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Old 08-23-2002, 07:49 AM   #1
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singing other nations songs

Has anybody been to a powwow where a drum group that is not from your nations is singing in your language. For example, a Mohawk drum group singing cree songs. Furthermore, they are not singing the words right and miss-pronouncing every single lyric. What are you thoughts about this.
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Old 08-28-2002, 03:12 PM   #2
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i think if your going to sing songs from another nation you should ask some one who know that language to help you pronounce the words. You should also ask if it is alright to sing that song. You should not just sing the song without asking or learning about that song. Keep it real!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-28-2002, 11:02 PM   #3
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I think that if someone from a different nation came to my home and wanted to learn a song that we sing here. I would not mind at all. and i would be glad to teach them. I would actually like it if I could go out and learn different things. I think it is good to teach so things would not be done or said wrong.
If the person trying to learn is honestly trying to learn, and not be just mocking, then the person will learn.

But it would be good to make sure the pronounciation is correct and it is not a family song.
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Old 08-30-2002, 12:21 PM   #4
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How many drums out there sing old-style Lakota songs and how often? Many do - alot of the time! Not most, and not most of the time, though. But it should be noted that many of the songs were given freely (Porcupine say they are honored when they hear another drum singing their music, but I am sure they would rather it be pronounced correctly and sang well). People should be aware of songs given only for certain purposes (i.e. memorial songs, etc.).

But for most songs, there is a time and a place, IMHO.
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Old 09-05-2002, 12:35 PM   #5
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It is the responsibility of the lead singer to make sure that if his drum is singing another nations song that they should be pronoucing everything correctly, singing the song at the right time, and have the permmission of the songs' wrighter to sing it.

No if Ands or Buts
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Old 09-12-2002, 12:41 PM   #6
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Common Sense......

Ya'know Fallen Dancer I hear what your saying, but isn't this common sense...Theres a protocol, an understanding among Singers that you respect one another. Granted there are groups out there who may not follow that example, and oh geez the stories I could share..........If you want to sing someone elses song follow that protocol. Approach that particular group or singer and simply ask them.....Generally singers are going to appreciate people who enjoy their music. They want to hear that music and its made to be shared. Be sincere when you approach a singer or a group, gift them something and express how you feel......Now in a situation when you don't have the oppurtunity to speak directly to the group or singer thats were it may get a little complicated. I think this is were alot of groups walk that fine line; i.e. do we listen to this recording and "think" we understand the words.......Hmmmm? My advice don't guess, be sure. Singers, dancers, spectators will enjoy your music, but its up to the singer to do their homework. Don't forget were the music comes from as well.........
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Old 09-17-2002, 05:42 PM   #7
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I remember this one Ojibway drum group trying to sing a Cree song with all the words and everything. Im not sure whos song it belonged to, I think it might of been Northern Cree or Whitefish Jrs. Anyways...these Ojibways were singing the song all crazy. They sounded like crap....there were alot of words they messed up, some words they tried to say in the Cree language sounded like "naughty" words in the Ojibway language. Me and my friends got a real good laugh out of it.

So here is what I think about singing other Nations songs. Learn them first. Your not only making an a$$ out of yourself but also disrespecting the drum that actually made the song.
I dont mind other drums singing other nations songs, I also dont mind if one drum group from a tribe composes a song in a different language other than theirs. Just one thing.....make sure they are saying the words correct and the song makes sense. Thats all I ask for.

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Old 09-18-2002, 11:56 AM   #8
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I know a singer that got himself in trouble at a few pow-wows a little while back for singing songs inappropriatley (sp). He was called on it and was really embarrased.

This singer was at a pow-wow and another drum was singing a song for a family who just had a death. This singer recorded this song and began using it at other pow-wows as a flag song. He used it as a flag song for about a year, then a visiting drum came around that knew that song and what it was used for. When this visiting group heard this singer and his group singing what they thought was a flag song, the visiting group had a concerned look on their faces. The visiting drum's dad confronted the singer and told him that the song he had been using was in fact a death song. The singer was embarrased. Especially since he was called on it in front of his drum group, who looked up to him for song selection.

This singer had not asked permission to sing the song, nor did he find out where it came from or what it was for. The singer used it because he thought it sounded cool.

The same singer was also called on again when he sang a song with Navajo words in it. After the song a man approached him and asked where he got the song. The singer lied and said that someone made it for him. The man then informed the singer that he had made the song, and that the singer was singing it wrong. Once againg this singer sang the song because he thought it sounded cool.

I used to drum with this singer. I am happy to say that I quit before these incidents. I quit drumming with him partly because he didn't care to know about the songs he was using. He only cared that they sounded cool.

These are just prime first hand accounts and examples of why you should ask before you sing a song. Especially if it does not come from your tribe.
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