At the Renaissance Faire

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rachel Lee Rubin, professor of American Studies at University of Massachusetts Boston and author of Well Met: Renaissance Faires and the American Counterculture, looks at what the phenomenon of "the faire" says about American culture at large.


Rachel Lee Rubin
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Comments [7]


Hey Extrapolitan--pay attention. She said the Byrds wrote a song about the faire that would have been better to play. It's called "Renaissance Fair," and I used to play it in my own band. And "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" is the title of Simon and Garfunkel's album, which they were, in fact, playing. Some people are just too anxious to be right!

You're correct about the Isley Brothers, though.

Nov. 29 2012 12:08 PM

What a fascinating segment! The host and Professor Rubin did a great job of helping me see what the Faire has to tell us about the 1960s and our own time. Plus it is hilarious that a few commenters here have already expressed the exact "hater" position that the guest outlined on the program. Shoe fits, and all that.

Nov. 29 2012 08:53 AM
extrapolitan from Manhattan

First of all, what she called "Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme" is actually Scarborough Fair, that version was composed by Simon and Garfunkel, not the Byrds, and it's a variation on an old, old English folk song that had nothing whatsoever to do with Renaissance Faires - it refers to actual market town fairs that sellers and buyers traveled to from time immemorial.

Also, the Isley Brothers is pronounced with a long I. You're making me cringe.

Nov. 27 2012 12:09 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

WOW. This lady is really reaching now.

Nov. 27 2012 11:58 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

... in other words, people with too much time on their hands...

Nov. 27 2012 11:56 AM
John Falcone from Jackson Heights

Did renaissance fair folks in the 1960's make conscious reference to the medieval "Feast of Fools"?

Nov. 27 2012 11:54 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Renaissance Faires. God, what a snore. Years ago, I lived upstate and used to drive past Renaissance Fairs at Sterling Forest every year. I never got it except that people are so hollow inside that they are attracted to any silly notion.

But we can see this fascination to this day, with the obsession by so many in the the Lord of the Rings, Hobbits, and all that nonsense. It wouldn't be so bad, but they take it sooooo damn seriously.

I guess the need to immerse oneself in escapism and make believe is that strong from the '60's mindset on. People who refuse to grow up, but not in a good way.

Nov. 27 2012 11:52 AM

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