Sounds of All Saint’s Day

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“They told me to take a street car named Desire and transfer to one called Cemeteries.” Since the days when Tennessee Williams wrote those lines, New Orleans’ streetcars have become buses, but they still make the Cemetery run. It’s a ride a lot of people are taking this week as they gear up for November 1st – All Saints’ Day. It’s a mixture of celebration and solemnity, honoring the dead. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. At the Rhodes Funeral Home, All Saints’ Day begins with a gospel song, sung by Lyle Henderson.

ambience (singing) “I will rise again…”

Later in the morning, at a cemetery called St. Louis #3, the Archbishop gives his blessing and a procession of Catholic school girls chants the names of the saints.

(singing) “St. Augustine…”

In the afternoon of All Saints’ Day, there’s a graveyard party at the St. Louis #2 cemetery, thrown by New Orleans social advocate Anna Ross.

“Here in New Orleans, we honor our dead on All Saints’ Day. It’s not a day to be sad at all. It’s a day to revel in the joy and the wonder and the excitement of the legacy. And then we have a responsibility to produce something ourselves. We cannot live on our family’s legacy.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Sounds of All Saint's Day

A gospel song and a graveyard party: the unique sounds of New Orleans on the Day of the Dead.
Air Date:10/31/2001
Scientist:
Transcript:


music

"They told me to take a street car named Desire and transfer to one called Cemeteries." Since the days when Tennessee Williams wrote those lines, New Orleans' streetcars have become buses, but they still make the Cemetery run. It's a ride a lot of people are taking this week as they gear up for November 1st - All Saints' Day. It's a mixture of celebration and solemnity, honoring the dead. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. At the Rhodes Funeral Home, All Saints' Day begins with a gospel song, sung by Lyle Henderson.

ambience (singing) "I will rise again..."

Later in the morning, at a cemetery called St. Louis #3, the Archbishop gives his blessing and a procession of Catholic school girls chants the names of the saints.

(singing) "St. Augustine..."

In the afternoon of All Saints' Day, there's a graveyard party at the St. Louis #2 cemetery, thrown by New Orleans social advocate Anna Ross.

"Here in New Orleans, we honor our dead on All Saints' Day. It's not a day to be sad at all. It's a day to revel in the joy and the wonder and the excitement of the legacy. And then we have a responsibility to produce something ourselves. We cannot live on our family's legacy."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I'm Jim Metzner.

music