Dance parties around Rustico | Bowing Down Home

Transcript

File: doironpeter-oh-housedances_M.mp3


Speakers:

PD – Peter Doiron


PD: There'd be house dances back then mostly. And if there were tea parties or picnics, they would have a stage outside where they would, I think,

charge so much to get on the stage. And they would dance away half the night. And there would be a fiddle, possibly spoons, or an old tin pan to keep time with the fiddle rather than have another instrument. Occasionally they were fortunate enough to have somebody who played guitar well enough to accompany, but the feet and the banging of a pan or a set of spoons, that's about it. That was about the height of the orchestra back there in Rustico at that time. That's when I was very, very young. I remember, well I was 11 years old when I started taking it [the fiddle] up and these things were happening prior to that, and probably after that. But I do remember at weddings, I remember my grandmother was married I think for the 2nd or 3rd time, I don't know. She had never been divorced. She had written off two husbands in her lifetime (laughs) and there was a wedding. My father was a very muscular, a big man. He played fiddle all night. I remember one smart Alec coming to him one night and saying to him, "Could I get a demonstration of your ability", meaning physical ability, I guess. I think he must have had a couple of drinks, but he just grabbed this fellow by the shoulders somehow and I remember him just tossing him up against the wall that way and that kinda surprised kids, you know. What's going on here? Is this a fight? But that was it. That was all there was to it. His trade was blacksmithing, and he necessarily would have strong arms because of the trade he was in.