Thursday, August 13, 2009

are you going to scarborough fair

We are in the same tent as the clowns and the freaks - that's show business.
Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) journalist

There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet.

Brooke Medicine Eagle contemporary Native American metis, author and ecologist

Men are like bagpipes no sound comes from them until they're full.

Irish Proverb

Bluegrass has brought more people together and made more friends than any music in the world. You meet people at festivals and renew acquaintances year after year.
Bill Monroe (1911-1996) singer, instrumentalist, composer

It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama (born 1935)

There is an element of truth in every idea that lasts long enough to be called corny.
Irving Berlin (1888-1989) songwriter, composer, lyricist

Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast.
Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)clergyman and writer

To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)polymath (aka Renaissance man)
notes on photos:
  1. festival tents, cleveland irish festival july 2008
  2. entrance to the 2004 burning river fest. the burning river fest (brf) is an annual festival which celebrates the watershed moment that raised our nation's consciousness about the importance of our environment in general, and our waterways in particular. that moment, of course was the day in 1969 when the cuyahoga river caught on fire. although that fire on the cuyahoga was not the first, it was the first time that the phenomena caught the populations attention (thanks to a story in time magazine on august 1, 1969) . the location of the brf seems to change from year to year. in 2004, the festival was held behind the rock hall near cleveland's (current) coast guard station and the steamship the william g. mather, a retired great lakes bulk freighter and now a maritime museum. last year the fest was held in a river side pavillion, but this year it returns to wendy park and cleveland's old coast guard station (this venue may very well be my favorite because of the park's great views of the city and the lake).
  3. even though I love the brf, I must say that the cleveland irish festival remains my favorite cleveland summer festival - it's hard to beat wandering bands of pipers, multiple musical stages, guinness on tap, boxty, exotic irish dog breeds, and all the rest of the fest!
  4. festival parking - parking for instrument cases that is! a jamming session at last year's annual music in the valley festival. last year was the festival's 33rd year and for me the first time I attended. I don't remember hearing anything about this year's festival - given all the cuts that we have been experiencing in terms of arts and culture, I wouldn't be too surprised to learn that the festival didn't take place. of course this would be very sad. hale farm and village, bath ohio july 2008.
  5. but for me, the biggest and best (national) festival has to be the smithsonian's annual folk life festival in washington dc. I don't get down every year, but I have attended on and off since the festival began in 1967! my family moved to the washington area in 1966. although I moved away from the dc area in 1973, I often coordinate a visit with my family to correspond with the folklife festival. what other venue allows one to wander the world (and beyond) within the confines of the washington mall. the only downside to the festival is the washington weather, but it could be worse, it could be held in august! this photo was taken last year and I think the bhutanese prayer flags are particularly festive! what do you say? july 2008.
  6. there are festivals for everything - some are really corny! a festive band of kids promoting last weekend's corn festival held in north ridgeville a community not too far from cleveland. I skipped the festival, it was so hot last weekend I was afraid if I went I might end up popped! photo snapped at a ballgame in avon ohio, august 2009
  7. perhaps my favorite attraction at medieval or renaissance festivals are the falconry demonstrations. my heart always soars when I get close to these magnificent birds, such as the kestrel being held in this snap. photo transferred from film, taken circa 1998 at a renaissance fair held somewhere in the cleveland area (I think clauge park in westlake, but I wouldn't bet the fair (I mean farm) on my memory)
  8. last year I checked out the medieval festival at fort tyron park. this annual festival is held in in the fall. the day I attended was very rainy so I didn't get very many photos, but I did snap a sign which made me chuckle - this sign beautifully captures the penchant these festivals have of adding ye olde and shoppe to everything.

although there are scores of versions of scarborough fair I skipped the version we all know and love and instead decided to post this beautiful rendition by hayley westenra. hayley is a young soprano from new zealand who possesses one of those voices that enchants and entrances the listener. for a brief while hayley was a member of the equally enchanting musical ensemble celtic woman.

this week's theme was chosen to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the famous woodstock musical festival . but did you know this week's theme also corresponds with the time of year the original scarborough fair was held. according to the portal of all knowledge, during the middle ages, the scarborough fair was a 45 day long trading festival held in scarborough, england, which began on august 15 and drew merchants and people from all over. by the way, the traditional scarborough fair started in 1253 but by 1383 it's prosperity slumped. the start of the fair begins on the feast of the assumption of the bvm and lasts until the feast of st. michael. to see what the portal of all knowledge has to say about the fair and the song go here.


Kris said...

A bluegrass version of Scarborough Fair, now that would be something!

Marianna said...

Ahh you gotta love festivals, all the color and the people and the events lol

Happy TT :)

tut-tut said...

Without festivals to shake it all up and turn the usual on its head, what are we?

Anonymous said...

kimy-LOL! at the old Irish proverb! And who is this singing in the vid? She's fantastic! Great rendition of the song and happy TT :)

California Girl said...

the Irish proverb about bagpipes makes me think of the health care debate.

mum said...

Lovely selection. Great rendition of the song, too. I'll have to check out Westenra and Celtic Woman later on youtube.

Brian Miller said...

whats wrong with the clowns and freaks? nice collage of festivals...always such interesting sights.

willow said...

Oh, wow, LOVE those pipes. We used to go to quite a few Scotch Irish festivals when WT first learned to play the bagpipes. Those guys in kilts always do it to me. Sigh.

Alan Burnett said...

Some great quotes there .... and even greater pictures. Other people's festivals look such fun.

Roy said...

Gee, you have almost as many festivals there in Cleveland as we do here in Newport. Love the collection! And definitely love the video.

R.J. Edwards said...

I love the sound of bagpipes. Great pics! Love the post.

The Clever Pup said...

Thanks for the glimpse of these fairs.

We had a great Renaissance fair near Toronto. We went every year but alas...

Betsy said...

I've always loved that song!

"Men are like bagpipes.." ha-ha!

Ronda Laveen said...

I love how you can "see" the wind in the second photo!

Kate Hanley said...

Great pics and great quotes, you certainly know how to put them together!

John Hayes said...

It is festival time indeed! We're holding our own small town music fest this weekend. Love the pix & quotes as usual-- my favorite might be the corn characters.

Barbara said...

Always makes me think of seeing The Graduate for the first time.

Baino said...

I really think that Americans excel at Festivals and Parades. You're very good at coordination and colour and just bringing big crowds. Not to mention dressing up as silly mascots! Oops that's a bit rich coming from someone who once did a photo shoot as an orange.

Megan said...

"The portal of all knowledge" - giggling like mad!!!!

Debo Hobo said...

The bagpipes are my favorite at festivals then the fife and drums.

Jaime said...

men are like bagpipes? GREAT quote!

Colette Amelia said...

a total feast for the eyes and the ears and the imagination! Wonderful! Thanks for passing on so much to all of us!