Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dance You Hippies, Dance

   Dance You Hippy (Hippie) Dance is a delightful song concocted by Tim O'Brien and Jesse Lamb, well known to the Morgantown Old Time scene for his other sogs such as "Let's Go Hunting," most famously performed by Keith McManus and crew at the Wednesday Night Jam at the Morgantown Brewing Company.  

    Dance You Hippy Dance is based upon an old fiddle tune known variously  as Brown Eyed Rabbit or Big Eyed Rabbit.   Doubtless it comes to us from Scotland or Ireland as a foot-stomping fiddle melody and probably the lyrics were added in America in the 19th or early 20th century, but I have no direct proof of that process.  

   Tim and Jesse have created a great variant, with a catchy refrain. I can imagine that at a wedding or bar setting, this song might get everyone up and dancing, kind of an Old Time version of the Electric Boogie.         

     The video shows shows both young and old playing music, dancing and having fun.  It's not some kind of fantastic clever dance, just a simple improvised shuffle that virtually anyone can do  
     That really is the way that this music and dance are passed down from one generation to the next.   At our jam there are at least 4 families with multigenerational representation (the Shanks with Bob and Robert;  the Eddy's with papa Richard and daughters Rachel and Libby; the Halls with Mike and Mitch;  and the McManuses with Keith and Shane).  

You see?  The family what plays Old Time together, stays together! Where else do you find kids and parents partying together like this? That is part of the unique appeal of Appalachian music and culture. 

If Tim and Jesse will permit me one editorial suggestion, however, I would sing "Dance you hippies dance" which in other words encourages everyone to dance, just like in the video.  If there is just one "hippie"   we are left to imagine that there may be only one particular guy being asked to dance. But okay.    

     Another thing that I thought was cool about the video is the bagpipes player.  In Old Time music, we usually do not have a bagpipes player, but somehow, musically speaking, we all have Scottish Irish ancestry, and there seems to be some dormant gene that is activated by bringing in a bagpipes.  On rare occasion we have been fortunate enough to have  a bagpipe player in the Morgantown jam.  It brings an audience to its feet, absolutely spectacular if done well.  

A Part:  A A A D   
              D A A E    E A

B Part:  A E E A 
              A E E A 

Dance You Hippy Dance by Tim O’Brien and Jesse Lamb ©2013 No Bad Ham Music / ASCAP / administered by Bluewater Music.

Yonder comes a hippy, how you think I know?
See that long hair hangin’ down, smell patchouli oil
Dance you hippy dance, dance you hippy dance
Dance you hippy dance, dance you hippy dance

Once I was a hippy back when I was young
I still dance the same way, I still dance in tongues

Do you have a hackie sack, are you wearing dreads?
Follow Yonder Mountain? You heard what I said

Do you go to Delfest, Hardly Strictly too?
In between is Telluride, bring your hula-hoop

Dirk is on the fiddle, Michael’s on the flute
Johnny’s on the guitar, but where’s my hula hoop?

I love this little farm girl, she dance the best she can
Through her daddy’s wheat field, I call her “Kansas Jan”

I knew her for a long time, but now she lives with me
In the town of Nashville, call her “Janessee”

(Swing, cha-cha-cha, huckelbuck,
noodle dance, swim to Atlantis now
get up offa that thing, and feel better,

I dress in a special style, flannel derby weird
I call it “Lumbersexual”, grow a big old beard

If you’re up in Glasgow, here’s what they all say
If you like good dancin’, look for Molly Mae

(Dance in your own style)

Yonder comes a hippy, how you think I know?
See that long hair hangin’ down, smell patchouli oil

Recorded Groundhog Day 2015, Gorbel’s Sound, Glasgow Scotland
Jim Neilson engineer
Mixed by David Ferguson at the Butcher Shoppe, Nashville

Dirk Powell – fiddle
Michael McGoldrick – whistle
John Doyle – guitar
Jan Fabricius – mandolin and vocal
Tim O’Brien – banjo, bass and vocal
Dance You Hippy Dance video filmed and edited by Graham Maciver