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String Bands

Plum Thickets & Field DaisiesPart VI

OFTEN IN THE MIDDLE hours of the night, our family was awakened by the soft, lifting notes of a string band that had come to serenade us. This music sounded strangely beautiful in the velvety darkness of night. The wonderful spirit of the men who came to share their music with various families in Brooklyn added even more beauty to the occasion.
The men who made up string bands voluntarily went around in a neighborhood, visiting porch after porch to serenade the occupants of houses. These men had worked all day at various jobs and most likely were quite tired, but after reaching home in the evening, the group would assemble, forget their fatigue and go out with their instruments to make others happy.
They received no pay, and they asked for none. They played for the sheer joy of playing and in the hope that people would like their music. One can not forget such a heartwarming gift.


Love, Rose Leary. Plum Thickets and Field Daisies: A Memoir. Charlotte, NC: Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, 1996