MacDonald, Faber (speech) - Communities ask too much of fiddlers | Bowing Down Home
FM – Rev. FaberMacDonald
FM: Your question brings up another consideration in terms of the gift, you see. I can recall the many different fiddlers who came from the little community where I was brought up, which is just about 10 miles from, here, Little Pond, and I remember I was a very, very small child, I remember my father on his farm having constructed a machine shed and to open it: had to be a dance. You see, that was the custom, to open up a new building you danced, you see. The community came together and danced. And the parish hall wasn't far from where I lived and many of the fiddlers who came there, especially at winter, would stop at our house to put their horse in and also to get a lunch before they’d go to the hall and play and I would accompany my mother to the hall. And I'd sit there all night and watch that. I observed first hand very early the central place the fiddler had in the life of the people. However, again, like everything else, a certain perversion can set in and did set in. In a lot of instances where the community began to think they owned the fiddler, too. So just as in the case of the individual fiddler himself, he can probably lose sight of the fact that his gift is not exclusively for himself. It's for others. The community can have the same kind of possesiveness. And so the community has a responsibility to insure that the gift remains a gift and not a possession. Both the community and the individual have to ensure that the gift remains purely gift, and not a possession.