After the way 2016 has gone, I plan on eating extra black eyed peas tomorrow. We’re going to need all the good luck we can get. The Internet is unclear on how the black eyed pea became associated with good luck on New Year’s Day. I think the story about Sherman’s March is not very plausible. Supposedly, Sherman’s troops ignored black eyed peas when pillaging crops as they considered them unfit for human consumption. Thus, escaping slaves and whites staying put were “lucky” enough to have something to eat. Others have pointed out that black eyed peas were substituted for other legumes in traditional Rosh Hashanah by Jewish settlers in the the colonial and early American South. This explanation has more backing than the Sherman hypothesis as there are written records pre-dating Sherman’s march that mention black eyed peas in Rosh Hashanah dishes.
I always figured the black eyes for luck tradition must have come from West Africa, like the peas themselves. Apparently not though; No contemporary West African culture seems to have any special traditions involving black eyed peas.
I’ve been listening to lots of gloomy songs lately. This one from 1987 is just as relevant today is it was when it was released:
And one of my favorites form Fanny. They’ve been one of my favorite groups for the last few years or so. I had heard of them when I was younger, but never really got into them. Here they are from a 1971 Dutch TV show:
I think “Blind Alley” is much better than the similarly themed “I’d Love to Change the World” by Ten Years After. “Blind Alley” has a level of generality that makes it still relevant today, unlike TYA’s protest song which is too specific to its time.
But maybe if we eat our black eyed peas, we’ll all pull through:
I’ve watched this ten times and I still see something new every time.
Happy New Year everyone. Video posts are welcome in the comments.