The dogs do bark;
the beggars are coming to town.
Some in rags and some in tags,
and some in velvet gowns.
My two older daughters have often gritted their collective teeth in exasperation at how many times I have suggested miscellaneous costumes, names, titles, ideas, scenarios, etc. which though *obviously* clever, funny, terrifically witty to me, and even at times, they themselves, require explanation to EVERYone else in the world...
The so-called nursery rhyme above holds the key to one of the major components of my art business name, sarah fishburn: Designs & Ragtags. And it all harks back to childhood, from which I am a firm believer one must raise oneself up by the bootstraps if said childhood was something less than idyllic.
No precept was considered utterly sacred or immutable throughout my somewhat bohemian childhood; the awfulness of "begging" was the sole exception. Not only were we four kids not supposed to "accept charity"(outside of from our blood relatives - I certainly had to often as not wear ill-fitting cousin cast-offs) but, for example, we were not ever allowed to trick or treat. The man I married insists this was all because we really DID need help. Ironic...
One year I won a citywide essay contest and had no parent available to take me to the evening award ceremony, and told my teacher who consequently offered to fill in. It was touch and go, as that fell into the category of not simply charity, but begging on my part as well. Finally to my great relief, I was allowed to go, but it was not without repercussions and recriminations.
The saying is, "Pride goeth before a fall." My family's pride certainly did go before my fall. I grew up to be a woman who generally doesn't have much of a problem asking for things I want or need. World community is something I believe in with all my heart, so I try to be there for others as well, whether their needs are tangible or spiritual. The man I married is much more like my parents, and grandparents. I frequently find myself advising him to just ask for help when he needs it. More often than not, he ignores my advice and often as a result, does without.
Anyway. Back to the rhyme. According to several online sources (I edited the following):
The "Hark, hark! The dogs do bark" rhyme dates back to 13th century England. The origin...is steeped in history. Wandering minstrels, troubadours and beggars went from town to town singing their songs...Messages of dissent to the common people were often found in secret meanings in the words of their ballads. In this way, the propaganda of the day was passed from one community to another. These secret messages sometimes lead to plots and uprisings against the royalty, clergy, and politicians of the day.
But eh! Who cares for all that historical folderol? What a fabulous image comes to my mind's eye --- a raucous crowd meandering down the street, velvet gowns --- no doubt richly embroidered, if well-worn --- dragging through the dirt, ribbons streaming. Who cares if they're begging or carrying messages of revolution? All I knew then, and still believe now, is I want in. And if I have to beg for admission, so be it.
|Spanish Gypsies |
National Geographic 1917
Labels: begging, childhood, designs and ragtags studio, nursery rhymes, origins, rags, sarah fishburn