Polkas & Beer – Day 9 – Revenge

Polkas & Beer – Day 9 – Revenge

THE POLKA: Magdalena’s Revenge

I was compelled to write this tune after watching an exposé on the history of the real Mary Magdalen. The documentary outlined how the details of her life were rewritten to suit church dogma — church fathers prefer their women repentant and sexually submissive rather than capable and equal.*

Imagine your reality, your actual life story, being distorted by a bunch of guys in funny hats who consider women to be inferior. Ticked me off. I had to write a piece in her honor.

Live at Lagunitas

The title track on our second album

Magdalena’s Revenge is a polka / frailach hybrid in the key of C minor. A frailach (freylekh, freylech, fraylich, freilich) is Jewish celebratory dance form also in 2/4 meter. It is one of our signature tunes and super fun to play.

I go into detail on the backstory of Magdalena’s Revenge in this short video.


Strong women doing beer is the parameter for this beer pairing.

When next I get to Pennsylvania I will head straight to Stoud’ts Brewery in Adamstown to try the Pils. This brewery was created in 1987 by Carol Stoudt – “first female brewmaster since Prohibition”.

And then off to Vancouver, B.C to the Steamworks Brewpub to try the Flagship IPA.

The head brewmaster of this award winning brewery, which runs on steam, is Julia Hanlon.


Worth knowing:

A two-part series on women in brewing from Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine
How Women Brewsters Saved the World

Replanting the Seeds of Brewing


*more on this issue in the excellent Smithsonian article “Who Was Mary Magdalen?”

Eventually, Magdalene, as a denuded object of Renaissance and Baroque painterly preoccupation, became a figure of nothing less than holy pornography, guaranteeing the ever-lustful harlot—if lustful now for the ecstasy of holiness—a permanent place in the Catholic imagination.