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Rhythm-A-Day Blog for February 29, 2020: Bachelor's Day, Ireland

Posted by Wolf Murphy on

Bachelor's Day, Ireland

Bachelor's Day is an Irish tradition, supposed to have originated—in a beautiful blend of Pagan and Christian legend—from a deal that "Saint" Bridget (aka the Goddess Brigid) made with Saint Patrick. According to this custom, on Leap Day women are allowed to initiate dances and even propose marriage. Popular belief holds that this balances the traditional roles of men and women, similarly to the way leap day balances out the calendar.

Ballylooby Church of Our Lady and St. Kieran North Transept North Window SS. Patrick and Brigid 2012 09 08

St. Patrick and St. Brigid. North window of the north transept of The
Church of Our Lady and St. Kieran, Ballylooby, County Tipperary, Ireland.
(Photo: Andreas F. Borchert/Wikimedia Commons)

If a man refused a proposal, he was originally expected to buy the woman a silk gown. By the mid-20th century, this became a fur coat.

In the United Kingdom, a woman was allowed to propose marriage on Leap Day. If he refused her, the man was obliged to buy her new gloves on Easter Day. In some areas a woman exercise her right of proposal for the entire leap year. 

In celebration of this glorious Irish tradition of encouraging shameless hussy behavior, and based on my appreciation for a relentless bell pattern, I've adapted several parts from Sinead O'Connor's "I Want Your (Hands On Me)" as a drum circle ostinato:

Today's Video Lesson


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