Thursday, July 17, 2008

Musical Memories and Reflections

In a random gather of two dozen adults, you would probably find two dozen different tastes in music. I developed a liking for roots/folk/Celtic music rather early, and it stuck.

We didn't get our first television until I was ten years old, or close to it. It was black and white, of course, and we could pull in one English channel in Montreal. On Friday nights, Country Hoedown came on, and since it was the only show in town (so to speak) we would find ourselves watching it. Come summer, however, they replaced it with Don Messer's Jubilee, a program with fiddling and more of a folk/Celtic sound. I found myself enjoying the music much more than the country music which I had heard during the regular season.

As I grew up, I was diverted elsewhere, and programs and music such as the above were definitely uncool. But I don't think I ever settled firmly on any other musical genre, and when I was exposed to The Rankins several decades later, I felt that I had come back to my roots, and I have continued to appreciate that genre ever since. I never expected to try to fiddle (and I do emphasize the word, try) but I have even gone that far into this type of music.

Who knows why I appreciate it so much as it's not exactly mainstream. I sometimes wonder if there's some genetic coding involved, for I do have some Irish roots. In fact, I may actually be one-quarter to one-third Irish. And most of the rest of my roots are country England, which I'm sure had its own traditional music. On top of that who would have thought that I would settle in an area that retains much of the traditional music that I like so much?

Now, let's back up to Country Hoedown again for another sound that is not your typical country music fare. I remember them having a folk group called The Travellers on, and I liked them and their upbeat tempo a whole lot. In fact, one of my first LP's was of them, probably a gift from my parents. They are perhaps best known for singing the Canadian version of This Land is My Land, This Land is our Land. In fact I didn't even know that there was an American version until years later.

One of their songs on both Country Hoedown and their LP was Black Fly. On the weekend at Celtfest, I limited myself to video recording only four numbers. One doesn't want to spend the afternoon behind a camera after all, and the battery was low anyway. When I decided to tape The Riverthieves, wasn't I shocked that they sang Black Fly, a song which I have heard very seldom since I heard The Travellers do it about fifty years ago, so I've posted it below. As a further bonus this uptempo folk song also has a fiddling breakdown embedded within — at about eighty seconds in.

8 comments:

Janet said...

I was grown before I heard Celtic music, but I was instantly hooked. I've always loved all things Briton, alas for me there's not an Irish drop of blood anywhere. The best I could do was marry a Scotsman. :) Someday I hope to travel to the British Isles.

KGMom said...

Well, now--I wonder of the Black Fly of the song is the same beastie that troubles us all summer long. Actually, they spray our rivers here to keep down the black fly population.
I loved watching the kiddies dance to the music on the video.

Donna said...

I love celtic music! Toe tapping!lolol...I was around 8 when we got a b&w tv.....I think we had 3 stations!hughugs

Ginnie said...

You would get along very well with my daughter and son-in-law...the two who play violins and love this type of music, too. They have an antique shop and play music like this all day.

Ginnie said...

You would get along very well with my daughter and son-in-law...the two who play violins and love this type of music, too. They have an antique shop and play music like this all day.

megz_mum said...

That looks like a great day out. My eyes were drawn to the mum at the front, backpack and pram, trying to extricate her children...memories!

womaninawindow said...

They're not Celtic, but I'm wondering what you think about the Cowboy Junkies? Bet they could spend a little time with you...

Coll said...

The Celtfest looks and sounds like so much fun. I love to see the little kids all dancing up front. :-)