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  • Personal Songs

    I just finished listening to a powerful song that belongs to the late Tom Charging Eagle. YouTube - Midnite Express singing Tom Charging Eagle Song @ GON 2010. In the video, this song was rendered by Midnight Express.

    Both Northern and Southern tribes and drum groups compose "personal songs" for individuals. Some of these songs are given to the drum and have become standards in powwows across the country. Other personal songs have not been "placed on the drum" and can only be rendered at the individuals request.

    In my lifetime, I have seen the process for how personal songs are requested, made, presented to individuals and acknowledged. My father has composed personal songs and so have I. I once asked a aged and respected singer with a unique, one-of-a-kind voice to compose a personal song for me. Tragically he passed on to the spirit world before he fulfilled my request.

    Do you have a personal song? Does someone who you are close to have a personal song? Who made it?

    For singers, have you ever composed someone's personal song? If so, what was the inspiration or instructions you used in this song?
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    I, specifically, do not have a personal song although there are a variety of tribal/family songs (all given back to the drum, to my knowledge) that I could use for a necessary occasion.

    I am not a singer, although I am functionally aware of many of the protocols. As a mere statement, I've never understood the concept of a personal, family or tribal song NOT being offered to the drum for appropriate use: it's a song, it's meant to be sung.

    That said, I've seen a couple of times wherein a song was sung in a "certain way" or at a "certain time" that made a few people miffed. My opinion on this is simple.

    1. If it's your song, you can sing it in any manner that you please.
    2. If you give it back to the drum, they can sing it at any time that they want.
    3. The entire idea of obtaining a personal song is an interesting thing to me.

    No, I don't think there has to be some amazing lyric or musical "vision" garnered by a songwriter that targets you and gifts the composer like an immaculate lightning bolt. I, also, don't really feel sanguine about the idea of Joe Blow being able to just commission a personal song from someone like a sponsor might a painting (although I am aware of both having occurred).

    As I do not anticipate that I will ever have a personal song, it doesn't worry me that I can imagine no manner in which to receive one that would make me entirely comfortable.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Zeke View Post
      I, specifically, do not have a personal song although there are a variety of tribal/family songs (all given back to the drum, to my knowledge) that I could use for a necessary occasion.

      I am not a singer, although I am functionally aware of many of the protocols. As a mere statement, I've never understood the concept of a personal, family or tribal song NOT being offered to the drum for appropriate use: it's a song, it's meant to be sung.

      That said, I've seen a couple of times wherein a song was sung in a "certain way" or at a "certain time" that made a few people miffed. My opinion on this is simple.

      1. If it's your song, you can sing it in any manner that you please.
      2. If you give it back to the drum, they can sing it at any time that they want.
      3. The entire idea of obtaining a personal song is an interesting thing to me.

      No, I don't think there has to be some amazing lyric or musical "vision" garnered by a songwriter that targets you and gifts the composer like an immaculate lightning bolt. I, also, don't really feel sanguine about the idea of Joe Blow being able to just commission a personal song from someone like a sponsor might a painting (although I am aware of both having occurred).

      As I do not anticipate that I will ever have a personal song, it doesn't worry me that I can imagine no manner in which to receive one that would make me entirely comfortable.
      Really? zeke, you don't have to worry about a song being given to you 'cause you're not Indian. hahaha my goodness you sure like to talk about things you know nothing about.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by farmer ned View Post
        Really? zeke, you don't have to worry about a song being given to you 'cause you're not Indian.
        Oh, I am willing to bet that there are a great many folks that would disagree with you regarding the latter. As for the primary, that's not really up to me, is it?

        But I do find your (weak) argument interesting: so, if you don't have a personal song, you're not an Indian?

        I wonder what that leaves our overall numbers at?

        Like anyone else that can effectively reason, I'm forced to conclude that you're just not very bright.
        Last edited by Zeke; 04-01-2011, 05:09 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by farmer ned View Post
          Really? Zeke, you don't have to worry about a song being given to you 'cause you're not Indian. hahaha my goodness you sure like to talk about things you know nothing about.
          None of my business, but I'd bet that Zeke is "More NDN" than 85% of the membership of this web-site.
          I dont know Farmer Ned ... so no dis-respect to you specifically.

          Not that Zeke needs any help....
          But I get tired of every time Zeke has something to say, people want to bash him. Not on the content of his words, but some other wild tangent. I usually find his diatribe quite interesting and generally well thought out. Which is much more than can be said for most of US. Of Course as smart as Zeke is, he doesn't hold a candle to Ol'Chemist.

          So Now he is not NDN. Well in the words of Clinton" depends on what your definition of NDN is.
          "Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is." JW

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