Sunday, November 2, 2014

Singing for Thanksgiving Dinner - Chow Chow Rag (1909)

Seeing the title Chow Chow made me think of an episode of the Andy Griffith Show. In that episode, Aunt Bea fusses with Andy over a trip he's taking, and insists on packing a jar of Piccalilli relish for him "in case he got hungry on the bus". Chow chow is similar, a type of sweet and savory vegetable relish made mainly from bell peppers, green tomatoes, onions, and cabbage. If you're interested, you can find a recipe here.

The Chow Chow Rag by Philip Schwartz, however, suggests an Indian origin for the dish, which may owe to an ingredient of chow chow, chayote, is known as chow chow in India. Who knows, the turbaned guy on the cover may be carrying a plate of chayote.

I wasn't able to find any information on Philip Schwartz in my usual ragtime music databases, this may have been his only composition or he may have worked under another pen name, it's hard to be sure. Unfortunately, I also couldn't find anything but a MIDI version of the tune, so our relish tray will have to have a synthetic taste. I hope you enjoy, though!

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