Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

07 August 2006

"I'll Never Pass This Way Again"

This song starts off not bad, page one is okey dokey. Then page two builds to a climax in a way that doesn't feel entirely consistent with page one, then it's all done. I don't get it. Maybe the arrangement doesn't do it justice, but I'm not enamored enough to search for the answer to that.

Bonus folk material: 'Ground Hog', being the story of the hunting, killing, and eating of said animal. My daughter thought this was sad, but it's obvious that the singer isn't so sad about his meal. This is another song with many short verses--nineteen--and like the others in this book (which is, by the way, 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax, a fabulous twenty-five cent garage sale find on my part), by the time I get half way through all the verses I feel somehow seduced rather than bored. I'm not exactly sure why that is, but I like it.

My daughter and I leave for Pennsic in two days. For those of you unfamiliar with this event, it all begins with the SCA: the Society for Creative Anachronism, an organization as old as I am, begun in author Diana Paxson's back yard, lo, these forty years ago, and now comprised of thousands of members world-wide, dedicated to recreating Medieval Life, the 'Current Middle Ages'.

I finished a great book about the SCA this year, 'The Knights Next Door', by Patrick O'Donnell, which manages to capture a fair amount of the flavor of the SCA, and Pennsic, in a very readable style. Check it out for a much more complete description of what this is all about.

Pennsic is the largest SCA event in the world, taking place an hour north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with an attendance of about twelve thousand people. You don't get a day pass to Pennsic, you pay by the week. It's not huge a fee, but participants are also expected to dress in something resembling Medieval garb for the entirety of their stay (and pack in all their water, unless you're willing to buy it all there). Most tourists are not willing to commit that amount of energy, though it might be worth it: the shopping alone is fairly amazing, and the battles are something not seen anywhere else.

I was very lucky in my introduction to Pennsic, being invited to attend by my friend, Maria, who had been camping for years with a wonderful group of people, including some who attended and helped run some of the very first Pennsic gatherings, thirty-five years ago. This will be the sixth Pennsic for my daughter and I, and the third for my husband when he joins us this weekend. So for these last two days I'm sewing garb, since clothing three people for 8-12 days in something without zippers, looking somewhat Medieval, is always a trick, especially with a growing girl. Thank goodness for being on the hand-me-down list in my camp. Think of us this week, wearing long gowns all day in the August heat!


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