Kitchen Racket

Kitchen Racket

So I didn’t grow up with Irish trad. I started playing it in earnest maybe 8 or 10 months ago.

But my aunt just told me the most fun story about when my grandfather and grandmother (Pop and Nana) were dating. My pop, whose family she described as “snooty,” would go to my Nana’s house and they’d have the rug rolled up, my great-grandmother with a squeeze box (I don’t know exactly what), and having a “kitchen racket.” Tunes, singing, dancing around: the whole shebangabang. It sounds marvelous and I’m glad I know that. That didn’t survive to my father’s generation. Nana’s family was off the boat, while Pop’s family had been here (the US) a while. Which likely explains the snootiness.

Anyway I’m in love with the term “kitchen racket.”

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Which country had your great grandparents emigrated from?

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Ireland. I forget exactly where.

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Hi Arthur! Just out of interest, where did your other six great grandparents come from?

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@yhall

On my Mom’s Father’s side Vermont and Canada. The Vermont ones came from Ireland to Canada and then down to Vermont. I don’t know about the Canadians past the 1800s, but they’re French names. Mom’s Mom side came over on Mayflower.

On my Father’s side his Mother’s family was from Galway and Tyrone. His Dad’s side was from Massachusetts, his father’s side having come from Ireland to England thence to Massachusetts, and his Mother’s side coming from Württemberg and Prussia to Massachusetts.

My actual name is Monahan, from the Ireland>England>Massachusetts folks.

I’ll bet you’re sorry you’ve asked now! The has been a project of my Mom and mine for the past year.

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@irishmuse I’ve seen that vid! One of the local session leaders suggested I check out John Carty’s playing of “Sligo Maid” and I came across that video.

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Kitchen racket or kitchen party as terms are still in common use here in Cape Breton. We even have a musical festival called KitchenFest/Féis a’ Chidsin

https://kitchenfest.ca/

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As an aside to this, the Edinburgh Renaissance band used to advertise their summer concerts in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a lovely double pun - " A Viol Rackett"!
If, like me, you know what a viol is, but not a rackett, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S20gR0kI3H4

Somehow don’t think they’d fit too well in ITM!

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I’ve been reading the book ‘Blasket Memories - The Life of an Irish Island Community’ and I found something which reminded me of this thread. This is from an interview that the editor, Pádraig Tyers, conducted with Cáit Bean Uí Mhaoilchiaráin. Cáit was raised near Carraroe in Connemara, and the events she describes here took place there in the late 1920s. (She later married Muiris Ó Súilleabháin from Great Blasket Island, who became well known for his book ‘Twenty Years A-Growing’, about life on the island.)

Cáit : …This particular winter a cookery class started in Carraroe … our parish priest made it known that he would like the young girls to have something to keep them off the roads and away from the kitchen rackets, as they were called.
Pádraig : What were the kitchen rackets?
Cáit : A sort of céilí or dance in the houses.
Pádraig : Ball nights as they call them in the West Kerry Gaeltacht?
Cáit : Ball nights, but kitchen rackets was what they were called in Connemara.

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@DaveL335 That’s super cool.