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18 messages

yodeling and Yeats

14 Aug 08 - 03:31 PM (#2413916)
Subject: yodeling and Yeats
From: GUEST,leeneia

Recent threads got me interested in yodeling, and I've been cruising Youtube, listening to people yodel. There's such a wonderful variety - Americans, German speakers, a Belgian. There's choral yodeling and solo yodeling. Comic and reverent.

I see yodeling as 'extreme singing.' It's people playing with their voices as if they were toys. How high can I go? How fast can I whip from high to low? How fast can I go? How much can I change the timbre of my voice between the verses and the yodel?

Here's a link to my favorite yodel.

This is an act in Nashville at the Grand Old Opry. The song starts out silly and ends with some of the showiest yodeling you could hope for, so be patient and listen till the end. But what especially delights me is the expression on the face of 'Ranger Doug.' Here we have a man in front of hundreds of strangers with a camera right in his face, and he is doing vocal gymnastics with the sweetest, most loving smile that I've ever seen on stage. It reminds me of the smile on a Buddha statue or the Mona Lisa.

That puts me in mind of the poem, Lapis Lazuli by Yeats. In the next post, I will put the relevant part of it.

14 Aug 08 - 03:35 PM (#2413920)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: GUEST,leeneia

All things fall and are built again,
And those that build them again are gay.

Two Chinamen, behind them a third,
Are carved in lapis lazuli,
Over them flies a long-legged bird,
A symbol of longevity;
The third, doubtless a serving-man,
Carries a musical instrument.

Every discoloration of the stone,
Every accidental crack or dent,
Seems a water-course or an avalanche
Or lofty slope where it still snows
Though doubtless plum or cherry-branch
Sweetens the little half-way house
Those Chinamen climb towards, and I
Delight to imagine them seated there;
There, on the mountain and the sky,
On all the tragic scene they stare.
One asks for mournful melodies;
Accomplished fingers begin to play.
Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,
Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.

I have checked, and this video is not one of those that interferes with my Noteworthy Composer. It's probably safe for other people, too.

14 Aug 08 - 09:05 PM (#2414188)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: GEST

Here's my favorite yodeling song by Kevin Blackmore of Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers with a YouTube video and lyrics:

GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador

15 Aug 08 - 11:50 AM (#2414652)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: GUEST,leeneia

Another kind of yodel - the farcical. Thanks.

16 Aug 08 - 04:10 AM (#2415279)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: Jim Carroll

Never really been able to take yodelling seriously since I heard Billy Connolly's description of finding a songbook in a Glasgow music shop with all the yodels written out yodel-for-yodel.
Then there was the story of the climber climbing in the Swiss Alps late in the year when he falls and breaks his leg.
He is found by a mountain shepherd who takes him to his home on the mountain, feeds him, gives him a bed, but because the weather begins to deteriorate, is unable to get him down the mountain.
The family look after him throughout the winter and to pass the time they entertain him by teaching him to yodel.
Gradually his leg heals and as the weather improves, the shepherd makes exploratory trips down the mountain to see if it it possible to get the climber back home. One day he returns from a trip to find the climber in bed with the daughter of the house. He is furious and chase s him down the mountain shouting "I took you in when you were ill, I fed you, I gave you a bed - I even taught you how to yodel; and how do you repay me? You sleep with my daughter".
"And your old la-ee-dee", came the reply.
Jim Carroll

16 Aug 08 - 12:56 PM (#2415456)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: GUEST,leeneia

This may be an amazing mental breakthrough for you Jim -- not everything good in life has to be taken seriously. Really. It is perfectly all right to experiment, have fun, to feel joy, to be silly. Yodeling is all these things.

It was invented by people who were stuck up on a mountainside, guarding the livestock. They had no one to talk to for weeks and nothing to do with their hands. What stood between them and insanity? The chance to experiment with their own voices.

(Something similar is probably behind the unusual features of tin-whistle playing.)

Why don't you browse a few yodels on youtube and see what happens?

18 Aug 08 - 06:19 AM (#2416636)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: Jim Carroll

Nothing against yodelling at all, been listening to it since my very early 'Jimmy Rodgers, The singing Brakeman' days. Variations of yodelling techniques extend far beyond mountain herdsmen and are to be found in different forms throughout the world.
Experimentation in vocal techniques is not only "perfectly all right", it can be an essential part of the development and extension of the voice; have tried it and failed miserably.
Far from taking it too seriously, I thought I might introduce a touch of humour - however weak - sorry.
Jim Carroll

18 Aug 08 - 06:30 AM (#2416643)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: Will Fly

Jimmy Rodgers (the Singing Brakeman) was superb - good taste, Jim (and I also liked the humour). Doc Watson also shakes a mean vocal chord in his interpretations of JR songs.

18 Aug 08 - 07:16 AM (#2416665)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: Callie

nice to be reminded of that great poem!

18 Aug 08 - 01:20 PM (#2416979)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: Jim Carroll

Don't know if anybody heard the A L Lloyd series 'Songs of the People' many years ago in which he included a recording of a group of women from a tribe somewhere in Central Africa.
The story he told was that the women heard a recording of Jimmy Rodgers yodelling, thought the sound he made was so divine that they took him to be a god and composed a song in his honour - 'Jimi Roger' - one of the most erotic pieces of singing I have ever heard.
Jim Carroll

18 Aug 08 - 09:22 PM (#2417387)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: GUEST,leeneia

Now that is interesting! I wish I could hear what it's like.

19 Aug 08 - 03:42 AM (#2417520)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: Jim Carroll

Have a copy here somewhere; will contact you when I sort out problem I'm having with my sound system and send it.
Jim Carroll

19 Aug 08 - 05:13 AM (#2417555)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: Big Al Whittle

I once did a gig at Oswestry Conservative Club. Top of the bill was a young guy who yodelled Abide With me whilst accompaying himself on the accordion.

Hid Dad sidled up to me and said, he's very talented you know - he makes colour televisions in the daytime.....

......or did I dream it?

19 Aug 08 - 06:45 AM (#2417582)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: greg stephens

I was a little disappointed with the Yeats poem, which was great, but didn't actually contain any references to yodelling. And I was looking forward to seeing just what WBY thought about this interesting topic.

19 Aug 08 - 06:52 AM (#2417584)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: greg stephens

JIm C: slight memory lapse herer, but didn't you record a yodelling song from soem Irish traveller somewhere some time or other? Mary something?

19 Aug 08 - 07:08 AM (#2417591)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: Jim Carroll

The line 'And we'll yodel it over again' comes at thye end of each verse in Mary Delaney's song 'What Will We Do' - no yodelling though
Jim Carroll

19 Aug 08 - 09:52 AM (#2417695)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: GUEST,leeneia

Hi greg. You did get it that the connection between the poem and the performance was the idea of being gay?

So many people suffer from stage fright. I know I do. 'Ranger Doug,' with his serene happiness in the face of a big audience, is an example for us all.

Check out the look in his eyes, too.

19 Aug 08 - 11:10 AM (#2417756)
Subject: RE: yodeling and Yeats
From: greg stephens

I was sure Yeats had something to say about this topic, and I've tracked it down, in a review he wrote of a country and western concert he went to on an American tour.
"The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate yodelling."