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Happy May Day!

DigiTrad:
CORNISH MAY CAROL
DRAWING NEARER TO THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY
MAY DAY CAROL
MAY DAY CAROL (2)
MAY MORNING CAROL
MAY MORNING DEW
QUEEN OF THE MAY


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GUEST 01 May 02 - 09:41 AM
Mrrzy 01 May 02 - 10:43 AM
GUEST 01 May 02 - 11:27 AM
Gypsy 01 May 02 - 11:28 AM
Bennet Zurofsky 01 May 02 - 11:46 AM
SharonA 01 May 02 - 11:49 AM
greg stephens 01 May 02 - 12:02 PM
Fibula Mattock 01 May 02 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 01 May 02 - 12:27 PM
GUEST 01 May 02 - 12:29 PM
CapriUni 01 May 02 - 12:42 PM
CapriUni 01 May 02 - 12:50 PM
SharonA 01 May 02 - 03:06 PM
CapriUni 01 May 02 - 03:32 PM
Wyrd Sister 01 May 02 - 03:43 PM
Peg 02 May 02 - 10:58 AM
CapriUni 02 May 02 - 12:40 PM
Deda 02 May 02 - 01:30 PM
Mary in Kentucky 02 May 02 - 02:35 PM
Mary in Kentucky 02 May 02 - 02:39 PM
53 03 May 02 - 01:16 PM
Mrrzy 03 May 02 - 01:55 PM
CapriUni 04 May 02 - 02:24 PM
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Subject: Happy May Day!
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 02 - 09:41 AM

To one and all. Here can be found a charming little interview from RTE Radio's "Morning Ireland" program (Real Audio) on the history of the holiday in Ireland and Europe:

http://www.rte.ie/news/2000/0501/morningireland/morningireland8A


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 May 02 - 10:43 AM

Ah to be in france with the muguet!


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 02 - 11:27 AM

So what are some Franco or Gallic May Day traditions? Or songs?


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: Gypsy
Date: 01 May 02 - 11:28 AM

"Oh won't you come and dance with me, On this May day morning?" And a blessed MayDay to you all as well. Our Farmers Market starts today, and auspicious beginning. Particularly since it POURED yesterday, very glad to see the sun today...gypsywhowillbeworkingthestreetstoday.....


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 01 May 02 - 11:46 AM

Today is Mayday! It is a day of International Worker Celebration! Tonight at 7 p.m. there will be a Mayday Celebration at the American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark in Haledon, NJ (83 Norwood Street; (973-595-7953)! Appearing, among others, will be The Solidarity Singers of the IUC, Anne Feeney, Paul Robeson and Mother Jones! The Solidarity Singers will also be releasing their new CD "Solidarity Can't Be Beat"! There will be refreshments and admission is free! Please come!


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: SharonA
Date: 01 May 02 - 11:49 AM

I never really knew what May Day was all about, so I looked it up...

http://www.mayweek.ab.ca/ Unfortunately, the links there to "The Origins and Traditions of May Day" and "May Day: From Pagan Origins to the Labor Movement" don't work (right now, at least).

Another site explains the pagan origins: http://www.planet.net.au/innovations/may96/mayday.html

A bit more about origins (with the "earliest know picture of a May-pole" – be sure to click on the link beneath the picture to see more): http://salmonriver.com/words/nancy/maia.html

A bit about American activism on May Days past: http://students.washington.edu/ruckus/vol-2/issue-6/mayday.html

Interesting little editorial about Labor Day vs. May Day: http://www.cs.uni.edu/~campbell/gened/labour.html

Morris Dancing & May Day Games, from Walford's Antiquarian, 1886: http://chrisbrady.itgo.com/morris/morris.htm

Celebrating May Day (some activities for teachers and kids, including simple songs): http://www.umkc.edu/imc/mayday.htm This site says that children in France tie flowers to cows' tails for May Day. True?


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 May 02 - 12:02 PM

Hooray Hooray The First of May/ Outdoor ****ing starts today (I typed that out in full on a recent thread but I'll be politer today). Many congratulations to anyone who went out on a very wet and windy morning to do the business and make sure the world goes round for another year. I didn't open my door...thanks to those who did.


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 01 May 02 - 12:06 PM

Ahhh, it wasn't wet and windy here in Bristol - it was quite nice actually. Not that I made it outside either. Does having the window wide open count?


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 01 May 02 - 12:27 PM

70 degress here in sunny southern California! May day and all is right with the waves. Dude, hang 10. That wave is knarly, man. :-)


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 02 - 12:29 PM

Pinch punch first of the month - no return!!


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: CapriUni
Date: 01 May 02 - 12:42 PM

Traditionally (as I understand it), each region/city/community had their own Mayday Carol. Since Mudcat is a community extraordinaire, I think we deserve a carol of our own! And so, I humbly offer the following to you for tweaking, adding to, writing a melody for, or soundly spoofing:

THE MUDCAT CAFE MAYDAY CAROL
(a work in progress)

Hooray, hooray, hooray, hooray!!!
Let's raise our voices and sing for May!


Doing a virtual cyber-dance
From Alaska to the shores of France
From Nova-Scotia to the Missisip
(Even catfish dance and skip)

Hooray, hooray, hooray, hooray!!!
Let's raise our voices for work and play!



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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: CapriUni
Date: 01 May 02 - 12:50 PM

"Does having the window wide open count?"

It does in my book, Fibula

(Ann, who has the door to her screen porch wide open...I'll be parking myself out there shortly, with a good book in hand)

The trees here in Chesapeake, Virginia passed the

"Just a sprout, but it's well budded out" [I think that's from the Coventry Mayday carol] stage about a month ago... but there's still that special energy in the air, nonetheless. I can't decide which is my favorite holiday -- Mayday, or Yule... I'm glad I have Mudcatters with whom I can share both...


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: SharonA
Date: 01 May 02 - 03:06 PM

Still wondering about those cows' tails...


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: CapriUni
Date: 01 May 02 - 03:32 PM

So am I, Sharon... we got any Mudcatters from France who can answer that question -- and, if true, what do the cows feel about it?


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 01 May 02 - 03:43 PM

Sunrise, sunset - here's to summer!


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: Peg
Date: 02 May 02 - 10:58 AM

I did not get up early enough to go to the beltane on the Charles River celebration (done every year at dawn on May 1st, rain or shine, with morris dancers and songs and a cute moveable maypole!) but I did go wash my face in the dew as soon as I got out of bed!

Now I shall be beautiful all the year long, so they say...;)

I will celebrate with my coven this Saturday, our usual rite...now to find a Green Man to go a-maying with!

peg


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: CapriUni
Date: 02 May 02 - 12:40 PM

heh, heh... Good luck in your search (and if you find 2, could you send one down to Virgin-aye-ay?) ;-)


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: Deda
Date: 02 May 02 - 01:30 PM

If I had known about that thing about washing with dew, I still would have been out of luck because in the semi-arid climate where I live, we almost never get dew, and this morning, as it happened, we had a very light layer of wet snow instead. So I won't be beautiful this year, just as I feared. We didn't get nearly as much snow as we need -- we're suffering a drought. Still, apple trees and lilac trees are all in blossom. The daffodils have come and gone, and the tulips are out, and the first lettuce.


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:35 PM

It's May, it's May, the lusty month of May...

Light blue iris just bloomed...clematis in full bloom, peonies full bud. The trees now have BIG leaves. And we've had tornadoes and two hail storms in the last few days.


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:39 PM

And don't forget that Saturday is Derby Day! (THE KENTUCKY DERBY!) Here in central KY near Louisville it's an all-day celebration...so y'all think about me when you tune in for the race and hear My Old Kentucky Home.


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: 53
Date: 03 May 02 - 01:16 PM

happy may day play day.


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 May 02 - 01:55 PM

Do lilies of the valley have anything to do with May Day outside France/ French-colonized countries?


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Subject: RE: Happy May Day!
From: CapriUni
Date: 04 May 02 - 02:24 PM

Still don't know about cow's tails, Sharon, but I wanted to comment on a quote found on the second link you posted, earlier in this thread:

May is named for Maia, grandmother, the Goddess of death and fertility. Maia scorns marriage, so it is a good idea to put weddings off until June.

This morning on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Saturday (found here, later today) there was a piece on the mating behavior of female blackcap chickadees. It seems that if a female hears a higher ranking male beating her mate in a song challenge, she'll go off and have sex with the higher ranking bird, then come back to her partner to help her raise the chickadee chicks. ;-)

Naturally, this reminded me of lines such as: "take the scorn to wear the horn" etc. in May Day carols. Since Maia is a goddess of fertility, she probably doesn't scorn marriage because she doesn't want men and women to get together, but that she demands that women have the right (nay, obligation) to choose their own partners whenever they want to, rather than getting locked into a single marraige vow. During the ages when young women were "given away" in marriages arranged by their fathers, this meant adultery... That doesn't mean that all that "cuckoldry" (or should I say "chickadee-ing"?) actually went on at the time that these songs were first sung, but that idea of sexual license probably lingered in the cultural memory.

And it might also explain why, during Shakespeare's day (based on all the jokes made by his characters), the assumption is that it will be the woman who is unfaithful in marriage, rather than the man...

Just a thought.


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