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Secular Songs From Spirituals

Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 12:58 AM
Scoville 15 Jan 07 - 01:01 AM
Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 01:24 AM
Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 01:43 AM
Stephen L. Rich 15 Jan 07 - 01:48 AM
Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 08:04 AM
Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 08:05 AM
Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 08:37 AM
Keith A of Hertford 15 Jan 07 - 08:44 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 15 Jan 07 - 09:25 AM
wysiwyg 15 Jan 07 - 10:21 AM
Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 10:32 AM
wysiwyg 15 Jan 07 - 10:33 AM
wysiwyg 15 Jan 07 - 10:36 AM
Richie 15 Jan 07 - 10:48 AM
Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 10:50 AM
Alba 15 Jan 07 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Mike Miller 15 Jan 07 - 12:16 PM
wysiwyg 15 Jan 07 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Dani 15 Jan 07 - 02:06 PM
katlaughing 15 Jan 07 - 04:19 PM
Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 05:37 PM
Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 05:47 PM
katlaughing 15 Jan 07 - 06:13 PM
Azizi 15 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM
wysiwyg 15 Jan 07 - 08:09 PM
Scoville 16 Jan 07 - 09:59 AM
katlaughing 16 Jan 07 - 11:31 AM
Azizi 16 Jan 07 - 06:09 PM
dick greenhaus 16 Jan 07 - 08:45 PM
Azizi 16 Jan 07 - 09:02 PM
Joe_F 16 Jan 07 - 09:57 PM
wysiwyg 16 Jan 07 - 10:07 PM
Azizi 16 Jan 07 - 11:12 PM
Alba 17 Jan 07 - 04:39 AM
Azizi 17 Jan 07 - 06:58 AM
Azizi 17 Jan 07 - 07:26 AM
Azizi 17 Jan 07 - 07:29 AM
Azizi 17 Jan 07 - 07:32 AM
Azizi 17 Jan 07 - 07:39 AM
Azizi 17 Jan 07 - 07:44 AM
wysiwyg 17 Jan 07 - 10:27 AM
GLoux 17 Jan 07 - 02:14 PM
Azizi 17 Jan 07 - 06:08 PM
Alec 18 Jan 07 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Ken Brock 18 Jan 07 - 03:46 PM
Azizi 19 Jan 07 - 08:06 AM
Azizi 19 Jan 07 - 08:18 AM
Azizi 19 Jan 07 - 08:38 AM
Peace 20 Jan 07 - 12:51 AM
Azizi 20 Jan 07 - 12:56 AM
Peace 20 Jan 07 - 01:12 AM
Azizi 20 Jan 07 - 01:27 AM
Azizi 20 Jan 07 - 02:09 AM
katlaughing 20 Jan 07 - 04:01 AM
Azizi 20 Jan 07 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Dani 20 Jan 07 - 10:28 AM
katlaughing 20 Jan 07 - 10:53 AM
wysiwyg 20 Jan 07 - 11:39 AM
Azizi 20 Jan 07 - 02:56 PM
Azizi 20 Jan 07 - 02:57 PM
Azizi 20 Jan 07 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Dani 20 Jan 07 - 07:43 PM
Azizi 20 Jan 07 - 08:48 PM
Azizi 20 Jan 07 - 09:11 PM
Azizi 16 Jul 09 - 01:34 PM
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Subject: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 12:58 AM

Which non-religious songs can you think of whose words-in part-come from spirituals or other religious songs?

I'm thinking of civil rights songs, children's rhymes, military cadences, love songs, dance songs, and parodies of religious songs and more.

I'll start the list in my next post.

Join in if you have a mind too.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Scoville
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:01 AM

The long one about the Galveston Flood borrows the melody and at least part of the chorus from a spiritual, I think.

And there's always the "Old-Time Religion" parody that uses the tune but has verses about naked Druids, and Aphrodite in her see-through nightie, etc.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:24 AM

The first song that I thought of for this list is:

"We Shall Overcome"

Protest Song-We Shall Overcome provides information about how "We Shall Overcome" became the theme song for the 1960s Civil Rights movement in the USA.

However, this song was based on the spiritual "We'll Overcome", which was considerably more uptempo than the civil rights song.
The first verse in this song is
We'll overcome
We'll overcome
We'll overcome some day
{Oh-o] Deep in my heart
I do believe
We'll overcome some day.

-snip-

The next verse was "We'll see His face" etc. "His" referred to Jesus Christ or God.

Note that the words are "We'll" and not "We will".

"We Shall Overcome", the civil rights song, was usually sung while people stood and held the hands of the persons standing at their side and swaying right & left in time with the music. This performance tradition helped symbolize the unity and helped raise the spirits of an often intergrated group of singers.

This song can be tremendously moving, particularly when sung in such an environment, or-even more I can imagine-when sung by protesters during their civil rights demonstrations and/or while they were in jail because of those demonstrations.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, whose birthday is today, see this tribute to Dr. King- a Dr. King photo collage, and excerpts of his "We shall Overcome" speech. This high quality video ends with a performance of the song "Abraham, Martin, and John' by Moms Mabley.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxc8QxQfYbs&mode=related&search=

January 13, 2007 ; From riesen2b

-snip-

Also, see this video clip of "Joan Baez Live at Woodstock 1969"
"Joan Baez Live at Woodstock 1969 performing 'We Shall Overcome'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdi0c2EoxUY

Added October 08, 2006; From GuvK

-snip-

Joan Baez's rendition of "We Shall Overcome" is much slower than the spiritual and is slower than the tempo I remember used for that civil rights song.

However, regardless of the tempo, the beauty of the song's message still shines through.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:43 AM

Scoville, yes I think that "Wasn't that a mighty time etc...
comes from the spirtual "Wasn't that a mighty day" or "Wasn't it a mighty day".

Songs based on that spiritual have been used to commemorate floods like the Galveston flood and the flood and tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.

Here's one example:

"A Mighty Day
Music: traditional
Katrina disaster lyrics by Theodore Bikel

I remember one September,
When storm winds swept the town;
The high tide from the ocean, Lord,
Put water all around.

Chorus:
    Wasn't that a mighty day,
    A mighty day
    A mighty day, Great God, that morning
    When the storm winds swept the town!

There was a sea-wall there in New Orleans
To keep the waters down,
But the high tide from the ocean, Lord,
Put water in the town.

Chorus

-snip-

Theodore Bikel- Wasn't That A Mighty Day

**

The line "wasn't that a mighty day/when Jesus washed my sins away" is found in at least one gospel song, but I can't think of which one {or ones} now.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:48 AM

Fred Campeau wrote one to the tune of "Well, Well, Well".

Hide yourself
Taxman's comin'
Hide you wife,
And your children, too.
Pack up the dog,
And all your belongings.
Taxman's out,
And he's after you!


Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 08:04 AM

Years ago I "zeroxed" pages from a book on freedom songs compiled by Guy & Candie Ritchie and published in 1963 by Oak Publications, New York {Library of Congress Catalogue Number 63-23278. While I have pages from this book, I don't have the cover sheet and therefore don't know its title. If anyone can knows this book, and can provide its title, that would be great.

Here are two excerpts from commentary about the song "We Shall Overcome" which is found on page of the edition of this book whose pages I have:

"WE SHALL OVERCOME
Words and music arranged by Zilphia Horton,Frank Hamilton, Guy Carawan, and Pete Seeger @1960, 1963 Ludlow Music {Author's royalties
from this composition are being conributed to teh freedom movement under the trusteeship of the writers}

This modern adaptation of the Old Negro church song "I'Ll Overcome Someday", has become the unofficial theme song for the freedom struggles in the South. The old words were "I'll be all right...I'll be like Him...I'll wear a crown...I will overcome."

"Negro Food and Tobacco Union workers in Charleston, South Carolina adapted the song for picket line use during their strike in 1945, and later brought it to Highlander Folk School."

It soon became the school's theme song and [was]associated with Zilphia Horton's singing of it.She introduced it to union gatherings all across the South. On one of her trips to New York, Pete Seeger learned it from her and in the next few years he spread it across the Morth. pete, Zilphia and others added verses appropriate to labor, peace, and integation sentiments: We will end Jim Crow...We shall live in Peace...We shall organize...The whole wide world around...etc..."
-G.C.

-snip-

" One cannot describe the vitality and emotion this one song evokes across the Southland. I have heard it sung in great mas meetings with a thousand voices singing as one; I've heard a half-dozen sing it softly behind the bars of the Hinds County prison in Mississippi; I've herd old women singing it on the way to work in Albany, Georgia;I've heard the students singing it as they were being dragged away to jail. It generates power that is indescribable."

-snip-

A photo in that same book reminded me that when folks stood and held hands while singing "We Shall Overcome", their arms were criss-crossed at their waists, with the person on each side holding another individual's. My sense is that this symbolized unity & determination. I believe the proper way of doing this is for the right arm to be above the left arm, but I'm not certain about that.

Since I wasn't in the freedom movement,I'm not sure if this style of holding hands and singing was done for other songs.

Thanks to all who were [and are] in that and/or in other freedom movements!


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 08:05 AM

Sorry, that song & comments are found on page 11 of that book.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 08:37 AM

This military cadence reads like it comes from a spiritual:

IN THE EARLY MORNING RAIN

Got a letter in the mail
Go to war or go to jail
Got a letter in the mail
In the early morning rain
I packed my bags, I kissed my wife
And headed for the Army life
I packed my bags, I kissed my wife
In the early morning rain
I told my son not to cry
But I had tears in my eyes
I told my son not to cry
In the early morning rain
With my weapon in my hand
And a pocket full of sand
With my weapon in my hand
In the early morning rain
Got the enemy to my front
And the ocean to my rear
Wounded dying's all I hear
In the early morning rain
As I'm laying here to rest
Caught a bullet in the chest
Even though I've done my best
In the early morning rain
Tell my darling not to cry
Cause I'll never say good-bye
Tell my darling not to cry
In the early morning rain
Many a soldier will die today
Guess there's nothing left to say
So our children, they can play
In the early morning rain
Yes, now Sergeant I can see
Why this training's good for me
Forever more we will be free
In the early morning rain

Reposted from: Grunts Military Cadences

-snip-

Does anyone know this chant? I think it's very poetic, not to mention sad. I'm not sure how old it is.

I vaguely recall an African American spiritual whose title is "In The Morning/when I rise/I want to rise holy etc". I believe I heard this song peformed by Sweet Honey In The Rock and it may be on one of their CDs.

Btw, if you're interested in African American freedom songs, this group's CDs are a must have, especially "All For Freedom" {1989}


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 08:44 AM

Freedom Over Me?


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 09:25 AM

This Little Girl (Light) of Mine - Ray Charles
Down By the Riverside - a fifties version, "I met my little blue-eyed
   girl down by the riverside." Mills Bros?


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 10:21 AM

Suggest you review extensive thread on civil rights songs....

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 10:32 AM

The children's game song "Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch" appears to come from the spiritual "Where Is Old Elijah? (The Hebrew Children, The Promised Land)

See these Mudcat threads:

RE: Where oh where is old Elijah?

and

Origins: Paw Paw Patch, anyone?


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 10:33 AM

And I believe there's a blues related to spirituals thread too....

~S~


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 10:36 AM

And here are their thread titles, retrieved from the Spirituals permathread:

Gospel Origin-- Civil Rights & Labor Songs.

Blues Related to Spirituals.

Gary Davis Songs.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 10:48 AM

Shout Mourner songs also known as You Shall Be Free:

Shout to glory, Lawd, you shall be free,
Shout to glory, Lord, you shall be free,
Shout, mourner, Lord, you shall be free,
Shout when de good Lord set you free!

I went down to hog-eye town,
Dey sot me down to table;
I et so much dat hog-eye grease,
Till de grease run out my nabel.
Run 'long home, Miss Hog-eye,
Singin' high-stepper, Lord, you shall be free.

Excerpt from "Folk-song and Folk-poetry as found in the Secular Songs of the Southern Negroes: Part 2" by Odum.

It's interesting that "Shout to glory, Lawd, you shall be free," is combined in the same song with the bawdy "hog-eye" lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 10:50 AM

And what about "She'll Be Comin Round The Mountain"?

Isn't that based on the spiritual "When the Chariot Comes" and the "Old Ship of Zion"

See Q's comments in this Mudcat thread:
Lyr Req: She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Alba
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 12:04 PM

Thanks for posting those Links Susan. I was just about to add some lyrics but checked the links and there was the very song I was about to add... again. Hopefully the Links provided will help some folk out before they go to all the trouble of posting Lyrics to Songs that may already be available on the Mudcat regarding this very Thread topic!!

Can't understand why this keeps happening again and again. Repeating what has already been done on the forum already! Don't see the logic myself.
It's as if all the effort a lot others have made for years on this forum means nothing. Kinda sad.

Ah well.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: GUEST,Mike Miller
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 12:16 PM

Ray Charles made a career from adapting religious songs. "I Got a Woman, Way 'Cross Town" is from "We Are Crossing Jordan's River, I Want My Crown".
Nat "King" Cole sang "Answer Me, Oh My Love" after Frankie Laine had recorded the original "Answer Me, Lord, Above"
The 50's was a time of such adaprions. I will never forget Patti Page covering the Jewish Prayer "Eli, Eli" as "Father, Father". At least Perry Como sang it in Hebrew.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:21 PM

Alba,

This habit of always, always, always starting a new thread without checking existing resources and adding to or incorporating them makes for a serious disconnect in the flow of cultural research of what we loosely call "the spirituals" and all the musics that sprang from them.

I'm especially concerned that the recent spate of YouTube links to videos, showcasing songs already posted elsewhere, will not appear in the threads where the songs themselves, and the rich discussions on the songs, are already posted. I just don't have time these days to put them there, or link them song by song into the permathread. It's too bad, since those songs will turn up on a search in the threads where they were first posted-- the subject lines of the posts here will not direct people to them easily. There are SO MANY ways the new information could easily be linked to the older information, but there's nothing being done as it now stands to make sure people (using usual Mudcat search processes the way the FAQ describes them) will ever find them.

What I wouldn't have given, for example, when our band first started singing the spirituals, to have had a video resource to help me learn different approaches to them! The way it is now-- I would not even have known to look here for them.

THAT's what I'm trying to work out now, in my mind-- how to put something in the permathread that will give people coming along later at least a hope of finding more information, without taking up time on a daily basis to see what else has been posted in this disconnected way. I never envisioned, when I organized the permathread, an issue like this one where the existing work is not built-upon in the new work.

Short of a link to Azizi's entire posting history, with a brief description of what one may find by comping her posts, I just don't know what to do.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 02:06 PM

(My Baby's Coming Home Tomorrow) Ain't That Good News, sung by Sam Cooke.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 04:19 PM

It a shame, Susan, and disrespectful and rude that folks don't do their homework and wind up making so much more clutter and, if someone like you figures out how to do it, so much more work to straighten things out with proper links and all. The many, many years you and others have been here, working carefully on Permathreads, cross-linking and not duplicating research already done deserves to be recognised and honoured.

Thanks for all of your hard work.

kat


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 05:37 PM

This thread is not as much about spirituals as it is about secular songs that are adapted from spirituals.

In my opinion, if this topic has been covered before, then links to the previous discussion{s}can be posted on this thread.

Also in my opinion, because folks have had discussions before on a specific topic, does not mean that that topic can't be discussed in a new thread.

If new information is posted on a thread, and if new insights & different perspectives, and different variants are shared, then how is this duplication?

And also, fwiw, a review of my posts will show that I have consistently acknowledged the work that WYSIWYG and others have done on the African American Spiritual Permathread and I have also posted a hyperlink to that thread and other threads in posts that I have written.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 05:47 PM

This parody of a spiritual is included in Thomas W. Talley's 1922 collection "Negro Folk Rhymes" [Kennikat Press edition, p. 122]

PARODY ON "REIGN, MASTER JESUS,REIGH!"

Oh rain! oh rain! Oh rain, "good" Mosser!
Rain, Mosser, rain! Rain hard!
Eain flour a' lard an' a big hog head
Down in my back yard.

An' we'n you comes down to my cabin,
Come down by de corn fiel'.
If you cain't bring me a piece o' meat,
Den bring me a peck o' meal.

Oh rain! Oh rain! Oh rain, "good" Mosser!
Dat good rain gives mo' rest.
"What d'you say? You N----, dar!
"Wet ground grows grass best."


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 06:13 PM


In my opinion, if this topic has been covered before, then links to the previous discussion{s}can be posted on this thread.


In my opinion, common courtesy dictates doing your homework before starting a new thread.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM

There's a number of secular songs that seem to be adaptations of the religious song "Down By The Riverside". This Mudcat thread has some interesting discussion of this song: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside

The line "aint gonna grieve, my Lord, no more" [my punctuation] is found in a number of children's rhymes including the "Oh you'll never get to heaven" taunts such as:

Oh you'll never get to heaven
with ____'s face
cause ____'s face
is ah disgrace.
Oh you'll never get to heaven with ___ face
'cause ___'s face is a disgrace
Ain't gonna grieve, my Lord, no more.

-snip-

Around 2001 or so, I learned a rhyme called "The Preacher Went Down To The Cellar" from a young African American woman in Pittsburgh, PA area who said that she learned this rhyme when she was a child. This rhyme also has the line "Ain't gonna grieve ,my Lord, no more":

It goes like this:

Oh the preacher went down
to the cellar to pray.
But he got drunk
and stayed all day.
Oh the preacher went down to the cellar to pray
but he got drunk and stayed all day.
Ain't gonna grieve, my Lord, no more.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 08:09 PM

I'm working on some solutions... we'll see what develops. Volunteers can PM me.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Scoville
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 09:59 AM

I find it a little hard to believe that this is the only thread on here right now that could be interpreted as "redundant". I seem to remember having been asked about correcting grammar in songs before, and several times about my favorite guitar brands, and innumerable times about transferring cassettes to CD. Has this complaint been posted on those threads, as well?

My issue with PermaThreads is that eventually they get so long that one cannot find what one wants in them anyway, especially amid the amusing but uninformative asides or interpersonal debates that invariably sidetrack most threads at some point.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:31 AM

Have you tried CTRL-F for finding things in Permathreads? The Song Origins Permathread is alphabetised. Shouldn't be too difficult to find something in there, plus all Permathreads are edited, so there shouldn't be a lot of sidetrack stuff to wade through.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 06:09 PM

The spiritual "{I'm Gonna Sit At} The Welcome Table" was used as a civil rights song

see this thread: thread.cfm?threadid=93754#1808170
RE: Origins: Gospel song 'The Welcome Table'


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 08:45 PM

Pie In the Sky
Roll the Old Chariot Along (sea shanty)
We are Climbing Jacob's Ladder (Workers of the South)
Hold the Fort
Miner's Lifeguard

and about half the IWW songbook


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 09:02 PM

Dick, what's the IWW songbook?


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Joe_F
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 09:57 PM

At St Andrews University, 1959:

To Crimond:

There was a Presbyterian cat
Went searching for her prey.
She foond a moose within the hoose
Upon the Sawbath day.

The people all were horrifiet,
And they were grieved sair,
And straightway led that wicked cat
Before the ministair.

The ministair was horrifiet
And unto her did say:
"O naughty cat, to catch a moose
Upon the Sawbath day."

"The Sawbath's been, frae days of yore,
An institution."
So they straightway led that wicked cat
To execution.

Moral:
The higher up the plum tree grows,
The sweeter grow the plums;
The more the cobbler plies his trade,
The broader grow his thumbs.

To Cwm Rhondda:

||: You must eat when you are hungry.
You must drink when you are dry. :||
You must rest when you are weary.
||: Don't stop breathing, or you'll die. :||

||: Father's pants will soon fit Willie.
Will 'e wear 'em? Willie will. :||
Will 'e wear 'em? Will 'e wear 'em?
||: Will 'e wear 'em? Willie will. :||

To the Doxology: "The Wheel" (A sailor told me before he died -- I don't know whether the bastard lied -- About a maid, etc.)

Also, I gather that the tune of "On Ilkley Moor baht Hat" originally belonged (in the north of England) to "When Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night".

Finally, there is a story, which I am not inclined to believe (tho I think it once appeared in Time Magazine) that a laxative manufacturer offered to supply free hymnbooks to the churches in the village, if it were allowed to insert one free advertisement. That seemed reasonable; and indeed, when the books were delivered, it seemed that the advertisement was missing. Next Christmas, however, the parishioners found themselves singing

Hark, the herald angels sing,
Beecham's pills are just the thing,
Move you gently, meek and mild:
Two for adult and one for child.
Regular administration,
Just the thing for constipation.
How can man to art aspire
If his soul is not on fire?
How can man crawl into bed
With his belly full of lead?


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 10:07 PM

Azizi, IWW brings up a number of interesting results on Lyrics & Knowledge Search (blue search box up top).

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:12 PM

Susan, thanks for sharing. However, there's often a richness to people to people communication that can't be duplicated by using a blue or any other color search box.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Alba
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 04:39 AM

My oh my there are some very interesting results in Search regarding the IWW.

Joe F, hilarious...I do hope the Times story is true...**giggle**

Good to see you Dick.
Hope your keeping well. Belated Happy New Year to you and yours

Jude


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 06:58 AM

Here's the hyperlinks to two Mudcat threads that contain lyrics to civil rights {freedom songs that come from spirituals or gospel songs:

Gospel Origin-Civil Rights & Labor Songs

and

Subject: Lyr Add: STANDIN' ON JESUS


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Subject: Lyr: Add: Certainly Lord
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 07:26 AM

CERTAINLY LORD
{traditional African American spiritual; version by Timothy Wright}

I want to know do have good religion
Like the Bible says Certainly Lord
I want to know do you love everybody
Like the Bible says Certainly Lord
I want to know is your name on the roll
Like the Bible says certainly Lord
I want to know if you've been baptized
Like the Bible says certainly Lord

(Verse)
Each sign shall follow
Them that believe
And if you trust in the Lord
You shall receive
Goodness and mercy shall follow you
If you just keep the faith
He'll see yout through

yes, Yes, Certainly Lord
Yes, Yes, Certainly Lord
(Repeat)

(Verse)

Yes, Yes, Certainly Lord
Yes, Yes, Certainly Lord
(Repeat)

Ohh, Ohh, Ohh Ohh Ohh Ohh
(Repeat)

Yes, Yes, Certainly Lord
Certainly Lord
Certainly Lord
Certainly Lord
Certainly Lord
Certainly Lord

http://www.lyricsandsongs.com/song/566722.html


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 07:29 AM

Here's commentary on the gospel song "Certainly Lord" :

"What do you mean by the music being functional?

Boyer : Many people would like to think that the Negro spiritual was created during a great church service and sitting in some wonderful cathedral, when in fact people were out in the field. The group is over here, chopping cotton. And a group is over here, picking tomatoes. And all of a sudden somebody over there says, ""Have you got good religion?"" And this group over here says, ""Certainly, Lord."" They may not have all said the same thing at the same time. They might have said, "Yeah," or "Mm hm." And he would come back: ""Have you got good religion?" " By that time, they're thinking that ""Certainly", Lord" sounds good. ""Have you got good religion?"" Over here: ""Certainly, Lord. Certainly, certainly, certainly, Lord."" And you know how we talk about rhythm being the distinguishing factor between European music and African American music. That rhythm, that pulse is so strong in there that it's a good working song. As a matter of fact, not only did they sing it when they were working, but they sang it when they walked from this field up to the big house, or to the next plantation, or when they rocked the baby to sleep, or when they were cleaning the greens for dinner. We don't have them singing "I'm looking over a four-leaf clover," or "East side, west side." None of that. They're singing these songs that somehow they put words to from their church service. And I have read enough now to know that yes, the Negro spirituals were sung during church service, but they were also work songs. People sang these to accompany something. Whatever they needed, they created themselves out of this music."

Commentary about African American spiritual "Certainly Lord"


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 07:32 AM

Here's a link to & and a review of a CD that contains numerous civil rights songs:

Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966   

Various Artists

http://www.smithsonianglobalsound.org/trackdetail.aspx?itemid=29303

"Notes: This double-CD reissue documents a central aspect of the cultural environment of the Civil Rights Movement, acknowledging songs as the language that focused people's energy. These 43 tracks are a series of musical images, of a people in coversation about their determination to be free. Many of the songs were recorded live in mass meetings held in churches, where people from different life experiences, predominantly Black, with a few White supporters, came together in a common struggle. These freedom songs draw from spirituals, gospel, rhythm and blues, football chants, blues and calypso forms. The enclosed booklet written by Bernice Johnson Reagon provides rare historic photographs along with the powerful story of African American musical culture and its role in the Civil Rights Movement. The music of the spirit with the history of the flesh." -New York Daily News

-snip-

This site also provides brief sound clips to a number of these songs including, "Certainly Lord".


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Subject: Lyr: Add: Civil Right's Song "Certainly Lord"
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 07:39 AM

CERTAINLY LORD

{adaptation of traditional song by members of CORE [Congress Of Racial Equality]}

Well, have you been to the jail
Certainly, Lord
Well, have you been to the jail
Certainly, Lord
Well, have you been to the jail
Certainly, Lord
Certainly, certainly, certainly, Lord.

Well did they give you thirty days?...

Well did you serve your time?...

Well will you fight for freedom?...

Well will you tell it to the world?...

Well will you tell it to the judge?

-snip-

Source: book on Civil Rights Songs {name ??}, authors Guy and Candie Carawan, Oak Publications, 1963; p. 67; Library of Congress Catalog Number 63-23278




[Jubilant]


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 07:44 AM

Here's another version of "Certainly Lord" sung as a civil rights song:

CERTAINLY LORD

Do you want your freedom?
"Certainly, Lord"
Do you want your freedom?
"Certainly, Lord"
Do you want your freedom?
"Certainly, Lord"
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly Lord

Will you march for your rights?
"Certainly, Lord"
Will you march for your rights?
"Certainly, Lord"
Will you march for your rights?
"Certainly, Lord"
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly, Lord

Will you go to jail?
"Certainly, Lord"
Will you go to jail?
"Certainly, Lord"
Will you go to jail?
"Certainly, Lord"
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly, Lord

Jail over bail?
"Certainly, Lord"
Jail over bail?
"Certainly, Lord"
ail over bail?
"Certainly, Lord"
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly, Lord

[source: my remembrance of this song from Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1962-1963}

**

The "jubilant" in the last thread refers to the tempo.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 10:27 AM

Azizi, yes I know that. I also know Dick pretty well and that he is not always to be counted upon to return to a thread to see and respond to a query.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: GLoux
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 02:14 PM

IWW - Industrial Workers of the World - Songbook

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 06:08 PM

Thanks, Greg.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Alec
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 02:43 PM

Didn't "Stand By Me" start life as a devotional song?
I came across that assertion in print but can't remember where.
Can anybody confirm or refute?


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 03:46 PM

One from the Weavers' repertoire: "Woke Up this Morning". The spiritual started with "Woke up this morning with my mind stayed on Jesus". It became a protest song as "Woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom". In the liner notes to one of the Weavers' recordings, they recall discussing the versions with a protester, and their response was "Honey, it's the same thing".


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Subject: Comment & RE: Lyr Add: I Gotta Move
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 08:06 AM

From http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:kn85ZOxM01QJ:www.stanford.edu/~rickford/L73/SS.Ch5.SingersToasters.rtf+you+gotta+move+when+ :

...when one wishes to verbalize the marvelous properties that make one hip, outta sight, cool, funky, bad and, more recently, fly, the most appropriate language to use is often Black English, which, by virtue of the experience that produced it, is uniquely qualified to convey the intoxicating way possessing those properties feels.

      The point was not lost on the Rolling Stones. The Stones, like other bands to emerge while rock and roll was young, got famous by borrowing black styles and black talk, and mostly without attribution. Even the name of the group was plucked from a song originally recorded by blues great Muddy Waters (see "Mannish Boy" excerpt below). Several of the Stone's hits can be loosely traced to black standards of the South, but a few are just plain knock-offs. When recording "You Gotta Move" in 1971, for instance, the band did nothing more than lay a grinding electric guitar behind old, old lyrics:

You gotta move, you gotta move, child

Oh, when the Lord gets ready

You gotta move

      The original "I Gotta Move," was sung in black churches for years, and is likely still being performed. The song contains many of the classic characteristics of "ring shouts," those praise sessions of slaves who rekindled faith and resisted misery by drawing themselves into animated worship circles. Ring shouts tended to carry simple messages and contain simple lyrics. It was their rendering that was adorned. The following version of "I Gotta Move," recorded in the 1960's during a live, acappella performance by a group of Georgia Sea Island women, began at an almost lilting pace, with booming voices, syncopated claps and stomps on a naked floor creating, in the truest sense, an orchestra without instruments. One woman kicked off each line, but she was quickly accompanied by the harmonizing wails of the others. Then, a few bars into the plaintive melody, the plodding footfalls sped up and the clapping went double-time. The resulting sound was layered and throbbing and sepulchral, as if it had wafted up from a sad, sad netherworld:

I got ta move, we got ta move

We got ta move, we got ta move

O, when the Lord, get ready

You got ta move


You may be rich, you may be poor,

You may be high, you may be low,

But when the Lord get ready,

You got ta move.


My brother move, my brother move

My brother move, my brother move

O, when the Lord, get ready

You got ta move.


Sometime I'm up, sometime I'm down

Sometime I'm almost to da groun'

O, when the Lord, get ready

You got ta move.

There are layers of meaning here as well as sound. You got to move when the spirit says move, the song suggests, like when the Holy Spirit winds you up on Sunday morning. But you've also got to move on home to Jesus when He says it's time to rest. And this is the great equalizer, for as is observed, the rich and high-ups must go before Him when He gets ready, same as the poor and low-downs. Such a profound faith in the equal opportunity of mortality should have scraped a slaver's spine like an icy finger. Lord knows all men were created equal, the lyrics seem to imply. And eventually you will too."


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Subject: Lyr; Add: Move When The Spirit Says Move
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 08:18 AM

YOU GOTTA MOVE WHEN THE SPIRIT SAYS MOVE

{from African American spiritual; Atlantic City, New Jersey version which was also used as a civil rights song}

You gotta move when the spirit says move.
{move move} *
You gotta move when the spirit says move.
When the spirit says move
you gotta mo-ove, Lord.
You gotta move when the spirit says move.

You gotta walk when the spirit says walk.
{walk, walk} *
You gotta walk when the spirit says walk.
When the spirit says walk
you gotta wa-alk, Lord.
You gotta walk when the spirit says walk.

[same pattern: talk, sing, shout, pray, march, sit]

When used as a civil rights song, the verbs "march" and "walk" referred to {marching/walking demonstrations, and the verb "sit" referred to "sitins" when African Americans sat at lunch counters and other restaurants which only served White customers.

* optional; if used, these words were only sung by some members of the group or choir.

I remember this song as being moderately uptempo.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 08:38 AM

Correction to You Gotta Move When The Spirit Says Move

[variant form of "I Got Ta Move", recollection from Atlantic City, New Jersey 1950s-mid 1960s.]

The optional phrase is three verbs repeated and not just two; for instance: "move move move"; sing sing sing" etc.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Peace
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 12:51 AM

Great thread Azizi. It could do without some of the sniping from the usual crew, but great thread anyway. Keep it up.

Some of the Motown hits were influenced by spirituals also. Of course, there's probably a thread for that already. Anyway, hang in there. Good work.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 12:56 AM

Thanks, Peace. I appreciate your comment and other on topic comments to this thead.

**

Did Motown have hits?

Oh yeah, that's right. They did. :o)

But which ones were based on spirituals or other religious songs?

Hmmm.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Peace
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 01:12 AM

Maybe Motown was over-stating it. But give a listen to the work of Rev James Cleveland.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 01:27 AM

One of the foremost Black [university based] Greek letter fraternities is Omega Psi Phi, Incorporated. Members of this fraternity are known as Omegas and as Ques {Q's}.

This fraternity has a tradition of having a member or two members with good voices singing adaptations of songs {including spirituals} as preface to various step routines. One such song is this one:


Make way! The Que train is comin'
Make way! The Que train is comin'
Make way! The Que train is comin"
And it aint gonna leave me behind.

-snip-

I believe that this verse comes from one of the Gospel Train songs, maybe, "Get On Board-the gospel train's a' comin...and it aint gonna leave me behind. But I'm not sure about this.

Btw, steppin' [as that term is used in African American communities] is a movement performance art that originated with Black Greek letter fraternities and sororities but, since the late 1990s has spread to AA schools, churches, and community groups. There also ae some non-African American based * step teams. I've heard of Latino {Latina} step teams and maybe there are step teams made up of other races..if not yet, I bet it's comin.

If you are interested in seeing video clips of steppin' and another performance style these groups do called strolls {an earlier name for "stroll" was "party walks"},I've posted some on this page in my website:

http://www.cocojams.com/internet_links_to_steppin.htm


* For the record, I'm aware that there are non-African Americans who are members of these Black [Greek letter]fraternities & sororities.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 02:09 AM

Correction.

I've posted hyperlinks to some YouTube step and stroll videos on my website Cocojams.

Since I'm here, let me share my definition of steppin:

African American steppin' is a competitive, showcase performance art form in which groups {or at least two people, traditionally segregated by gender]perform synchronized,percussive foot stomping, [individual] handclapping and body patting {pattin Juba] routines. Chanting is traditionally a part of steppin, but there is less chanting in contemporary stepping than previously.

Each fraternity and sorority has their own distinctive style of steppin. Some fraternities and some sororities step with canes, twirling them, throwing them to others in their group, and dropping them...but that's not part of the routine.

The audience for step shows are very involved. Sitting quietly while the groups step is diffently not part of this performance tradition.

Strollin' {or party walks} is movement performance by fraternities and sororities which is separate from steppin. Strolls are done to recorded R&B, hip-hop music. Groups stroll at parties. They also 'get their stroll on' when they are entering the performance floor for step shows, and when they are leaving the performance floor. All fraternity and sorority members don't step {because it's not easy to do], but most will stroll [because it's just walking to the beat of the song]. Group members show their distinctive hand signal during party walks {strolls] as well as during step performances.

As an aside, in a couple of YouTube videos I saw of strolls, the sorority members were walking in a circle surrounded by a circle of onlookers. It struck me that this tradition could have come from the counterclockwise Shout religious dance tradition that was documented during African American slavery.

**

For those who don't want to go to my website, and can access YouTube, here's a couple of video links to steppin and strollin.
{I'll start with a video of an Aka step team, since its the sorority I'm a member of-though I've been inactive for a loooong time}

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d15cAKtZQFM&NR
Added October 06, 2006 ;From yoshie4u2

"The Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha at the B The Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha at the Black Student Union Yard Show Fall 2006"

**

[and here is a video of AKA's main competitor's the Deltas {Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.]

Delta Sigma Theta" {Stroll}
Eta Beta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Inc.; Prairie View A&M University

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpdUxebG46M&mode=related&search=

**
"Omega Psi Phi", Inc.
Added November 12, 2006; From 1BLAZE954

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-8UyUbyFa8

[The Q's started out as a university armed service/ ROTC like group. You can still see the influence of this by the army fatigue uniforms they sometimes wear, and by the way their step master introduces steps and otherwise acts like a drill team sargent.

**
"Step Team"
a very good coed-mostly girls-high school or community step team}

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDM_R529UQ4&mode=related&search=
Added April 08, 2006 ;From clonebob


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 04:01 AM

Those are great videos. Remind me a little of the dance group Stomp.

There's a fun presentation of them which was on Cyberchase on PBS for kids HERE.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 09:56 AM

My daughter is a Q Pearl* {the university 'little sister' auxilary group to the Q's} and she tells me that I got the last line wrong on that Q song...

So here's the right words to that chant:

Make way! The Que train is comin'
Make way! The Que train is comin'
Make way! The Que train is comin"
And I don't want it to leave me behind.


* another name for Q Pearls is "Q Essence".

Little sisters groups have to pledge like sororities but they don't have the same legal status as sororities. I don't recall any Little sister groups when I was in college [in the mid to late 1960s, but two groups were active on my daughter's university campus in the early-mid 1980s. Most of the Black Greek letter fraternities have sister sororities and Little sister groups. But the fraternity/sorority tie might depend on decadem, region of the country, or specific university. For instance, Omega Psi Phi, Inc. fraternity and Delta Sigma Theta, Inc sorority usually are viewed as having a big brother/and sister tie. Yet when I was going to college near New York City in the mid to late 1960s, the Q's and AKAs {Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc had that relationship.

**

As to Stomp being like fraternity/sorority steppin'-yes re the percussive sound. However, each of these Black Greek letter fraternities and sororities have a whole culture which is traditional and alive and growing. The cultural markers for these groups include colors, chants, sounds, gestures, calls, body images & styles and association with symbols & music [for instance, the AKA's stand for 'finer womenhood'; they [we]consider themselves [ourselves] as 'pretty girls'[fine women] and therefore you see in the video the steppers pretending to hold a mirror in front of themselves and the step master going up to the girls fixing their hair...And-to site another example-the Q's symbol is a bulldog so the song "Who Let The Dogs Out" is their song and no other fraternity would party walk to that song.

Besides all of this, these fraternities and sororities are life long social, professional, and political support systems for their members and the member's families.

The topic of fraternity & sorority steppin is quite complicated and somewhat off subject-though it was started by a secular song from a spiritual.

And fwiw, I think that sometimes going off subject yields interesting information...and I think this is one example of that.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 10:28 AM

Thanks for the links, Azizi!

My youngest daughter and I are huge step fans: she was on a step team at her middle school, and is as blonde and white as they come. But rhythm is rhythm, and percussion is percussion.

When she fell in love with it, and wanted to try out, she said, "Mommy, what if they won't let me because I'm not black?!" I told her to just try out like everyone else. She did, and was awesome! Though it did make the formation a little 'off', she was ON!

I'm looking forward to a regional step show at my other daughter's high school next weekend. Wanna come?

Have you and your daughter seen Stomp The Yard yet?

Dani


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 10:53 AM

Yes, that is what I meant as to the reminder...the percussive. I am well aware of the complexities of sororities, etc.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 11:39 AM

The topic of fraternity & sorority steppin is quite complicated and somewhat off subject-though it was started by a secular song from a spiritual.

And fwiw, I think that sometimes going off subject yields interesting information...and I think this is one example of that.


I don't think it IS off-topic, because isn't it really about what flows from the spirituals? I ALWAYS find THAT endlessly fascinating, and I think the direction this thread has taken makes it an excellent resource to include in the Spirituals Permathread group of Mudcat resources.

Can we say that steppin, for instance, is a grandchild of spirituals through direct transmission, or is it a cousin that came from the same routes but ny a less-direct path? What do you think, Azizi? Do the young women whose dance, games, etc. report hearing spirituals? Do they see a direct link?

~Susan

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 02:56 PM

My reading indicates that traditional African culture did not separate music into spiritual {religious} and non-religious genres. Everything comes from and is an expression of the Spirit.

As to the question does African American originated steppin directly or indirectly come from spirituals, I'd probably say no.

However, looking at that question from the lens of standard American sensibilities, I would say that African American originated steppin incorporates a host of elements from African American cultures such as the synchronized foot movements of the religious Shout, the body pattin {pattin Juba} that was used in secular 18th & 19th century African American secular dance songs, various moves from secular African American dances such as the Virginia Essence which became the Soft Shoe {tap dancing}, and the structure and styles of military drill sargent call & response chanting. And there are alot etc etc ecteras.

Sometimes African American originated steppin expresses the African body aesthetics of the forward leaning body stance. At other times steppin expresses the European body aesthetics of the straight torso.

Steppin is a dramatic art form mixed with dance mixed with vocalizing mixed with active audience participation.

As you probably can tell, I'm an avid fan.

**

Here's a link to commentary about the Virginia Essence that is found in Lynne Fauley Emery's book "Black Dance: from 1619 to today; 2nd revised edition {Princeton Book Company, 1988; pps.205, 206}.

thread.cfm?threadid=98094&messages=26#1940006
RE: Folklore: Minstrelsy and Irish Music

If interested, also see my 17 Jan 07 - 08:14 PM comment about the Virginia Essence in that same thread.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 02:57 PM

Dani,

My compliments to your daughter!

I'd love to know if her step team and other step teams in the UK chant and if so, what kind of chants they do. Also do they party walk {stroll}?


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 03:12 PM

Btw, my daughter and I saw the 2007 movie Stomp The Yard

Fwiw, we'd give that movie a C or less for storyline. And as to Stomp The Yard's depiction of steppin, we both thought that the movie's "dance" scenes were too much hip hop dancing and not enough real steppin. And that movie had no sorority steppin at all except for some brief scenes toward the end.

**
See these Stomp The Yard movie reviews

**

Also, my daughter and I both agree that the step scenes in Spike Lee's 1988 movie School Daze far superior to those in the Stomp The Yard movie.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 07:43 PM

We're in NC, not UK, but I'll ask her what chants they used...

I agree on "Stomp The Yard's" story (yawn), but still loved the stepping scenes. The audience where I saw it applauded the acts all through the final competition scene as if it was happening right in from of us.

One of the very coolest things I ever saw was at the American Dance Festival, they have begun a tradition of the Festival of the Feet, highlighting (together) rhythmic percussive dance of completely different (as if!) dance traditions. The one I saw was a dance-off between African-American step/stomp-style dancers, tapdancers and traditional Irish dancers. Wow.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 08:48 PM

Dani, sorry for placing you & your family over the ocean.

I agree with you that the audience liked the dance scenes. However, most of the movie's audience when my daughter, a friend or hers, and I saw the movie were pre-teens and teenagers {mostly Black people but also a good number of White people}. Imo, because of their age, this audience hasn't really seen that many {or any?} step competitions, but they have seen the kind of dancing that the movie showcased and incorporated into the step routines. So, yes, the audience was really in to the dance scenes and appeared to like them a lot. But I wonder how different the reaction would be if the audience was made up of members of undergraduate chapter or graduate chaperAA fraternities & sororities steppers.

**

For folks interested in learning more about the nine African American fraternities and sororities that are members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, click The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated .

Also, for those interested, here's a wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Pan-Hellenic_Council


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 09:11 PM

I'VE BEEN WORKING HARD FOR IOTA

I've been working hard for iota/ Gotta that iota shield I've been working hard for iota because it is my will (hold that line) hold that and we will be together pledging now and pledging forever I've been working, working striving. striving but i still gotta long way to (Go oh oh oh)x2
-jamere t.; 6/7/2006 www.cocojams.com

Editor:
"Iota" is Iota Phi Theta, Inc. fraternity which joined the National Pan-Hellenic Council {of African American fraternities & sororities} in 1997.

This video link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-8UyUbyFa8 shows the Omegas {Omega Psi Phi, Inc} performing "I've been working Hard for Omega" in a step show. At some points in the song the step team acts out shoveling motions. This step team sings more than one verse of this song {in unison}. In addition to the name of the fraternity being different, the words that the Omegas sing may be different from those given above for the Iotas. Unfortunately, the video is not of high quality and the words are difficult to decipher. However, the last line "tryin to make Omega my home" is very clear.

I think the last line of this song might be an adaptation of the line from a spiritual "tryin to make heaven my home". Given the accompanying actions the step team performed, I'm also wondering if the spiritual or spirituals that formed the basis of this step team song {which spiritual or spirituals I'm not certain] was also used as a chain gang song.


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Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 01:34 PM

This is a correction to my post on 20 Jan 07 - 09:56 AM in which I wrote that the Black Greek lettered fraternity song "Make Way The Q Train Is Comin" was probably based on an African Anerican Gospel train spiritual.

I believe that I "misspoke". Instead of a Gospel train song, I believe that fraternity song is an adaptation of "Good News Cariot Comin".


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