Sunday, January 3, 2010
I used to enjoy the stringbands. I remember going to the Mummers parade when I was a teenager and into my 20s. I had family who lived in South Philly near Broad and Snider, which is approximately where the parade began, so the folks weren't so drunk yet.
But the best part was the stringbands. I recall dad watching the parade on TV and commenting about the costumes, which ones he likes, and then which band(s) sounded the best. I don't know how he could tell which costumes were the best because we had a black and white TV, but he gave his commentary along with the TV hosts.
Well, today, I was able to catch a rerun of this year's Mummers parade -- the stringbands. I was so very disappointed.
I don't know what happened to the marching band. Now it's a run-around the street band. The costumes -- which I saw in color -- were just plain ugly. Very few sequins or feathers. It looked to me like they went to an Oriental Trading Company catalog and ordered costumes for their bands. And the music? Well, I couldn't really call it that. Maybe it was the way the microphones were picking up the various instruments.
I recognized a few of the musical numbers, but mostly the songs were unfamiliar. You know, folks, some songs just done lend themselves to stringbands. Banjos are made to play certain types of songs, and so are saxaphones. Clarinets? Yikes. All I heard was squeaks.
If you want to know more about the Philadelphia Mummers parades, go to: http://www.gophila.com/C/The_Holidays_in_Philadelphia/497/U/The_Mummers_Parade/1489.html
Posted by Judi Hahn at 1/03/2010 07:02:00 PM