Dancing and Singing and Stuff

status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

In the run-up to the Very Last Festa of the Season (to which barely anyone came because the evenings are now on the chilly side and everyone is a little festered out after all the summer shenanigans) there have been a few evenings of note.

There was the night procession from the village to one of the churches a way up the hill. Despite being dyed-in-the-wool atheists, Pooch and I are always up for a walk and so had every intention of joining the group and hoping that nobody would ask us to recite a Hail Mary or indulge in idle theological chit-chat.

However, once we discovered that this 2km walk would take nearly three hours one way, due to the pauses for prayer and a sing-song at every little shrine along the way; and that even when we reached the top we would then have to sit outside for well over an hour whilst everyone else attended Mass, we decided to give it a miss.

(I promise I didn’t indulge in a single snigger from the warmth of my cosy apartment when the heavens opened and treated the area to the coldest and wettest night it’d had for quite some time)

Then came ‘Musiche della Terra’, the first concert of which was Sufi music from Iran, and which I didn’t make due to matters of a batular nature. The second, however, was a folk group from Hungary which I felt compelled to go and see given my tenuous links to that particular country.

Magyar musicians delighting their audience

The music was pleasant enough, but the evening was made by the fabulous stories of concerts past, recounted by the bearded leader of the group. He had the entire piazza in stitches with tales of gaining the attention of a distracted public in Marseilles and holding an impromptu jamming session in a Roman bus shelter amongst other such gems.

The following night was the turn of all the local choirs, the most endearing of which was obviously the children’s choir, who sang a selection of the local songs in dialect with their breathlessly youthful voices.

The local girls’ choir ‘E garsune’ making their parents proud

The local men’s choir ‘Compagnia Sacco’ giving it some baritone welly

And that brought us up to the Very Last Festa of the Season.

I had even invited friends to the village for what I thought was going to be the event of the year, and then had to rapidly get them squiffy so they wouldn’t notice that we were practically alone in the piazza.

Despite the impoverished turn-out, we still managed to have a wonderful time watching everybody tootling round the dance floor, and even had a twirl ourselves, as we got steadily more plastered on red wine and free vodka/green apple shots that the eager barmen were pressing on my girlfriends.

The song might have been anything from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s or even 00s; in my village, all tastes are catered for

A Whirling Waltz

At the end of the night, the locals gathered to enjoy the wonderful harmonies that this village does so well. Everybody standing together to sing song after unaccompanied song, just as they’ve done for generations.

It is moments like these, moments when the hairs on the back of my arms stand up, that I realise just how lucky I am to have been able to spend so many years indulging my avid stalking of other cultures and customs. Coming from a country that boasts very few, I am drawn to them like a moth to a candle.

Eventually us girls staggered home, pished, happy and ready for bed.

Unfortunately the barmen also staggered home behind us clutching more bottles, and proceeded to keep us up chatting, boozing and singing until nearly 5 o’clock in the morning.

I can’t say we minded terribly much.

This is Status Viatoris, who will miss the party season, especially the part where she tries to teach people the correct moves to YMCA, in Italy.


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7 Responses to “Dancing and Singing and Stuff”

  1. wageslavea Says:

    The Morris Dancers are always on the lookout for new recruits in Blighty!


  2. farfalle1 Says:

    What a lot of high living! But really, you’ve had some good performances, it sounds like. There just isn’t so much of this in the States, the wandering troubadours, etc., and it’s a pity – it knits a culture together so well. As I type the cheerful melodies of Carmen are wafting across our little village – the last rose of our festa season, too…


    • statusviatoris Says:

      Music plays a very important part in the culture of this village. I’m not sure if it a ‘Ligure’ thing, or just us, but the ‘polifonia’ singing in dialect is deeply entrenched…


  3. statusviatoris Says:

    Reblogged this on Status Viatoris and commented:

    Memories for Mondays


  4. an admirer Says:

    I need to lie down in a darkened room – I’m exhausted just reading about your festivities!!


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