Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mummer, Not Murmer

I'm not sure if this goes with today's theme of polka music or not, but it popped into my head when I was looking for something new to share.  In my record hunts, I frequently see these string band records, often talking about mummers or mummer parades, and I'm really not sure what it's all about.  To my untrained eye, it looks a little like a parade I saw once in San Francisco, but the less said about that, the better.  No offense to these guys who dress up in feathers and march in parades, but, umm, well, whatever.  But this is the first of those records I've seen that featured holiday music, so I wanted to share it with you.  I think you'll enjoy Happy Holiday With The Best Of The Mummers (Sure SM-Vol. 13, Mono).

1. Quaker City String Band-Happy Holiday And White Christmas
2. Quaker City String Band-Jingle Bells
3. Greater Kensington String Band-Silver Bells
4. Greater Kensington String Band-Winter Wonderland
5. Polish-American String Band-Christmas Bells
6. Polish-American String Band-Mistletoe Polka
7. Greater Kensington String Band-I'll Be Home For Christmas
8. Greater Kensington String Band-Silent Night
9. Polish-American String Band-Christmas Time
10. Polish-American String Band-Jingle Bells Polka
11. Quaker City String Band-Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
12. Polish-American String Band-Happy New Year To You
13. Aqua String Band-Golden Slippers and Four Leaf Clover
14. Aqua String Band-Auld Lang Syne



Phillyradiogeek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phillyradiogeek said...

I'm thrilled that you posted this! I'm a former Mummer myself, and I wrote an article about the Mummers on my blog several years ago. It's difficult to explain it to those outside the Philadelphia area, but I hope my article will at least pique your curiosity and provide better resources if you want to learn more. Thanks!


And no, most of us aren't gay--at least not consciously so ;)

Unknown said...

It's definitely a Philly thing. Grew up in the Philadelphia area and it was required viewing in our house. They've been airing the string band competition on WGN the last couple years, but sadly, not live.

HellboundAlleee said...

Ah yes, Mumming has been around for at least a couple thousand years. The god "Momia" was the god of mockery in Greece. Momia oversaw the season of Misrule when all societal roles were seemlingly turned upside down. It's a sort of Carnavale. In Nova Scotia and England, Mummers are bar performers/traveling actors who perform masquerades.

Of course, the Mummers' Parades are kind of a whole new thing with string bands and such, dating back quite a few years.

Mr Walker said...

I found this at a thrift store and when I took the vinyl out to check it's condition... it was a different LP altogether.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's mostly a Philly thing here in the US. I recognized the bands instantly. I had a bunch of friends in various bands. And my sister was in the parade one year, back when it was still mostly closed to women.

Anonymous said...

I was just trying to explain to my wife the other day about Philadelphia Mummers. Their parade was the Thanksgiving alternative to Macy's when I was growing up. Thanks for sharing this, so I can share it with her and enjoy Mummer string band music again.

Chris in Cary