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Old 09-19-2003, 12:36 AM   #1
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Question Song Dedications

Just wanted to hear from the horses mouths up here..."How are songs normally dedicated to people and families?"

I've heard that sometimes a group/committee may ask the Host Drum in advance about doing something like this. Has it ever happened where a song came to someone and they decide to give it to the family? Or does that happen?

How does this happen?
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Old 09-25-2003, 11:51 AM   #2
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Traditionally this is how it was done:

When an occasion rises. . . .

The leader of a family will invite a chosen song maker/composer to his/her home and feed him. After the meal, the family leader will offer the song maker/composer tobacco and make his request and explain to whom the song is to be made for.

A date will also be agreed on when the song will be formally presented. In many instances the Indian name of the individual or family will be asked for by the song maker/composer and added to the song. Upon leaving their home, the leader of the family will give the song maker/composer a box of groceries.

The song maker/composer will then use the tobacco in prayer and ask for a song to come to him.

On the day of the song presentation, a chosen speaker will announce that the song will be sung in public for the first time and who it was made for (usually during a powwow). In acknowledgement, the family or individual who receives the song will have a give away. Gifts of a horse, rifle, star blankets, pendleton blankets and cash are appropriate to give the song maker/composer for making the song.

From then on whenever this song is sung in public, the owner of the song should stand up when their song is sung. After the song is sung they should acknowledge their ownership by presenting a gift (money, blanket or tobacco) to the person that renders their song.

__

Non traditional method:

1. Get on your cell phone
2. Speed dial the leader of a drum group
3. Tell him to get on powwows.com after work
4. Have a personal message prewritten with your request
5. FedEx him a money order as payment in advance
6. Request that he burn you a CD of the song.


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Last edited by WhoMe; 09-25-2003 at 12:02 PM..
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Old 09-27-2003, 03:25 AM   #3
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Now all this begs another question, once that song is sang in public at a social function like a powwow (and not a ceremonial) shouldn't it be considered 'on the drum' and be open for all to sing that know it? Often folks can get in quit a snit when a family or personal song is sang at a powwow by a non relative or friend. Being a singer I know that just seeing someone's face at a dance can sometimes bring their personal/family song to mind and then later you plan on leading something else and where you were thinking of their song early it just kinda leaps out of your mouth...LOL...I know it's happened to me before. Also once that person passes how is the song then considered? I saw on the latest Bad Medicine CD that the late Lindy Tofpi's song was on it...should it be there?

By the way I think I know of several times that non traditional method has been used by friends of mine.
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My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.
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Old 09-29-2003, 05:47 PM   #4
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PWBum:

Quote:
Originally posted by powwowbum49
"Once that song is sang in public at a social function like a powwow (and not a ceremonial) shouldn't it be considered 'on the drum' and be open for all to sing that know it?"
Not necessarily. Some singers will hear an old recording of a song and sing it at a powwow without knowing the meaning OR who it belongs to. The owner or family of the owner may recognize it and publically "make a mountain out of a molehill" at the singer's expense.

I recently attended a funeral in which a family song was buried along with the deceased. If this song was ever sung by someone who wasn't informed, there will definitely be problems.

Quote:
Originally posted by powwowbum49
"Also once that person passes how is the song then considered? I saw on the latest Bad Medicine CD that the late Lindy Tofpi's song was on it...should it be there?"
It all depends on the deceased' last wishes or their family. Some songs go down with the deceased, some are given to another family member to carry on and others just continue to "stay on the drum."

Quote:
Originally posted by powwowbum49
"I know that just seeing someone's face at a dance can sometimes bring their personal/family song to mind and then later you plan on leading something else and where you were thinking of their song early it just kinda leaps out of your mouth...LOL...I know it's happened to me before."
Does that mean "Birdlegs, Black Jack Daisy or Hold me with your boney arms and kiss me with your skinny lips" just leaped out of your mouth?????? :p

j/k
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Old 09-30-2003, 02:22 PM   #5
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What a great loss to bury a song with an individual. We all effect people around us and leave a mark on this world whether we realize it or not and a song can bring back such fond memories, but I guess that is why the family might also want it not to be sang...might hurt too much.

That is so true about many not actually knowing whether a song belongs to someone or not, and I too have seen that molehill turn into a mountain. Of course that bring up an entirely different subject in that should a personal song be placed on a commercial recording, especially if it is not meant to be open for all to sing. I realize that often recordings are made by individuals and those recording can also make the rounds and disseminate faster than a commercial recording, but that goes back to singing a song in a public venue, if you do not want others to sing it, then why have it sang where it could be recorded and make those rounds in the first place. Yes, it is the responsibility of a singer to be polite about not singing individual/family songs when the family is around, or asking if they mind it being sang before they actually do, but I feel the family has a responsibility as well, to keep the song private and limit it's use to ceremonials if they are going to take offense about it being sang publicly by others.

There are a couple of individual songs that I come to mind right away that I hear being sang all over the place, that many do not seem to realize are individual songs. Chad Tohay's song for instance. That song if extremely popular and I have even heard northern drums singing it. Another that comes to mind is Jackie Santakoy's song, I hear that one a lot too.

Here's another questions for this subject...personal songs quite often have words in them, so if the song is rendered without the words but with vocables instead does that change it's ability to be used publicly? I hear many gourd songs that are family songs and I know have words to them, sang as straight vocable songs and they are sang quite regularly.

Oh yeah...it was definately the 'Hold me with your boney arms and kiss me with your skinny lips song', but I won't say who that song belongs too though...LMAO!
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"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.
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