USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘singing’
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Tales /märchen

Abiyoyo

IN: Okay, so far away in a village in Africa, uhm there was a giant by the name of Abiyoyo. For some reason, he got angry and started rampaging, like towards the village of people. Until this little boy decided to take this guitar and start singing, “abiyoyo, abiyoyo, abiyoyo..” and all of the villagers joined in and it started to make him get happy. The giant started dancing, and he and the boy walked into the sunset singing the song.

JJ: Does abiyoyo mean anything? Or did it start to mean anything after?

IN: No, as far as I know it was just kind of arbitrary, like a cool sounding word. It could mean something I guess.

Context: During a slow work shift I asked the informant if he remembered any folktales from his childhood.

Background: The informant is s South-African American. This was a story his father used to always tell him before bed. It is one of the few ways that his family actively passed down their African heritage to him in the States, so this was a significant story to him growing up.

Analysis: In this tale, we see music as a healing tool and important instrument in society. Music is a huge piece in African culture, and this story undoubtedly expresses that. Music has the ability to calm and tranquilize even a beastly giant, and gives reason for little kids to learn instruments and develop and explain interest in music.

 

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Legends

High School Song Contest

This tradition was told in a setting where a group of friends were recounting old and weird high school traditions. This is one from a small private all-girl’s school in Ohio.

“So in my high school, my high school is like a school that’s all grades, like you can go there from the time you’re two years old to when you graduate, I just went when I went o high school, and in the highs school there’s this thing that each grade, so just the four, they do a thing called song contest and each grade will pick a theme and it’s super secretive and then you have to pick songs like four or five songs that fit that theme and change the lyrics to be about my high school Laurel, and you have to play your own music, so like you can’t play a stereo, you have to get your own music and your own dances, and then the alumni will vote on the best and which celebrates Laurel the most, and it’s this whole thing because my school’s been around since 1896 so there’s some very old alumni, and like, they’re like, conspiracies that like you have to pick older songs cause the old people aren’t going to know, and last year the juniors did beyonce and it was good like super good, but they didn’t win because basically because they chose too new of the artists or something like that, and there’s another conspiracy that like if the seniors don’t win it’s like a riot, and I guess that like once the seniors didn’t win and all their rich parents were like we’re defunding, we’re taking back our loans and all that, but like the seniors haven’t won a few times, like we didn’t win when we were seniors and we were fine, there was some people though who made it a big thing because they have ties to alumni and all that”

Analysis:

It’s clear to see that the reasoning behind the rumours around the song contest – it would mean more chances to win. However, it is interesting about the seniors needing to win, because it would seem that perhaps it would ENSURE that the senior class would win. However, as the informant noted, her class did not win and there were no repercussions.

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