I can’t believe that most people will have forgotten about this ancient and rather unusual festival of ours. The 30th of May is National Megaphone Day. A long forgotten festival dating back to the late 17th century, when it had a different name, to do with commoners and noise. The festival was introduced to ‘give the plebs a voice’ just for one day, mind. For many years in market towns around Britain, the plebs and servants where allowed to walk round the towns with megaphones and anything they could bang, making as much of a bally hoo as they wanted with absolutely no danger of lock up or prosecution. All the big wigs went undercover for a day and hid away from the noise. The law has not been repealed so if you want…get out there with your leather or papier mache megaphone, find a market town and make an awful din and quote the Royal charter of 1685 passed by Jolly old King Charles the II just before his death (feb 1685). The custom was quickly quashed by the puritans, who did not like the idea of anyone doing anything that might make them feel better about themselves. It had a bit of a resurgence around the 19th century in some smaller market towns around Leicestershire like Ashby-de-la Zouch. A few Morris dancing packs and their prancers keeping going, but it is just not well known enough yet. Now is the time to bring it back, with a bang, take a friend( or friends) and a picnic….and your finest shouty voice. Long live the megaphone- shout!
SONG OF THE DAY The Wedding Song -Anias Mitchell
from Hadestown, an album that has moved me more than anything I have heard for an age album. I have been listening to it all afternoon and have not got to the end as I have to keep replaying the tracks. So into this at the moment and the whole thing of lots of musicians getting together and collaborating. I miss this. Here is a live version. Different male vocalist on album, Justin Vernon. Such a beautiful song and a great album.