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Language Log

Saturday, Jul. 28, 2007 - 11:40 a.m.

The farmer's market is swarming with interesting musical instruments lately.

One week there was a digiridoo (I have no idea if that's spelled correctly and I don't want to look it up although that would be quicker than my typing this explanation has turned out to be) player, although I like to think of him as a digirist-doo.

Last week, and honest-to God hurdyfurdy player (a hurdist-gurdist, I am told on good authority).

This week, a woman playing a percussive instrument that involved a wooden chicken with mobile legs. She sat on a paddle; with one hand she moved the paddle up and down, while with the other she held a wooden stick (more than a stick really; it was a finished piece of wood) with the aforementioned chicken at the end. The chicken's legs were mobile and moved up and down and fell to hit the paddle as she moved it. She managed some relatively complicated rhythms this way. AND it looked like the chicken was walking. She accompanied a guitarist and singer; they performed "Who broke the lock on the henhouse door?". I gave them a dollar.

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