(a.k.a. The Ladies Drinking Song)

Introduced by Hannah Shira Naiman

July’s song of the month is to be served with a slice of lime.

Ladies Rejoice (or The Ladies Drinking Song) was written over a hot summer weekend in Northern Ontario as Emily Adam and I nursed frozen cocktails by the lake. Emily and I were dancing on Toronto Women’s Sword (TWS) at the time, and, as I recall, although the two of us had a decent repertoire of songs, we found that we didn’t feel comfortable contributing during rowdy morris ale sings. All of the songs that we knew felt inappropriate―they were mostly about tragedy and love, and none of them rowdy.

But as we searched for a peppy drinking song within the existing repertoire, Emily pointed out a lack of songs from the woman’s perspective. True there are a few drinking songs with female narrators―but we didn’t want to talk about love and marriage or sailing on the ocean, as many other drinking songs with female narrators did. We wanted to sing simply about the joy of drinking. And also dressing up―two things, I dare say, TWS does very well besides dancing! The team has since taken to singing this song as something akin to their anthem.

Ladies Drinking Song notation
Click here for a link to a PDF of the notation

I am happy to share with you a song for summer refreshment and indulgence. I invite you all sing it as well! Ladies―and gentlemen too―raise your glasses! Cheers!

Here’s a YouTube video of Hannah and friends singing Ladies Rejoice. The videographer was Christopher Blow.

Hannah Shira Naiman (Toronto, ON) grew up just north of Toronto―a few thousand miles away from the hills of Appalachia, and yet her family home was always full of the sounds from that land. Raised by a banjo plucking Pa, and a children’s musician/dance caller/fiddling Ma, her home was a hub for American roots music in the cold heart of a Canadian metropolis.

Hannah is a songwriter and a traditional dance and music leader. She released her first album of original songs in 2013 (Tether My Heart, Merriweather Records Ltd.), and since then has been actively touring throughout North America. She is a founding member and regular caller at Toronto’s first regular American oldtime square dance, The Hogtown Hoedown, and also calls contra dances and family dances regularly. Hannah’s day job is in early childhood music, where she specializes in French playparty games for primary grades. This fall, Hannah will release her second album, Know the Mountain.