Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween Wishes

These are the "yes" RSVPs attending the Village Parade. (Go to Heather's Animation here to see them animated. She is brilliant!)

I love Halloween just as much now as I did as a child. What's not to like about a chance to dress up in costume, eat tasty treats, spook your friends (with gore) and PARTY.
When I was a congressional intern in Washington, D.C. there were bewitching festivities on Halloween night in the streets of Georgetown. As darkness fell, zombies, skeletons and bloody, lacerated faces walked M street in every direction before dispersing into bars, restaurants and private parties.

Here in New York City the annual Village Parade marches up Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village on Halloween night. The parade was founded in 1974 by Ralph Lee, who worked as a mask and giant puppet designer in the theater. Giant marionettes, controlled by puppeteers, are still part of the parade today.

ANYONE in costume can join the parade, and it can get wildly creative and bizarre. People dress as aliens, cartoon characters, landmarks, mermaids, Frankenstein, a Monopoly Game set, a brass band of mummies, brides and grooms, celebrities, politicians, massage parlor employees, royalty, super heroes and so much more. You will see anything and everything, including dog owners with their pets disguised as a lion tamer and lion cub, or a feathered swan and "her" ugly duckling. The Village Halloween Parade may be big, exotic and original, but it's also friendly and very much a neighborhood celebration.

The Village Parade almost didn't happen this year. Last year's cancellation due to the blackout of lower Manhattan caused by Hurricane Sandy left a huge debt. The organizers successfully raised $50,000 by appealing to the public, and thanks to private donations from ordinary people, it's back on.

And now to put you in the Halloween spirit, I dug up a classic, yet haunting song performed by a dead artist who influenced an entire generation of singers who followed him. Have you heard of this iconic singer and songwriter? A blast from the past. Guess who???
Have a safe, frightening and Happy Halloween!

You may also enjoy:
Ready For Halloween?
Halloween Tricks And Treats
A Sweet And Haunting Halloween
Watching Game Of Thrones


  1. Long Black Veil is an ultimate country song and a great choice for this page. I have deconstructed it numerous times over the years- it's a great romantic ballad in that he is looking up from the grave (or down from heaven- yes heaven, and not hell) at his beloved, whom he died for. This was also done by "the Band". Though this is not "Guilty Pleasures 3", thre other spooky other worldly CW songs that I would recommend are "Bringing Mary Home" by Billy Ed Wheeler, "Phantom 309" by Red Sovine, and, one of my all time faves- "Saunders Ferry Lane" by Sammi Smith.

  2. @Barry: I'm glad you like the post.

    I think the song is brilliant, even though I'm disturbed by the fact that someone would remain silent and let an innocent person be executed. That kind of ruins the romatic notion for me.

    I get that speaking up meant she (and her family) would become outcasts in their town, but dead is dead. She didn't do the right thing. And ... what's the deal with her lover? He could've done better in the romance department by falling for someone who would have done ANYTHING to keep him alive! Like how about coming forward and telling the truth! Crying on his grave? Too late, sister. :)

    I love the Band's version too, by the way. Probably Lefty's is my favorite redition. His silky smooth voice and delivery gives the song pathos and a haunting quality. Notice how he can sing the song all by himself without any harmony. That's how good he was.

    1. It turns out the Sammi Smith (mentioned above) also did "Long Black Veil"- though it's a very gothic version. Lefty could do a wide range of notes and that makes it sound like there are is someone doing the harmonies- but it's all him.

      As far as the song, you might argue that the guy should not have been fooling around with a married girl, and, worse- the wife of someone very close to him. But, he did a noble thing- and paid with his life. Should the girl have come to his "rescue"? Maybe- I think that's what you are saying? Yes, she visits his grave as the night winds wail (refer to Sammi in Saunders Ferry Lane singing "standing by the water, in the icy winter wind.." goose bump material, perfect for Halloween). I would propose a different view than you have- they both chose "life"- for her. It's like that Dracula thing you wrote about, one must die so that the other one lives. I disagree with you about the romance angle- much like the sex appeal of Dracula, the one dies/ one lives thing is like giving yourself, literally, to God (or whomever the supreme being is) to celebrate the partner.

    2. @Barry: We can disagree on this one, as well as, our Dracula interpretation. Too much drama and death for me. Personally, I'd cut and run.

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