Sunday, April 10, 2005

A Bat Mitzvah in Charlotte

By the time we got back from Charlotte NC last night and I was in bed, I'd been awake for 24 hours. My typos this morning are numerous.

The party we played for was a good gig, i.e.:
  • The directions were good (they got us there);
  • There was a close place to park;
  • The people were nice and paid us well;
  • We had a "defensible position" where neither drunks nor little children would stumble over us and our equipment;
  • The food was good and we were exhorted to eat it;
  • They liked the music and we had a good time playing for them.
A bat mitzvah is the modern equivalent, for girls, of the age-old bar mitzvah ceremony. The 13-year-old, now dubbed (erroneously, in my opinion) an adult, conducts a torah service at the temple. Then there's a party, and this was it.

The high point may have been singing Hamavdil as the girl, her parents, and their rabbi stood in the gathering dark behind the braided candle at the end of the Sabbath. Here are some other moments I enjoyed:

"Hope for the Best" by Mel Brooks. "Hope for the best, expect the worst: life is a stage, we're unrehearsed... some drink champagne, some die of thirst ... the rich are blessed the poor are cursed (that is a fact, friends the deck is stacked, friends ...)"

"Zeydns Nigndl" in which the protagonist has been told that grandfather's special little song, the tune to end all tunes, is found at the bottom of a glass of vine - but it wasn't at the bottom of the first, second, or third...

"Love Potion #9" which everybody seemed to know. "I told her that I was a flop with chicks, I've been that way since nineteen - fifty-six..."

We did our new mariachi numbers, a big batch of Israeli dances (and most everybody danced whether they knew how or not), some really sweet waltzes in Yiddish and Ladino.

We did some swing tunes and the dad danced with the bat mitzvah girl, and his parents came up and then he danced with his mom and his daughter danced with her grandfather. It was ultra-cute.

The song stuck in my head on the drive home was "Limbo Rock" by Chubby Checker. It had provided a welcome opportunity for chaos among the youngest kids, who had been on best behavior entirely too long. But it's a viciously viral ear-worm and was stuck in my head all the way home. If I'm not careful it's going to worm its way back in right now, so... on to today's challenge, ripping the door out of my kitchen.

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At 10:09 AM, Anonymous corey said...

Do you have any of your music available in mp3 for download? I'd love to hear it.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Craig said...

I drove weekend taxi on the night shift in Seattle for about five years, from '76 to '81. Those were pretty slow years for Chubby Checker, but folks liked him in Seattle and he had a semi-permanent gig at the Edgewater Hotel which is on a pier down on the waterfront. The hotel's motto was "fish from your window". I got some really outrageous fares from the Edgewater in the Chubby Checker era.


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