May-June 2015

MAY DAY DAY

By Susie Glaze

mayday clothesWe now find ourselves in the spring of the year and one of the finest songs of the season is Jean Ritchie’s original composition May Day Day. Here’s some scholarship on the song.

From our show “Singin’ The Moon Up ~ The Voice of Jean Ritchie”:

Jean’s songs grew out of the old ones. When a situation came up that didn’t have an old song to go with it, well she made up a new one. Uncle Jason would say, “if you have a set of words and you want to sing ‘em, well just get you a tune and sing the tune to ‘em!” They sometimes sound like the very old family songs. As time went by, she needed to sing a new kind of song that was original and personal… Songs to express the changing world, her love for her people and her past, and her place on earth - and hope for the future.

Name Play
Mastered-May Day Day
Smu at Penn

Cold and dark the winter, in march it snows again.

Through the rains of April, spring comes stealin’ in;

Smilin’ o’er the meadow in the risin’ light of day;

Beauty is reborn again every first of May!

For when I’m walkin’ with my darlin’ on a May Day Day,

Walkin’ with my darlin’ on a May Day Day,

Oh there’s nothin’ much a doin’ and little for to say;

But oh my heart is happy on a May Day Day!

Folks are cold and distant, the world’s about to freeze,

Never has the world known harder times than these;

Suffering world forgive me and grant me just a day;

I cannot help but hope again, every first of May!

For when I’m walkin’ with my darlin’ on a May Day Day,

Walkin’ with my darlin’ on a May Day Day,

Oh there’s nothin’ much a doin’ and little for to say;

But oh my heart is happy on a May Day Day!

One very fine musician in our group for that show was Jean’s youngest son, Jon Pickow.  Here is a link to Jon’s performance of May Day Day and his story about how the song was written and came about:

Award-winning recording artist and critically-acclaimed Bluegrass powerhouse vocalist, Susie Glaze has been called by BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED "an important voice on the California Bluegrass scene."  Her album "Blue Eyed Darlin'" was the winner of  the Just Plain Folks 2006 Music Award for Best Roots Album and FolkWorks Magazine's Pick for Best Bluegrass Album of 2005. "One of the most beautiful voices in bluegrass and folk music today." (Roz Larman of FolkScene). Susie's latest release "Green Kentucky Blues" and additional recordings can be found at www.susieglaze.com.

  

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