Monday, April 13, 2015

2443 Hoedown

Every now and then a word will come up in conversation and I'll stop to think about it because it sounds a little funny.  Like the word hoedown.  Where the heck did that word come from?

On my way to the internet to check it out, various possibilities danced through my thoughts.  Did its origins involve some sort of gardening or farming implement?  Is it related to hootenanny in some way? 

I remember the Hootenanny show on TV when I was a young folk.  Like many of those shows of the era it led to similar productions.  In this case Shindig, if I recall.  Odd because "Shindig" sounds quite painful to the leg.  And "Hootenanny" calls to mind an owlish babysitter. 

Both of them were more folk than country music even though the word hootenanny definitely has a country folk feel to it.  Like yee-haw and hoop-de-doo.  Phrases you expect some chaw chewing rangy fellah to shout out when a good-looking cow wanders into the pasture.

So hoedown seemed like it was of similar origins.  The wiki-net said something not far off.  It was first a particular folk dance, and then it became synonymous with a dancefest generally. 

As far as what the dance looked like, the infoweb was not as forthcoming, although it did offer comparisons to other dances from the era, saying it was most likely related to a jig, reel or clog dance.  Somehow I never would have pictured a hoedown being similar to a clog dance.

A hoedown was also a dance with a succession of dancers trying to outdo each other for dancing supremacy.  Like a breakdance competition perhaps, or the Brooklyn boogie-ers from Saturday Night Fever.

Sadly, nowhere did there appear to be any garden hoes involved.  

America, ya gotta love it. 

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