Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not Billy Idol's Rebel Yell!

The painting above is by Roberta Wesley, and is called "Rebel Yell." I chose it for a very specific reason--I thought it nicely illustrated the topic below.

I was digging around in that gold mine--the Internet--and found something that is just endearing and enduring. The Smithsonian, which has been a huge supporter of the 150th, and of Colonel Ellsworth, has put a film segment on the web. Here is the address:

It is an amazing clip from a Confederate Veteran's reunion, and in it the vets are asked to give the Rebel Yell one last time. I have read much about that yell, and even from men who are pretty advanced in years, it comes through loud and clear. It is high, eerie, and chilling. It is now much easier to image what it would have been like to hear that sound from thousands of Rebel throats as they charged. This one is priceless. Check it out.

Of course, Yankee that I am, I immediately thought of the many contrasts made between the yell and the Northern "manly huzzah." Then I thought about the phrase "manly huzzah." It went downhill after that.

If there was a team of male strippers who made house calls in breakaway blue and butternut, the name chosen for the Yank would have to be Manley Huzzah. Any suggestions for the Reb?

Forgive me. Sometimes the fit comes, and I am helpless in its grasp.

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