It was Newfoundland night last Thursday at the Olympic victory celebration, and what that meant is that I spent a good few hours getting all choked up. In fact, there were points at which I was downright sobbing in my seat when I saw my people live on stage and on video. Here's the thing about Newfoundland and Labrador: aside from being a drop dead gorgeous place (in a rugged, rocky sort of way), it is also home to some of the most brilliant and creative people you'd ever wanna meet. And as I watched the parade of Newfoundlanders sing and dance before me, I was filled with such pride and longing that I could've burst. But instead of bursting entirely, I just sprung a leak in my eyes...... It was yet another bittersweet function of these winter games.
It all started with Shaun Majumder and fiddler Kelly Russell, who made jokes and music against a backdrop of images from Newfoundland. We were told about a posse of wild Newfoundlanders who were "Running the Goat" around the world and inviting people to join them. (I should tell you here that "Running the Goat" doesn't actually involve goats OR running. It's a dance. A beautiful, kooky dervish that lasts for about 10 minutes and is one heckuva a workout - what with all the moves like threading the needle, hand over hand, the whip and such)
And then, a pack of Newfoundlanders descended upon the stage and gave us a taste of "Running the Goat" while I sat there weeping in joy.
As if that wasn't enough to melt my heart into a big puddle, Ron Hynes came out on stage to sing "Sonny's Dream". That did me in.
But wait - there's more! We were also joined by "Hey Rosetta", one of the hottest new bands in Newfoundland. I love them. They are completely creative and unique. Did I mention that I love them?
And then, the whole works came together onstage: Kelly, Shaun, Ron, Hey Rosetta, The Irish Descendents for a scuff. I'm pretty sure my hoots and hollers were heard on the other side of the mountains.
AND THEN, it was time for the main event - the headliner: Great Big Sea. My friend Bev came and found us in the audience to give us wristbands to get us onto the floor in front of the stage, where we joined the throngs to shake our booties. Talk about a room bustin' with joy:
We did pause long enough to snap this photo of Mister Man and Ms. Bev in front of the rings.
But the night ended too quickly, and before we knew it, the lights of "closing time" were bearing down upon us, and it was time to say goodnight Irene.
So we headed out on the streets where people were still celebrating. It was just that kind of week.