Hello Dear Readers! Well it’s Friday which means it’s time to fish something out of this blog’s archives in honor of this blog’s lazy streak! Let’s see . . . oh here’s a blog about Austrian Folk Dancing to start your Friday off with a kick!
Save Room for Shuh
I found a wonderful Viennese Folk Dancing LP at the thrift store for us to examine more closely. Let’s take a little look-see, shall we?
The back of the album tells us that this collection of Viennese dance-songs are sung by Austrian man peasants while other Austrian peasants perform intricate Viennese folk dances.
Well, now! Doesn’t that sound like a fine kettle of Neujahrsschießen?
I may not know much about the country of Austria, but that definitely doesn’t stop me from thinking I do. Here’s my best guess about what the Viennese songs and folk dances might be about from what I can glean from their titles.
First up is the hauntingly beautiful Viennese Folk Song Entitled:
Hochzeitmarsch aus Ebensee (from Tanze)
This ironic folk dance opens with the Austrian peasant, Hoch, who is wading in the marsh when he becomes stuck in the mud clear up to his eben, see? And a beautiful peasant girl, Aus from Tanze, grabs him — and in a series of complicated twists — manages to free his eben, see?
The act of which paralyzes Hoch for the rest of his life, even though Hoch inexplicably retains the full use of his eben, see? Which is probably where the irony comes in but nobody is really sure what’s going on so maybe not.
Next is the surprisingly poignant:
Schuhplattler (from Bauernmusi)
Austrian Peasant, Mrs. Butterhorn, dances exuberantly past all the young maidens in the village of Bauernmusi carrying a large plattler of schuh. The maidens jump and twirl for joy as Mrs. Butterhorn carries her plattler of Schuh through the village square where they all gaily sit down at the annual Neujahrsschießen Feast!
Everybody partakes heartily and dies shortly thereafter from food poisoning which everybody blamed on a bad batch of Schuh. Things are pretty much downhill from there on out. If you ever decide to go to a live performance of Schuhplattler, definitely plan to leave at the intermission.
And finally, a story that is near and dear to all our hearts:
Of all the music and dancing performed on this LP, Guggu Polka is perhaps the most well-known. We join our revelers just as Austria’s most famous seafaring explorer, Guggu Polka shimmies his way into town in celebration of his historic discovery that there is absolutely no way to get to the ocean from Austria.
His crew of 18 sailors do a fantastic kick line while dragging the would-be seafaring vessel christened The Hokey Pokey along behind them. Then the villagers put their right foot in and put their right foot out and that’s when Guggu Polka trips and dies. It may not have a happy ending, but sometimes that’s what it’s all about.
Until next time . . . I Bauerngalopp you