Monday, December 31, 2012

Nowell Sing We Clear: New Year’s Eve “Rag Dance”

Many of the traditional carols associated with the Christmas season are not specifically for Christmas itself, but are meant to welcome in the New Year. This 1990 performance by Nowell Sing We Clear (Tony Barrand, Fred Breunig, Andy Davis and John Roberts) in Altamont, New York, recreates a custom brought by the Acadians, on their way down the Mississippi River to Louisiana, to such towns as Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, and Ste Genevieve, Missouri, both not far from Saint Louis. The “rag dance” is a traditional New Year's Eve "visiting custom." Dancers dress in costumes decorated with rags, and neighbors join in as they progress from house to house.

I know what you really want to ask: “Pray tell us, O Mighty Black-Hatted One, what are your plans for the most hungover occasion of the year?”

Ah, dear minions, I have your answer: Not much.

Now that the family summit meeting described herein has been completed, the evening will be spent at the movies. Fortunately, very little driving will be involved. (Sal and I usually hit "The Salsa Room," where I'm into Latin on the dance floor, and it's less than half a mile from my place.) I went to see "Les Miserables" last night, and finally understand why my ancestors left France in the 1840s. Tonight it's either "Lincoln" or "The Hobbit." As I am convinced that the former has taken some liberties with history (most likely the result of more than thirty years as a "southerner"), it will probably be ...

Which reminds me; for those who need it, Saint Bibiana is the patroness of hangovers.

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