Tag Archives: folk music

WANA Friday: What’s Stuck in Your Head?

Welcome to another edition of #WANAFriday! Participants post on a common topic and share posts so you can read everyone’s take. This week’s topic is:

What song is stuck in your head these days (or is on permanent rotation in your music collection) and what draws you to it?

As it happens, I do have a song stuck in my head. Last week, the folk dance community I’m part of held a brief memorial for a member who had died suddenly over the summer. Another member taught us this song:

Much like in the video, our rendition was a little rough at first, resolving — as we went through it multiple times — into a thing of beauty.

And it’s been running through my head all week.

I have a couple of thoughts about why:

1. I was very impressed by how quickly the group picked it up — granted, there’s not much to the words, but there is a three-part harmony! Some of us (not me) had sung it before, but not most of us, I think. It didn’t occur to me until later that, of course, many of the dancers in the folk dance community are also musical in some way.

2. I’ve been involved in making music on and off for most of my life — piano lessons, band, Girl Guides, choirs. Right now I’m “off”. The closest I come is dancing to live music in this community. I don’t have time for anything more at this point. I don’t think about music a lot, but I do miss it. So singing harmony again was literally music for the soul.

3. And, of course, the song is just that pretty.

Other #WANAFriday Participants This Week

Dianna Bell puts a twist on her favourite artists

Ellen Gregory gets addicted to harmony

Kim Griffin goes acoustic

Liv Rancourt gets inspired by Sleepy Hollow

Tami Clayton comes out of the musical closet (go, Tami!)

Dancing Up a Storm

On a rainy spring day in Toronto a few weeks ago, I was dancing up a storm.

It was the last day of an all-weekend contra dance festival. I arrived late to the church hall and was just joining the fun, looking forward to a few more hours. As a live band — clarinet, fiddle, and guitar — played jazz and roots music, my partner of the moment and I twirled amid the larger group. Two long lines of couples faced each other, each foursome dancing together, breaking into twos, trading partners, coming back together, then moving into a new group of four. The couples, the foursomes, and the long lines all worked together as aspects of the larger whole, making the dance both intimate and communitarian.

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