Hang Down Your Head and Cry

January 16, 2000


January has been a Dance Party around here for a long time. This particular classic is from 20 years ago, so just think how silly we’d look now. The cartoon does beg a question. At the height of folk music’s popularity, in the time of the “beatnik,” did anybody dance? I vaguely remember this period, as I was a very young boy. I remember watching on television trios or quartets of earnest, squeaky-clean young people singing mostly ballads; it would have been like dancing to a book reading. I have never been a fan of the cinematic “mockumentary.” Their humor is a bit too droll for me, and that’s saying a lot. If I have a favorite mockumentary, it would be “A Mighty Wind,” which treats the folk-music scene. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate folk music today. I do, but in manageable doses.


33 thoughts on “Hang Down Your Head and Cry”

  1. If any are interested, I think that the collection of archives for today 02/07 has been stellar. Go check out the archives starting with year 1995 and move up. You won’t be disappointed

  2. A Mighty wind is favorite mockumentaries and one of my favorite movies in general. I didn’t grow up in the folk music era but got most of the jokes. I love the gentle poking of the conventions of the genre without any mean-spiritness that seems to define comedy today. The soundtrack was really good and perfectly evoked the different branches of the folk music scene in the early 60s. (And “A Kiss At the End of the Rainbow” should have won the Oscar for best song that year.)

    • In my early 20s, I got my entrée into the music business by doing sound for a folk singer (What’s that you ask? How can you make a living doing sound for a folk singer who isn’t named Dylan? Well, I’ll tell you – you can’t; but I sure had a lot of fun trying!).
      If I don’t actually know the people in “A Mighty Wind” (aside: can one do italics here? How?), I know people just like them – and we all love it, too!
      And if you do love it, for subtler humor in an extremely accurate folk-singer movie, check out “Inside Llewyn Davis” – the title character pretty much IS the guy I worked for (except he was the one with the cat).

  3. And if you want to make some professional singers sound … well, either foolish or downright gifted, ask some to sing “Tom Dooley” while the others attempt to sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

  4. I’m guessing a test for Arlo: “What good does it do to post sticky notes for you?”
    Today’s [7 Feb ’20] TIP blogspot is better than most: https://thatispriceless.blogspot.com/
    Actually, the painting is worth pondering. Taking the couple’s honest homeliness and the expectation that a couple of their social status must have a portrait done as givens, why would they/the artist create such an unattractive, unloving caricature. Would you have your formal portrait done by the artist who created that? It’s ludicrous even without Melcher’s legend.
    Peace,

    Peace,

  5. Last night, I watched the near-enough-as-to-make-no-never-mind full moon rise while being given a tour of the Husky Halfway House facility. Although it’s all too easy to overlook it these days, the fact is that there are still good people in the world.

  6. Ahhhhhh! I just spent two hours on YouTube listening to old Kingston Trio cuts from their ’50s & ’60s albums. Absolutely delightful!

    On a sadder note for me and the MBH, our closest friends of the past 35 years just told us they were going to move a thousand miles away. Once they go, I cannot expect ever to see them again in this life…stiddleficks!

  7. Gorgeous moon rise tonight – Cheddar Yellow – we could actually see it move against the tree line – not so
    much when over head..
    .
    8inches of powder snow last night in about 7 hours. Sunshine after Noon.

  8. Side: [Sorry this took so long; recalcitrant laptop.]
    Warts & all, yes, but artists have some latitude in the expressions on their subjects’ faces. Also, they are likely being paid to paint an acceptable portrait. Most formal portraits show pleasant, bland, businesslike, serious, commanding, or some such expressions. Take John Singer Sargent, for instance. [Elaine and I timed our last trip to DC (2008 or so) to coincide w/ a JSS special at the Smithsonian.] Marvelous painter.
    Sometimes, under different financial circumstances, artists may use models, or simply their imagination, to send us a message. The models for Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” were not actually related but the painting represents a stern farmer and his unmarried but kept at home daughter. She clearly resents him. Or the smug, self-important ladies in Wood’s “Daughters of Revolution.” Elaine’s mother was a member of the DAR, so Elaine qualified. Vernera was not happy that Elaine declined to follow suit.
    IMO, the wife in Carl Joseph Begas’s painting clearly “has issues” with her husband, so I wonder what Begas is up to.
    Peace,

  9. Egg at the MN bald eagle nest site, somewhere nr the Twin Cities.
    https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/features/webcams/eaglecam/index.html
    One bird at the equally snowy Decorah site may be on an egg. Can’t tell.
    Nothing at the peregrine bldg in Baltimore, though I’ve often seen individual birds at the site lately. Nobody back yet at the Great Spirit nestbox farther downriver, but those birds have to winter farther S: no starlings & pigeons in parks below a skyscraper.
    Peace,

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