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Recitations

Recitations and dialogues (a recitation that involves two voices in conversation) are important components of the Cape Shore’s oral traditions. They were features of a time—told in private homes to neighbours and friends who happened to be present—but also highlights of community concerts. These were events that happened in parish halls, churches, and schools. They were opportunities for entertainment, but also a means for raising money for community endeavours.

Many of the people featured in A Grand Time mentioned learning songs for such events, but the dramatic elements of the concerts were centrepieces of the evening.



Recitations

Now playing: Fireman's story of a brave volunteer, recitation / John Joe English
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  1. Fireman's story of a brave volunteer, recitation / John Joe English

    Fireman's story of a brave volunteer, recitation / John Joe English

    This recitation tells the story of the heroic deeds of a train engineer who rescues a woman from being run down by a train. He is grossly disfigured in the incident, but she nevertheless falls in love with him and proposes marriage.

  2. Lobster salad (Paddy Kelly's dream), recitation / John Joe English

    Lobster salad (Paddy Kelly's dream), recitation / John Joe English

    Lobster salad (Paddy Kelly's dream), recitation (Last Saturday night I was invited …) This comic recitation describes the queue to get into heaven. Each new arrival is assessed by Saint Peter and is rejected from heaven for a variety of reasons. The last person to approach Saint Peter, Paddy from Ireland, plays a trick on St Peter in order to get into heaven.  John Joe English was known throughout the Cape Shore for his skills in drama and in performing dialogues. This performance of “Lobster Salad” demonstrates the flexibility of his voice and his capacity to enact different characters.