Mudcat Café message #1886001 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #96348   Message #1886001
Posted By: Charley Noble
14-Nov-06 - 08:43 PM
Thread Name: Why do our songs last so long ?
Subject: RE: Why do our songs last so long ?
To "good melody and good rhyme" I would add a "good story", one that you remember long after you've forgotten the words of the verses!

Some of the work chants that were passed on from generation to generation disappeared when the task became obsolete. While many sea shanties are still song, many more evaporated before anyone thought to write them down. Others such as "What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor" persist without the march around the capstan, whatever a capstan might be!

I do wonder if some of the agricultural work chants I heard while in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia in the 1960's are still alive in the fields, or whether they have been replaced by the roar of the John Deer tractor or its Asian equivalent. Maybe when I return for a visit I should try out a translation of "The Field Behind the Plow."

Charley Noble