Mudcat Café message #1884674 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #96348   Message #1884674
Posted By: GUEST,Jack Campin
13-Nov-06 - 10:28 AM
Thread Name: Why do our songs last so long ?
Subject: RE: Why do our songs last so long ?
One of the most effective call/response chants I've ever heard was when I was on a political demonstration where most of the participants were Iranians - much faster, more energetic, and more textually complex than the usual British "What do we want?" "When do we want it?" number. I have occasionally heard this in newsreel footage of demos from other parts of the Middle East, and there is something similar in some kinds of Arabic folk music where voice and instruments alternate. So maybe sailors from the Persian Gulf could have helped contribute this technique to the shanty tradition?

A question for Azizi: how far back can we trace African-American songs, with real evidence? Is there anything which we *know* has survived in Afro-American oral tradition with little change to either words or melody from 200 years ago or more, and which didn't originate from anything European?