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Song

Posted By Kelly Lichter On January 29, 2011 @ 3:32 am In general,Musical | Comments Disabled

The chairs all are empty

The last guest is gone

The candles burn lower and lower,

And spudder on and on,

And after the last guest has parted,

It’s off to the smoke-laiden air,

There remains a lingering presence,

That goes with a fellowship prayer,

Friends, friends, friends, you and I will be

Whether in fair, dark, stormy weather,

We’ll stand or we’ll fall together

For KAT, you and I will be

Our bonds celebrating, till death separating

Old pals we’ll be (blow out candle)

This after dinner song is one that my neighbor Mackenzie participates in on a weekly basis. Mackenzie and I are members of the same sorority and so both learned this song at the beginning of the school year. Most of the girls in the sorority learned the words and sing the entire song through memorization but have no idea of the meaning of what we are saying. We never contemplate and analyze the words but because we know it is something we are meant to sing we follow without questions.

Additionally at the end of the song we blow out an imaginary candle. I never considered why we would just do this action but when I ponder it now, it makes sense. Blowing out the candle symbolizes the finalization of the evening. Light represents activity, while darkness on the other hand signifies the opposite. When a day comes to an end the transition from light to dark occurs. Therefore it makes sense that although there is not an actual candle present we are signifying this finalization of the night through the “termination of the flame”.

When I questioned Mackenzie as to her thoughts on the after dinner chant she replied that it was a fun and catchy song yet she never really thought beyond it. The part of the song that stood out most prominently to her was the one that had repetition.                 Although the song has been passed down from generations the actual words no longer hold the same significance that they used to. The song is based more off of tradition then meaning.

The tune is very catchy and thus even when we were just learning the song we were able to participate by at least humming along. The words of the song deal with the idea of friendship and the everlasting bonds that come with being sisters in a sorority. It discusses different weather conditions acknowledging that regardless of the situation the friendships that are formed will be not broken. They are everlasting and only death can break the strong bonds that are shared.

This song has been sung since this particular sorority began many years ago. Regardless of what one thinks of the songs, it is sung as it is a tradition that cannot be broken.


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URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=2060