2009-04-10: The Myth of the Rambler

David hosted over 40 QNHG ramblers and friends for a great program of songs, food and conversations.  Whilst it was originally scheduled to run from 4-6pm, we said goodbye to out last guests at around 10:30.  The program took us through a history of rambling through song and was a true labour of love from David who has done a great job as the QNHG "Rambling Man" in putting together this year's program.  The party was also our fare thee well to David who is now leaving Doha, to continue his rambles for a bit in Africa and then home to western Pennsylvania.  The best wishes of the QNHG and its members go with him.
A special surprise at the party came from Simon Waldram, who has composed a QNHG Rambling Song. He performed it at the party to universal acclaim.
from David Mundie:
When I agreed to be the rambling coordinator for QNHG, I had only the vaguest notion of what rambling was, so I tried to educate myself. I can’t say that I learned very much from my research, but the quest for knowledge uncovered one treasure: it led me to discover the wonderful 400-year corpus of rambling songs.

These songs form a vibrant tradition that began in the British Isles with relatively tame songs of working men going out hiking in the woods and stopping in the pub on weekends, and exploded in North America into a way of life which found expression in successive generations of bluegrass, country,  western, blues, and rock music. Analyzing the themes in these songs, I find that they tell a coherent story about rambling – about why people ramble, about what happens to them during the ramble, and about why ultimately they give up rambling. I think of this story as the Myth of the Rambler.

These songs, by turns raucous and haunting, ebulient and bittersweet, have shown me the true meaning of rambling and have given me insight into my own adventure here in Qatar. In the hope that you, my fellow ramblers, will also discover them, I invite you to a rambling song party which will close my participation in the 2008/9 rambling season. At the party, I will give a 30-minute overview of the Myth of the Rambler, and will illustrate it with selections from some of my favorite rambling songs, featuring performances by such singers as Seamus Kennedy, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Gene Autry, Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Perry Como, Waylon Jennings, Tom Paxton, Emer Kenny, Joan Baez, and Buffie Sainte-Marie.

The party was held on Friday, April 10th  at Mike Lesser’s House .