November 26, 2012
So…..This is something I couldn’t not share..
I am currently barding in Strasbourg, France, and last Friday I had a house concert here. What I am about to tell you will hopefully change what you say to people who are going out for a performance somewhere.
As many of you know, I have been fascinated with words lately, and in particular, taking notice of how we use certain phrases. Look at “Break a leg” for example. There are many thoughts about where this comes from, but it seems mostly it came for performers saying this to each other. No one ever wished one another good luck before a performance..the same happened at horse races, so they’d say “Break a leg,” as more of a superstitious head game.
At my concert, we got into the roots of saying “Ca va,” or “it goes,” in French. It is used to basically ask how are you doing….however, “it goes,” refers to the state of your digestion. If you are “going,” well, that means you are in good health.
This led into the discussion of a common phrase that is said to performers instead of “break a leg.”
How it used to work – when people would take horse drawn carriages out for evenings – people would arrive at a venue, and get out of their ride. What then would follow would be the horses doing their business on the street……Now…here’s the fun part….
If many people came to your show, that meant many people showed up in carriages, which meant many horses pulling those carriages, which meant ridiculously large piles of horse s*** on the streets outside the venue. Thus the symbol of large piles of horse s*** meant that your event was well attend….Thus thus…to wish a friend a grand night at their performance – you would wish them large piles of S***!
Isn’t that wonderful?