Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May Day!

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Mr. B. picked some daisies by the side of the road for me today...

they brought back still more childhood memories...

Did you sing that song, ..."Daisy, daisy, give me your answer, do..."
when you were little? I did...a lot, if memory serves...it was only one of my wide repertoire, sung loudly (and off-key, I'm sure ~ I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket) while swinging on the little wooden-seated swing that hung under my Grandma and Grandpa's carport...

I got to thinking about that little song...what was it called? ("A Bicycle Built for Two" was what I thought...) ~ Here is what I found on Wikipedia...
"Daisy Bell" was composed by Harry Dacre in 1892. As David Ewen writes in American Popular Songs[1]
When Dacre, an English popular composer, first came to the United States, he brought with him a bicycle, for which he was charged duty. His friend (songwriter William Jerome) remarked lightly: 'It's lucky you didn't bring a bicycle built for two, otherwise you'd have to pay double duty.' Dacre was so taken with the phrase 'bicycle built for two' that he decided to use it in a song. That song, Daisy Bell, first became successful in a London music hall, in a performance by Katie Lawrence. Tony Pastor was the first one to sing it in the United States. Its success in America began when Jennie Lindsay brought down the house with it at the Atlantic Gardens on the Bowery early in 1892.
So..."Daisy Bell" it is....you learn something new every day (it doesn't have to be useful)!

Daisies grew in the alley behind my Grandma and Grandpa Collier's house, too...they didn't last long, however, as my little girlfriends and I used them as fortune-tellers practically as soon as they unfurled their little petals...

"He loves me, he loves me not"...

Except we didn't really care about the "love" fortune-telling part...

We used them to foretell more important things...

"Will I get a bicycle for my birthday?"

"Will I ever get a pony??"

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A Maypole Dance in Central Park, 1905

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A Victorian trade card for Childs' Golden Japanese May Berry

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A sweet little vintage May Day postcard...

A maypole is a tall wooden pole erected as a part of various European folk festivals, particularly on May Day, or Pentecost (Whitsun) although in some countries it is instead erected at Midsummer. In some cases the maypole is a permanent feature that is only utilised during the festival, although in other cases it is erected specifically for the purpose before being taken down again.
Primarily found within the nations of Germanic Europe and the neighbouring areas which they have influenced, its origins remain unknown, although it has been speculated that it originally had some importance in the Germanic paganism of Iron Age and early Medieval cultures, and that the tradition survived Christianisation, albeit losing any original meaning that it had. It has been a recorded practice in many parts of Europe throughout the Medieval and Early Modern periods, although became less popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the tradition is still observed in some parts of Europe and amongst European communities in North America.
  
For the Ribbon Dance, dancers gather in a circle, each holding a colored ribbon attached to a much smaller pole. As the dance commences the ribbons are intertwined and plaited either on to the pole itself or into a web around the pole. The dancers may then retrace their steps exactly in order to unravel the ribbons. This style of maypole dancing originates in the 18th century, and is derived from traditional and 'art' dance forms popular in Italy and France. These were exported to the London stage and reached a large audience, becoming part of the popular performance repertoire. Adopted at a large teacher training institution, the ribbon maypole dance then spread across much of England, and is now regarded as the most 'traditional' of May Day's traditional characteristics.

The earliest use of the Maypole in America occurred in 1628 in New Plymouth, where a number of servants broke free from their indentured service to create their own colony, setting up a maypole in the center of the settlement, and behaving in such a way as to receive the scorn and disapproval of the nearby colonies.


There you have it...May Day and daisy trivia...you never know when it will come in handy! :^)

I hope everyone said "Rabbit, rabbit"!

Happy Wednesday, all.

♥ ♥ ♥
Anne

23 comments:

  1. What a lovely genteel post. Enjoyed reading. Can I ask what type of camera you use? Your photos are great quality. I'm looking for a new camera now.

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  2. Hello Anne, I love your daisy photograhs and all your Mayday stories. We used to love making daisy chains and daisy caterpillers when young! Jane xx

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  3. We used to sing that song at school! I'd forgotten all about it. I remember thinking a bicycle built for two would be quite the thing to have.

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  4. What a lovely post. I remember singing that song when I was little.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  5. Hello...Happy May day to you also..i can renember the song too..and the making of daisy chains...xx lovely memories xx

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  6. Hi Anne,

    I love your daisy photos. They are one of my favorite flowers.

    It's neat to learn new things. Thanks for sharing the info on the song. The tune is going through my head now. lol

    Yesterday I Googled info on May Day. It is interesting how that came about.

    Have a great day. :)
    Take care, Janet W

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  7. Hi Miss Anne,

    Good Morning. I love daisies, Dad brought me a bunch on Monday after my "bearcedure" and LuLu ate them. So she had to sit in the naughty teddy bear chair all evening.

    We love your Blog, it's such a nice place to visit.

    Hugs
    Prudence

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  8. I soo remember that song. Now it will be running through my head all day- Honestly, I don't know if I love it THAT much!;>)

    We used to do the Maypole thing at our school when I was little. It was always fun.

    I hope you have a great day- xo Diana

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  9. Another fun post, love all the interesting tidbits you find to write about. My Daisy song is "i'll Give You A Daisy A Day"
    my dad always sang that one. Not my favorite flower though....they smell not nice in a bouquet, I planted them once and they took over several gardens....or maybe I just never got that wish as a child and I secretly resent them LOL.
    I would like to see the maypole dance actually preformed, it looks like fun.

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  10. Oh, Anne! I love this post! I enjoyed reading the "Daisy Bell" history, and I have spent many hours singing the same songs throughout my childhood, then again when I became a mother, singing them to my young children. I doubt they remember them now. You have become a real source of important information for this day!
    xoxo Nellie

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  11. What a fun post!

    I sang bicycle built for 2 to my son when he got married... 'cause he is as poor as a church mouse~LOL!

    Hope you had a happy May Day too :)

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  12. We did the maypole in school...years ago. Thanks for the memory :-).

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  13. It's my first time visiting here, and I am really enjoying looking around. Your bog is very pretty.

    I do remember the song. Hadn't thought about it though for years.

    Thank you for visiting and for being my newest follower. I am now following you.

    Hugs
    Iris

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  14. Here we go round the Maypole to you, too! Richard from My Old Historic House.

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  15. Thank you for the May day info!
    Happy (belated) May day.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

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  16. Happy May Day to you as well..Love the daisies..I remember those old songs..took me back a few years..

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  17. I have a dog named Daisy so I especially enjoyed the Daisy trivia. Her name is Daisy May actually--because we got her in May.

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  18. Those bloom photos are just incredible! I recently caved with an impulse buy, and picked up a "Banana Creme Shasta Daisy". If they are half this beautiful - I will be over the moon!

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  19. Wow I am about three days late - but Happy May Day! Love, sandie

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  20. Anne thanks for sharing the story about "The Bicycle Built For Two" - that was always one of those favorite songs my Grandma would sing to me - your postcards are grand. You take care xo Pixie

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  21. Wonderful info thank you !!! Here in Europe it is still celebrated. I think there are still places in England that celebrate May 1st.
    Our son was born on May 1st, so we have a party each year ; )Our daughter was born late in the evening of December 20th, so she's nearly a Winter solstice child ; )
    Have a great day.

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  22. I love the thought of a May-Pole, flowers and little kids dressing up. What a neat picture you found from Central Park!

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  23. Such a pretty post, my sweet friend! Your blog is such a bright place to be! I miss the May Days of my 1950s childhood. We always made paper cones with little handles, filled them with tiny daisies, four leaf clover and yes, even dandelions. What fun we had hanging them on all our neighbor's doors...ringing the bell and running and hiding in time to see them open the door to discover their posie baskets.
    Thank you for your delightful post, sweet friend.
    Blessings,
    Carolynn

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