Hello Dear Readers!
I found this wonderful Viennese Folk Dancing LP at the thrift store for us to examine more closely. Let’s take a little look see, shall we?
Here we have a collection of Viennese dance-songs which are sung by Austrian man peasants while other Austrian peasants perform intricate Viennese folk dances.
Well now! Isn’t that 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 featured on this LP might be about:
First up is the hauntingly beautiful —
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 and 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