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What Style Songs Do You Sing?

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  • What Style Songs Do You Sing?

    In reading an email from a buddy of mine last night, I thought of a good topic of discussion. What style songs do you guys sing? I sing almost 100% Lakota songs with some vocables songs from other tribes, and my buddy sings mostly Dakota songs. Just wondering what everyone's forte on this board is and preference? Scott

  • #2
    my drum sings mostly SixNation (word) songs as our lead is Oneida, but we try to mix it up a bit with some various vocable songs.


    • #3
      Our intertribals and round dance songs are vocables from all over, the only word songs we sing are in Mvskoke(Creek)
      A Warrior without character is nothing more than a brute.

      I have lots of freinds, you just cant see them:)


      • #4
        Cool! you sing in Creek! Iam the lead singer at our Drum(we just came out on new years day) here in Seattle,Washington state. Iam Choctaw/Cree and was always wonderin if anyone in southeast ever sung at Pow wows in there language. Thats so cool...I would love to hear them. I have composed a few songs for our group but they are all vocables and for the fun heavey Flag or Vet. songs. I can speak Choctaw a bit but not onuff to convey a good message worthy of a flag song. No melodies have come to me yet, so I dont think Iam meant to compose one yet. Do you sing southern style? I was wondering when I sing in Choctaw should I use my southern voice or my northern voice(my Drum members all want to keep the Drum a northern drum.Lakota) which doesnt make sense to me since none of us are Lakota! well anyway...If ya know of anyone who sings Pow wow songs in Choctaw Please let me know,or anyother southeast language, that maybe want to share some songs.
        Man it would be nice to learn Southern songs in a language that I feel comfortable with.
        Sorry what was the topic again? haha
        I get off track so easy!

        anyway..I am 22 years old..real young and dont have much experiance with being a lead songer but I have the voice and the Elders in the erea seem to think Iam doing well at it. although its hard to be so young and have to be lead singer for all these older guys..who seem to have a lot of image and ego invalved. I find my self gettin frustrated with them because they seem reluctant to learn any songs but Lakota songs. Iam comfortable singing both styles, but I always feel like i should be singing with a southern Drum. I sit with one up here on occasion but they dont come around but once a month or so..
        man Iam long winded!!!
        Take care


        • #5
          Henga estonko!
          Give me your email address and we'll talk. mine is [email protected]. Loking forward to talking with you.
          A Warrior without character is nothing more than a brute.

          I have lots of freinds, you just cant see them:)


          • #6
            lakota songs are the songs for me!!!! Ilove the old ones(1940's and before)They carry the history of the people and on the real old ones(pre- rez), you can get a glimpse into the life of that time. That's why I prefer the worded tunes but the vocable ones are great too. I sing for every occasion I can; sundance,powwow, sweat,whatever i know the songs for. The young voices are great , but i also prefer to sing with the old timers. Not a chance of an old timer singing 'Mickey mouse"!


            • #7
              I'd love to hook up with some Lakota singers back east. At the moment I'm living in Custer SD, but will most likely be living in upstate NY by sept. Possibly we can hook up then. Maybe you know of some singers up that way???? Hey, did you take down my post about 'Who's tradition is it anyway' already? I just put it up today. Didn't think it was that risque


              • #8
                Yeah! I agree! That was I good topic Mr. RabbitBelly brought up. I took half an hour with my post to that one. (Iam a slow typer)


                • #9
                  So, does anybody here like these modern songs like "Mickey Mouse" and "superman". I know alot of people think they're cute and evidence of an evolving culture,but to me it seems like a real dis to all those old timers and traditional ways. I'm sure if white guys had made these songs,there would be a different response to them. Regardless of how old those old songs are, they always were made to honor something or remember something special. These songs only help to erode the long standing oral traditions of the indian people. Just one more step in the assimilation process. There's really nothing to be proud about in these songs and that's an important part of cultural identification.


                  • #10
                    I agree with you rabbitbelly; I don't particularly care for those songs. My drum group won't sing them. If we're called on for a kids song, we'll sing an appropriate song for them of which there are many. I just don't like songs (except a few round dance and rabbit dance songs) that have english lyrics. I love those old Lakota songs!!...and the new ones that are not Rock N' Roll songs which just repeat wacipelo over and over. Just my opinion, Scott

                    P.S. I have sung those songs on drums before, but I prefer not to. Just didn't want to appear hypocritical to those who know me


                    • #11
                      Scott, I agree with you that some of the word songs like that are odd. But I do like a lot of the new stuff that is out by alot of different drums. I know there alot of vocable songs but there are several that are word songs. As high as most of the new drums sing, it gets real hard to tell the difference some times.


                      • #12
                        About those "cartoon" songs . . .

                        For some reason (relative youth, I would guess) MC's often come to my drum for tiny tots exhibition (which I have grown tired of). We have even been asked for a specific song by name (Mickey Mouse, Flintstones, etc.). I personally do not like to sing these songs, but if asked for a specific song, I do it despite not liking it.

                        I don't think these songs are necessarily bad, just different. I also don't think we sing these songs all that well, probably because our hearts aren't in that kind of song.

                        I was taught that if asked "in a good way," you ought to do it.

                        Any thoughts on this situation?
                        Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.


                        • #13
                          While everybody is picking on those cartoon songs and castigating the drums who sing them, has any one found out the history of them? They just didn't fall out of the sky, you know.


                          • #14
                            i just don't understand what is so bad about it ok for BlackLodge to keep writing the veteran songs with english words....i mean if u dislike there kids songs how od u feel about those....what about the two step songs by Eyabay or Northern Cree or any other group with english words in round dance or rabbit dance songs....
                            one thing u must remember....the types of songs that r mostly remembered are the old school straight traditional songs...not these new word songs....this time next year, who will remember "Johnny Blaze" by Eyabay....but who ever forgets the old songs by Red Cloud or stuff from Wild Horse, Mandaree, High Noon, and others....
                            just my 2 cents


                            Work like you don't need the money, Love like you've never been hurt, and Dance like no one is watching.


                            • #15
                              First let me state that I sing southern (mainly Kiowa and Ponca). But I have to put my own 2 cents in about those kids’ songs.

                              Yes, those songs are all right for the younger dancers (5 and younger) but not all the time. The problem I have seen is that many drum groups only knows one of those songs and sings it over and over again just for the sake a singing a "Kids" song. However, I believe that if you are going to do an exhibition dance with the young boys/girls (age 6 and up) they should have a normal song. Just my opinion.

                              "I just don't understand what is so bad about it ok for BlackLodge to keep writing the veteran songs with english words....i mean if u dislike there kids songs how od u feel about those....what about the two step songs by Eyabay or Northern Cree or any other group with english words in round dance or rabbit dance songs...."

                              On your above comment, let me just say that your are comparing apples to oranges to grapefruit here. How can you compare Veteran songs with english words to those kid or two-step songs? I know that there are lot of Northern Veteran songs with english words so for simplicity lets just pick one that says World War I or World War II. Will you please inform all of use what the Sioux word (or word from any other language) for those war were prior to 1900 - you can't now can you . Yes, I know that it 2000 not 1900, but I’m just trying to make a point. If you listen to the Veteran Songs CD that came out a few years back you’ll hear, if I remember correctly, old recording with English words in them – so its not just a new thing and not just limited to Black Lodge’s veteran songs.

                              Now onto the two-step songs: once again like the kids’ songs these songs can nowadays be classified as social not specialty songs (e.g. Veteran, Memorial or Prayer Songs). So I really don’t have a problem with the english lyrics in them.

                              As a side note, most of the common southern round dance songs with english lyrics were created from old “War Expeditions Songs”; and yes, there was a controversy over them back some 20 plus years ago, so we won’t rehash it here. The same might hold true for northern songs, but I’ll pass that on to those who are more knowledgeable with northern music. All I’m going to say is that during the round dance the songs are sung without the english lyrics but are sometimes sung with them during the two-step.

                              Yes, your right in that some new round dance song with english lyrics are popular for a year or so but eventually go the way of most songs and are forgotten, until someone dust them off the shelf so to speak. As for those kid songs our drum group opps not to sing them.

                              All I’m trying to say is that it’s not wise to make such a general reference across the board to all songs with english lyrics. Just my humble opinion.

                              [This message has been edited by SingerMD (edited May 16, 2000).]


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