USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘team song’
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Song/Initiation

I asked a fellow classmate if she had any songs that she knew of as a tradition in any parts of her life. She told me about a song that one had to learn in order to be initiated onto the theatre team at her high school. It was a variation of the song Lean on Me, with added words that acted as puns for each line end, they would do this before every show, and you had to know the song if you wanted to be in the show.

 

Greer said that the song went, “Lean on me (yeah)

When you’re not strong (weak)

And I’ll be your friend (high five) 

I’ll help you carry on 

for (five)

It won’t be long (short)

Til I’m gonna need (elbow)

Somebody to lean on”

 

Background Info: This short variation of Lean on Me was something that Greer had to learn to become initiated into her theatre program, and something that she had to teach grades below her. This was a comforting song that they sang before shows to cool their nerves and recognize that they all had each other’s backs during the show.

 

Context: I learned about this tradition while at coffee with Greer, we both shared stories about certain traditions, and songs that we were familiar with or were a part of throughout our lives.

 

Analysis: I thought this was interesting because it was both a song and a type of initiation. I think them adding small chants at the end of each line as puns brought people together in a fun way, and she said it was something that she looked forward to in each show. I personally don’t have any type of song or tradition similar to this so I thought it was very cool.

 

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