Thanks to Bill Ferencz for the You Tube
That was Louis Armstrong with When The Saints Go Marching In. Who else on All Saints Day should play When the Saints Go Marching In?
Halloween has become a very big deal in recent decades, much to my surprise. When I was a child, it was a children’s night where people put on their porch lights and passed out candy and bubble gum. Even then, I don’t remember getting all jazzed up about it. What I remember most, being a baby boomer in the U.S., were the hordes of kids out on the streets (baby boomers were born in the years between 1946 and 1960.) There must have been over 1,000 kids on my street on the night I remember. They wore their costumes—boys as pirates or cowboys, girls as Tinker Bell—and all had bags for their candy. In the late 70’s, working in an office at the time, adults began coming to work on Halloween in costumes—as vampires, dominatrixes, Frankensteins, and other monsters. I thought that was very odd.
Halloween was originally All Hallows Eve because it was the night before All Hallows Day. All Hallows Eve undoubtedly became Halloween because some child who meant to say it correctly blurted out “Halloween” and the women thought it was cute and repeated it. Halloween may or may not have originated in pagan beliefs. I’m inclined to believe it did and it was incorporated into Christianity by the early Western Church fathers.
When All Hallows Day became All Saints Day, Halloween as the night before All Saint’s Day became a separate thing. All Saint’s Day became a holy day of obligation in Roman Catholicism, a day to celebrate all saints known and unknown. Martin Luther expanded the celebration in his vision of the Christian church. He wrote that all dead believers were saints in his reading of the Bible, and most Protestants follow that belief.
So in keeping with this being All Saints Day and using the inclusive definition of saints, we want to remember the musicians, the singers, those who attended the dances, those who listened to the broadcasts on the radio, and those who bought the records during this era of the music. I feel thankful that so much of this music is still available; still alive.