Dances around St. Peters Lake | Bowing Down Home


File: macdonaldfrancis06-oh-districtdances_M.mp3


FM – Francis MacDonald

KP: Curator Ken Perlman

KP: Did you ever have house parties at your house?

FM: Yes, I remember them having some parties there, some wedding showers and dances in our home there, in the kitchen, home there I remember several times this happened. The fiddlers and musicians come in and start playin', and there would be a lot from around the community come in and they danced till probably two or three o’clock in the mornin, probably. After the younger crowd grew up and got married, they used to have the dances then in the old school houses then: socials and a game of cards first, and a dance after, after the cards. So, life went on like that back, that would be back in the 50s I suppose, the early 50s: 40s, 50s.

KP: And were there other kinds of benefit events besides the school dances, like were there events to benefit the church?.

FM: There'd be a church picnic They had church picnics.

KP: Could you tell me something about the church picnics?

FM: They'd have it outside; [they’d have] a stage built outside for a dance floor for dancing outside. They had a dance connected with that then, too. That’d be bigger crowds and bigger sets for them occasions.

FM: I remember playing at a wedding one night, I was only after startin to play, they let me play a set on an outdoor dance platform for a wedding. That was one of my first introductions to wedding dances. There was a good crowd of people around for it. They danced to the wee hours of the mornin, as long as there was fiddle music there and fiddlers to play. I think there was three fiddlers there that night.

FM=s father was named Ronny MacDonald, his mother was Gertrude MacAdam. Her father and uncle played a little bit but they weren=t dance fiddlers.

KP: Who were other dance fiddlers who played in the community

Victor McPhee (Angus McPhee=s uncle and a cousin of Ronny MacDonald), Roddy MacAdam, Joe MacDonald from St. Andrews, Francis MacKinnon from Pisquid a left handed fiddler, Hector macDonald (Allan MacDonald=s father). They also played at school dances.