on simple acoustic instruments by artists who don't need theaters or microphones to show off their art.
Like Jamaican mento, Cuban son, Belizean brukdon, Dominican merengue and many other Caribbean styles, méringue is played by artists who are usually anonymous and, although their music is very much alive, they tend to be called "traditional". Haiti Cherie brings together the best traditional méringue bands presenting a repertoire of mostly anonymous classics.
One exception is "Ti zwaso", an old méringue with lyrics by Haitian poet Oswald Durand. Harry Belafonte popularized it internationally as "Little Bird", and it is now often mistakenly presented as Jamaican mento.
The music creates a street party where couples dance belt-buckle to belt-buckle to a rhythm that they recognize as their own. This music is the roots of the sound produced by Haiti's international stars: groups like Tabou Combo, Caribbean Sextet and Missile 727, amongst others. —Courtesy Calabash Music
Méringue has lost popularity to Compas (Kompa) music.