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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Christmas Song "Mary's Boy Child" (information, lyrics, & videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information, lyrics, and musical examples of the Christmas song "Mary's Boy Child" that was composed in 1956 by Jester Hairston.

The content of this post is presented for religious, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Jester Hairston for his musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to all those who are featured in these videos. In addition, thanks to the publishers of those videos on YouTube.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPOSER OF THIS SONG
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jester_Hairston
"Jester Joseph Hairston (July 9, 1901 – January 18, 2000) was an American composer, songwriter, arranger, choral conductor, and actor. He was regarded as a leading expert on Negro spirituals and choral music.[1][2] His notable compositions include "Amen," a gospel-tinged theme from the film Lilies of the Field and a 1963 hit for The Impressions, and the Christmas song "Mary's Boy Child".

Early life
Hairston was born in Belews Creek, a rural community on the border of Stokes, Forsyth, Rockingham and Guilford counties in North Carolina. His grandparents had been slaves. At an early age he and his family moved to Homestead, Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh, where he graduated from high school in 1920. Hairston, who gave up studies at Massachusetts Agricultural College in the 1920s, went on to graduate from Tufts University in 1928 and studied music at the Juilliard School. Hairston pledged Kappa Alpha Psi (Chi Chapter) in 1925. He worked as a choir conductor in the early stages of his career. His work with choirs on Broadway eventually led to his singing and acting in plays, films, radio programs, and television shows.…

Hairston wrote the song "Mary's Boy Child" in 1956. He also arranged the song "Amen", which he dubbed for the Sidney Poitier film Lilies of the Field (1963), and arranged traditional Negro spirituals. Most of Hairston's film work was in the field of composing, arranging, and choral conducting. Hairston also acted in over 20 films, mostly in small roles, some of which were uncredited. Among the films he appeared in were bit parts in some of the early Tarzan movies, St. Louis Blues (1958), The Alamo (1960), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), In the Heat of the Night (1967), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) and Being John Malkovich (1999).”...

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LYRICS: MARY'S BOY CHILD
(Jester Hairston)

Mary's boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day.
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day.

Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible said,
Mary's boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day.

Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today,
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day.
Mary's boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day.

While shepherds watch their flocks by night,
they see a bright new shining star,
they hear a choir sing a song, the music seemed to come from afar.

Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today,
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day.

For a moment the world was aglow, all the bells rang out
there were tears of joy and laughter, people shouted
"let everyone know, there is hope for all to find peace".

Now Joseph and his wife, Mary, came to Bethlehem that night,
they found no place to bear her child, not a single room was in sight.

And then they found a little nook in a stable all forlorn,
and in a manger cold and dark, Mary's little boy was born.

Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today,
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day.
Mary's boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day.

Oh a moment still worth was a glow, all the bells rang out
there were tears of joy and laughter, people shouted
"let everyone know, there is hope for all to find peace".

Source: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/boneym/marysboychildohmylord.html

That page also includes the lyrics to "Oh My Lord" as sung by Boney M

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FEATURED EXAMPLES
Example #1: Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord - Boney M



Ben Wilder Uploaded on Mar 12, 2008

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Example #2: 1956 HITS ARCHIVE: Mary's Boy Child - Harry Belafonte (full-length LP version)


MusicProf78, Published on May 30, 2014

Mary's Boy Child (Lorin-Jester Hairston) by Harry Belafonte, orchestra conducted by William Lorin (CD audio source)

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Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Examples Of The 19th Century American Play Party Song - Old Sister Phoebe (The Juniper Tree)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information, lyrics, and musical examples of the play party song "Old Sister Phoebe" (also known as "The Juniper Tree" and "Sister Phoebe".)

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, and recreational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to all those who are featured in these videos and thanks to the publishers of those videos on YouTube.

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EDITOR'S NOTE:
When I cleaned out an old filing cabinet today I found -among other things- a number of pages from New Music Horizon books that I had copied more than fifteen years. Among those pages were the words to the song "Sister Phoebe".

I believe that I copied the song "Sister Phoebe" that was given in book four of that children's music textbook because I mistakenly believed that it was of African American origin. Part of my reason for that conclusion was the fact that the title "Sister" was used by Black women in in the 19th century American South in substitution for the prohibited titles "Mrs." and "Miss". Those titles were reserved for White females only. I also jumped to the (I believe erroneous) conclusion that the song "Sister Phoebe" originated with Black Americans because I'm familiar with Black women calling each other "sister" and the title "Sister" being used among some church going African Americans- I think particularly in the predominately Black American Church of God in Christ congregations.

Although I now believe that "Sister Phoebe" probably didn't originate with African Americans, I think that that it's very likely that this game was played by African Americans. If so, it's appropriate that this game be shared on this blog that focuses on music and dance from African American and other Black cultures around the world.

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FEATURED EXAMPLES
These lyrics, information, and sound file examples of"Old Sister Phoebe" are given in somewhat random order, beginning with an example that has the most information about this song that I've found to date.

Example #1: Old Sister Phoebe



Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band – Topic., Published on Nov 10, 2015

Provided to YouTube by CDBaby
Old Sister Phoebe · Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band

Songs in the Life of Abraham Lincoln (Ballad of America Vol. 3)
℗ 2009 Slip Songs/ASCAP
-snip-
From http://www.balladofamerica.com/music/indexes/songs/oldsisterphoebe/index.htm

....

"Lyrics to Old Sister Phoebe

Old Sister Phoebe, how happy were we
The day we sat under the juniper tree
The juniper tree, hi ho, hi ho!
The juniper tree, hi ho!

Place this had on your head, it will keep your head [warm]
And take a sweet kiss, it will do you no harm
But a great deal of good, I know, I know
A great deal of good, I know

Old Sister Phoebe, how happy were we
The day we sat under the juniper tree
Now around and around we go, we go
Around and around we go"
-snip-
From http://www.balladofamerica.com/music/indexes/albums/volume3.htm#2
"Old Sister Phoebe

In the fall of 1816, after chaotic land laws caused the Lincolns to lose three different farms in Kentucky, Thomas and Nancy Lincoln moved with their two children - Sarah, 9, and Abraham, 7 - to southern Indiana. Abraham became skilled with the plow and axe as he assisted his father in the work that had to be done to survive on the frontier. In October of 1818, when Abraham was 9 years old, his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died of milk sickness.

Nancy had encouraged young Abraham to read and explore the world through books, which he did voraciously. Although the demands of life on the frontier left little time for formal schooling, Abraham educated himself and could often be seen carrying a book as well as an axe.

As he grew from a boy to a young man, Abraham was popular at community gatherings such as corn shuckings, logrollings, grubbings, and play parties. Play parties were a popular form of entertainment in frontier communities, especially ones in which religious beliefs did not permit "dancing" and considered the fiddle to be the "devil's instrument." Though based on European and English antecedents, play parties were truly an American phenomenon.

Abraham's favorite play-party game was Old Sister Phoebe , in which boys and girls join hands and circle around one girl in the center of the ring who holds in her hands a hat or coonskin cap. In keeping with the lyrics to the song, she places the cap on a boy's head and kisses him. She then takes the boy's place in the circle and he moves to the center. The game and song sometimes went on for hours.

Old Sister Phoebe, as recorded here, includes a Jew's harp, an instrument Lincoln once told a group of schoolchildren that he played as a boy."

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Example #2
From http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/playparty-indiana/indiana-play-party.html The Play Party In Indiana: A Collection of Folk-Songs and Games with Descriptive Introduction, and Correlating Notes With Sheet Music & Lyrics By Leah Jackson Wolford, M. A, Published By The Indiana Historical Commission, 1916
[p. 80]
..."Mrs. Peter Geiling (Laurel, Ind.) states that the following games were played twenty-five years ago,�*"Miller, Weevily Wheat, Melven Vine, Skip Come-loo, Snap, Old Sister Phoebe, Getting Married, Chase the Squirrel, Needle's Eye and Marching to Quebec. The last six mentioned were 'kissing games.

Lyrics for Old Sister Phoebe. given with musical notations
1. Old Sister Phoebe, how merry were we, The night we sat under the juniper tree, The juniper tree, high-o, high-o, The juniper tree, high-o.
2. Take this hat on your head, keep your head warm,
3. And take a sweet kiss, it will do you no harm, But a great deal of good, I know, I know,53
4. But a great deal of good I know.
Mrs. Calvin Stark, Versailles, Ind.

[Note] 53. In the place of these last two lines, the following were often substituted: It will do you no harm, but a great deal of good, And so take another while kissing goes good.
-snip-
The question mark was included on that page. Twenty-five years from that book's first publication date is 1891.

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Example #3: New Music Horizons Fourth Book – 1945
by McConathy et al (Author)

Publisher: Silver Burdett Company; page 184

"SISTER PHOEBE
1. Old Sister Phoebe, how happy were we
The day we sat under the juniper tree
The juniper tree, high ho, high ho!
The juniper tree, high ho!

2. I’ve a young daughter and she sleeps upstairs.
She’s always complaining being ‘fraid of the bears,
Being ‘fraid of the bears high ho, high ho
being ‘ fraid of the bears, high ho.

3. Rogers came out with his old rusty gun
And said he would shoot us if we didn’t run
If we didn’t run high ho, high ho
If we didn’t run high ho

4. Rise you up, daughter and choose you a man,
Go choose you the fairest that ever you can,
So rise you up, daughter, and go, and go,
So rise you up, daughter and go.

5. Rise you up, sonny, and choose you a wife,
Go choose you the fairest you can in your life.
Go rise you up, sonny, and go, and go
Go rise you up, sonny, and go.


6/8 The time signature tells us that there are six beats in a measure and that an eight note equals one beat. How many beats will a quarter note get? A dotted quarter note?
Scan the words and clap the accents. How many accents are there in each measure? There are only two strong accents in each measure because the music moves quickly and lightly. A dotted quarter note equals one beat. Song with autoharp accompaniment."
-snip-
*This song is given with musical notations and is listed as an “American Singing Game”.

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Example #4: The juniper tree or Oh, Sister Phoebe - a children's circle game



Dany Rosevear, Published on Jun 9, 2015

For music, chords and how to play this as a game visit: http://www.singinggamesforchildren.co...
A traditional resource for children, teachers, child care providers, librarians, parents and grandparents or just nostalgia enthusiasts. Visit http://www.singinggamesforchildren.com to find many more songs including those from other countries and also to find out how to play this as a game and see it in the context of teaching singing games for children.

Oh, Sister Phoebe, how happy were we,
The night we sat under the juniper tree,
The juniper tree, hi-o, hi-o,
The juniper tree, hi-o. rise you up sister, and go, and go,

Put this hat on to keep your head warm,
And take a sweet kiss, it will do you no harm,
Will do you no harm, I know, I know
Will do you no harm, I know.

Go choose you a partner, go choose you a one,
Go choose you the fairest that ever you can,
Now rise you up sister and go, and go,
Now rise you up sister and go.
-snip-
"Fairest" here means "the most physically attractive".

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Example #5: The Juniper Tree



swissinus Uploaded on Jan 13, 2012

Arkansas Folk Song, arr. by Kenneth Carter

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Visitor comments are welcome.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Racists Angry About A Black Santa At The Largest Mall In America In 2016

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information and comments about and a video of a Black Santa at the Mall of America (Minneapolis, Minnesota).

The content of this post is presented for historical and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Larry Jefferson and others who have portrayed Santa, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

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SHOWCASE VIDEO:
Mall of America Hires First Black Mall Santa for Holiday Season



Trump VS Hillary, Published on Dec 1, 2016

| Mall of America Welcomes its first Black Santa |

Visiting for just four days, Larry Jefferson is the first black Santa to listen to kids' wish lists at the Mall of America. After 24 years, the Mall of America celebrated a new first Thursday: Its first black Santa.
Dozens of Santas cycle through Twin Cities shopping centers each year, spreading joy to children who entrust them with their holiday wish lists. What has been missing from that experience, some parents say, was a Kriss Kringle who represented a wider swath of believers.

This week, for the first time in the Mall of America’s 24-year history, a black Santa will greet families for annual Christmas photos.

“This is a long time coming,” said Landon Luther, co-owner of the Santa Experience, which has run the intimate photo studio at the mall for 10 years. “We want Santa to be for everyone, period.”

The mall offers a free, wait-in-line-with-the-masses Santa, as well as the book-an-appointment Santa Experience, which this year added a second location at the Bloomington megamall. The appointments require purchase of a photo package.

Luther started a national search last spring for a diverse St. Nicholas that kids of color would be able to relate to. Santa Sid, a 20-year veteran at MOA, finally found one while at a Santa convention in Branson, Mo., where nearly 1,000 impersonators convened for a “Kringle family reunion” in July.

Larry Jefferson, a retired U.S. Army veteran from Irving, Texas, was the only black Santa Claus in attendance. The jovial actor agreed to sign a four-day contract to work in Minnesota, after which he’ll return home to work the seasonal circuit in Dallas.
“It was like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Luther, who runs the business with his girlfriend, Rachael Zuleger. “He considers himself a Santa for all.”

From Thursday to Sunday, by appointment only, Jefferson will greet kiddos at the mall while decked as Santa Larry, passing out candy canes and reminding them how to stay off the naughty list: “Clean your rooms, eat your vegetables and do what your mommy and daddy say all year.”

As he prepared for his first appointments Thursday morning, Jefferson said that skin tone doesn’t matter to the kids he meets.

“What they see most of the time is this red suit and candy,” he said, patting his sleek velvet coat. “[Santa represents] a good spirit. I’m just a messenger to bring hope, love and peace to girls and boys.”

Becoming Santa

Jefferson officially began donning the red suit in 1999, but his love of playing St. Nick started as just a boy.

After his father hurt his back, a 12-year-old Jefferson took on the role of Santa in the Arkansas family home, divvying up presents for his younger siblings. It was a role that stuck, continuing long after he joined the U.S. Army infantry and served abroad in the Gulf War.

His young nephews may have catalyzed his decision to play Santa-for-hire after he practiced the act on them, Jefferson said. The boys were sick and wouldn’t get a chance to visit the resident mall Santa, so he bought a $30 suit at Wal-Mart and affixed a fake beard, then knocked on their front door.

Following the visit, the parents asked if the boys knew who the visitor was. They replied, “Of course — it was Santa,” Jefferson recalled with a chuckle.

Since then, he’s graduated from a premiere Santa school, retired from the military and grown his own bushy white beard.

Last year, Jefferson became the first, and only, black member of the Lone Star Santas, a nonprofit boasting more than 350 Santa Clauses, Mrs. Clauses, and elves who donate toys to children in disaster-stricken areas.

Jim Fletcher, director emeritus of the fraternal order, said the group also has around six Hispanic Santas and at least two Jewish members. Ethnicity and religion are not what matters, he said; rather, it’s the spirit of giving.

“Being Santa comes from the heart,” Fletcher said. “It’s not what comes down the chimney.”

On Thursday morning, Jefferson emerged as Santa Larry, wowing toddlers and their siblings during individual play sessions. He spoke softly to his fans, patiently waiting for them to divulge their Christmas wishes.

Shelly Major, of Blaine, toted her three children to the photo studio for their few minutes with Jolly ol’ St. Nick. “He was very warm,” Major said.

Parents of biracial tots said they were especially pleased to show their kids that heroes come in all ethnicities. “Santa isn’t just white,” said Sara Schwantes, of Inver Grove Heights.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & COMMENTS ABOUT BLACK SANTA AT THE MALL OF AMERICA
From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-santa-racists-freak-out_us_5844fb5ee4b09e21702f631b Racists Freak Out Over Black Santa At Mall Of America
...but most people absolutely love “Santa Larry.” by Ed Mazza, 12/05/2016
"There’s a black Santa Claus at the Mall of America in Minnesota, giving children of color a Kringle that looks like them at the nation’s biggest shopping destination.

Naturally, some people just can’t handle this, and racists are taking to social media to denounce Larry Jefferson-Gamble, a retired U.S. Army veteran who has been playing Santa since he was 12 years old.

The response has been so heated that the Minnesota Star-Tribune had to shut down the comments section for a simple profile of the mall’s first black Santa:

A CBS Minnesota report was also swamped with negative and outright racist comments, which were also shut down but are still visible in the article.

But this was one battle the trolls wouldn’t win, as many others took to social media in support of the black Santa:

George Takei ✔ @GeorgeTakei
Watching people meltdown over a Black Santa in the Mall of America. "Santa is white!" Well, in our internment camp he was Asian. So there.
4:16 PM - 3 Dec 2016

....

Mark Buchanan @therealmarkb
The Mall of America has a black Santa and racists done lost their minds. #SantaLarry is awesome! He's also a vet and deserves respect!
10:43 PM - 3 Dec 2016

....

Caroling Along 🔔🎄 @SoCalRamen
All the love and prayers go out to Larry Jefferson. Santa can be *anybody* y'all.
1:17 PM - 2 Dec 2016
-snip-
Here are some comments from this article (Numbers assigned for referencing purposes only)
1. Terry Lee
" "Kids love Santa no matter what color you are." -- Santa Larry

If the kids don't care what color Santa is -- neither should the adults."

**
2. Edie Gignac · McMaster University
"It's sad that the color of skin still raises the hackles of people in 2016.....it's time to stop it......maybe those that have a problem with color should go back to where their ancestors came from....oh wait, people of color live everywhere in the globe today.....what to do??"

**
3. Armand DeLuise · UCLA
"Wait until the Trumpholes go to Heaven and find out that god is also black...oh that's right, they will see a red person where they're going!"

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Reply
4. Terry Lee
"Wait till they find out that not only is God black, she's a woman!"

**
5. Grace Carney
"I love Santa Larry! Some people are so ugly they have to pick on Santa Clause. If they are so disturbed, there are many many (99.9) white Santas out there for their children to see, who I hope do not grow up and see the world like their parents."

**
6. James Pugh · Omaha, Nebraska
"It's really just one more thing that whites have never had a clue over. In my house there was always two santas. The white one on Television and the Black one who showed up at our door each year with presents when I was a kid. Whites just don't get the privilege they live in......."

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7. Derrick Mitchell
"I an 53 years old and our house as a child was always decorated with images of Black Santas! Did these people just start see Black santas? I am sure there are Mexicans and Asian santas too!"

**
8. Terry Lee
"Sadly, these racists who think the color of Santa's skin matters, are blinded by hate, to the real meaning and spirit of Christmas."

**
9. John Lee
"I need all the "respect our veterans and our flag" conservatives to step up for a veteran playing santa...oh and also the "war on Christmas " fox heads

....or does his blackness negate all that?"

**
10. Delilah Darcy
" "I do not wanna be in the same room as the people who are offended by black santa when they find out that Jesus was a middle eastern refugee" BOOM!!!"

**
11. Reply
"LOL, their heads expoloding no doubt it will disturb them so very much. Dare we remind THEM he was Jewish also?"

**
12. Ron McWater
"Given the reaction to a black Santa they will really freak out when they learn Jesus wasn't white either."

**
13. Thomas Hurt
"1. Santa Claus is a myth
2. Santa Claus was based in part on a Catholic Saint, St. Nicholas
3. St Nicholas was Turk/Greek so it is unlikely he was a nordic white bread dude
4. Santa Claus is not Jesus
5. Santa is fictional
6. Santa has been turned into a secular symbol of consumerism.

Why is anyone in the WASP majority complaining at all............."

**
14. Joanne Hublitz · New York University
"I have a picture of my two (white) young daughters sitting on a Black Santa's lap taken at a mall. My daughters are now 32 and 37 years old."

**
15. Linda Maria
"Santa is a sentiment, a feeling, a big heart, not a level of melanin."

**
16. Giles Jackson · Middletown, New Jersey
"The real St Nic; Father Christmas, Santa Claus was born in Patara, Turkey, so he was middle Eastern, not white."
-snip-
Additional information is given in the summary for the video given below.

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Soweto Gospel Choir - The Zulu song "Eli" (videos and lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about the Soweto Gospel Choir and showcases three examples of that choir performing the Zulu song "Eli".

This post also includes a description of Mbube music. However, I'm not sure if this is the correct musical categorization for the Song "Eli" and/or for most of the other Soweto Gospel Choir songs.

I'd appreciate information about the musical category for that song and other Soweto Gospel Choir songs.

The content of this post is presented for religious, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Soweto Gospel Choir for their musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

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INFORMATION ABOUT SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR
From http://www.waltonartscenter.org/media/uploads/education_images/Walton_Soweto_Gospel_Choir_2014.pdf
...
"The Performance
The Soweto Gospel Choir is made up of many remarkable voices and is accompanied by a four piece band and percussion. The choir sings traditional African music with earthy rhythms and rich harmonies. They also perform gospel music and contemporary music adding their own unique style. They perform in colorful costumes and use movement and dance to accent and energize their singing. They have performed around the world for diverse audiences from princes to orphans, and have celebrated with African leaders like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Nelson Mandela.

The Art Form
Singing and dancing has been traditional in South Africa from earliest times. Communities in South Africa used singing, dancing, chanting and drumming to educate youth, celebrate seasons, recall tribal history and honor leaders. When European settlers arrived in South Africa new cultures and religious traditions began to change traditional African customs. By the end of the early 20th century black South Africans began migrating to large cities where jobs in mining and manufacturing were plentiful. Music and dance from one’s homeland became even more important as South African people became separated from their families. Sharing traditionalmusic in a township or work place was an important way to remain connected to one’s ethnic roots. In 2002 the Soweto Gospel Choir was formed. The choir took its name from one of the largest townships outside the city of Johannesburg. The name, Soweto, is an acronym for (SOuth WEstern TOwnships) where South African people were required to move when the system of apartheid (separation) began. The choir’s rich harmonies, complex rhythms and spirited performances have won awards around the world"...

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IS "MBUBE" SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR'S STYLE OF MUSIC?
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mbube_(genre)
"Mbube is a form of South African vocal music, made famous by the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The word mbube means "lion" in Zulu.[1] Traditionally performed a cappella, the members of the group are male although a few groups have a female singer. In this form, groups of voices singing homophonically in rhythmic unison are employed to create intricate harmonies and textures."

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From http://kmuw.org/post/soweto-gospel-choir-grounded-music-south-africa The Soweto Gospel Choir – Grounded In The Music Of South Africa By CHRIS HEIM & JULIA HOLEN • MAR 27, 2014
....AN INTERVIEW WITH SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR
Chris Heim spoke with members of the Soweto Gospel Choir at the start of their U.S. tour.
...You've recorded the song "Mbube (Wimoweh)", which is probably the most familiar South African song to Americans. As a vocal style, is "Mbube" also the proper word to describe Soweto Gospel Choir's sound?

[Response #1-woman's voice from sound file whose transcription isn't given on that page]
"Definitely. I think that song would describe what what Soweto Gospel Choir is about. Because that song really deals with the bass and the Soweto Gospel Choir's bass is really rich, you know.

When we speak about Mbube it actually means "The lion sleeps tonight". The song was written by [unable to decipher] and you know it's just one of those songs that when you start in South Africa or in Africa everyone knows. Everyone can relate to it. So I think when you listen to that song, you listen to Soweto Gospel Choir's sound, there's a lot of similarities, especially when it comes to the bass which is what we pride ourselves in."

[Response #2 male voice, from sound file also not transcribed on that page]
"Yeah it was also used in "The Lion King" [play/movie?] and when the Soweto Gospel Choir came in we also used the same song but we, the only thing that we did with ours was that we started, we started strong with the bass, with the bass singing first and the choir coming through with the harmony. So we made it different from everybody elses."
-snip-
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/09/south-african-isicathamiya-music.html for the 2011 pancocojams post "South African Isicathamiya Music". Here's an excerpt from that post:
..."The word [isicathamiya] itself does not have a literal translation; it is derived from the Zulu verb -cathama, which means walking softly, or tread carefully. Isicathamiya contrasts with an earlier name for Zulu a cappella singing, mbube, meaning "lion". The change in name marks a transition in the style of the music: traditionally, music described as Mbube is sung loudly and powerfully, while isicathamiya focuses more on achieving a harmonious blend between the voices. The name also refers to the style's tightly-choreographed dance moves that keep the singers on their toes.

South African singing groups such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo demonstrate this style. Isicathamiya choirs are traditionally all male. Its roots reach back before the turn of the 20th century, when numerous men left the homelands in order to search for work in the cities. As many of the tribesmen became urbanized, the style was forgotten through much of the 20th century.
-snip-
That post includes a sound file of Solomon Linda And The Evening Birds Original Version, The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and two other isicathamiya examples of that song.

Click http://www.weeklybugle.com/music/mbube.htm for information about the song "Mbube" ("The Lion Sleeps Tonight"; "Wimoweh").

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SHOWCASE VIDEOS
Example #1: Soweto Gospel Choir - SofP 'Eli'



sowetogospelfans, Uploaded on Nov 19, 2010

The Soweto Gospel Choir sings 'Eli' on Songs of Praise.
-snip-
A YouTube sound file of the Soweto Gospel Choir singing this song can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G96fwb-NJRY. The summary of that song indicates that it was featured on their album "Grace".

According to this music review http://www.allmusic.com/album/grace-mw0001951132, "Grace" was released in 2010 as Soweto Gospel Choir's fifth album.

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Example #2: Soweto Gospel Choir



QPAC Published on Jan 8, 2013
-snip-
"Eli" is the last song in this video. It begins at 1:51.
-snip-
This comment was written in response to a request for the name of the first song in that video:
garizemura, 2014
"Masigiye'bo"
-snip-
"Amazing Grace is one of the other songs that the Soweto Gospel Choir sang in this video.

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Example #3: Soweto Gospel Choir - Eli



sowetogospelfans, Published on Mar 7, 2015

Footage of the Soweto Gospel Choir performing the song "Eli" during their last concert on the 2014 North American tour.

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LYRICS: ELI
(Zulu traditional song?)

ELI….. Elivangeli
Linamandla
lasusa izono zethu
ELI

(Yeb’ uJsesu)
Ngumangqoba
Ngumangqoba
Uyakorobha
Yikakharamba
Wasus’ izono zethu

Repeat…..

O Nkosi Yam
(Oh My Lord)
(Zulu Traditional)

Let my sins be washed away Make my heart holy Forgive my sins Oh my Lord Oh my Lord Let my sins be washed away Make my heart holy Forgive my sins Oh my Lord Oh my Lord

Source: http://www.sowetogospelchoir.com/lyrics/
-snip-
I've copied these lyrics as they were found on that page. My assumption is that the "O Nkosi Yam" words are part of the song "Eli", but I'm not sure about that.

Google translates from Zulu to English gave this result for the first portion of this song (before the word "repeat"):
"ELI ... .. Gospel
exerts
knocked our sins
ELI

(YES 'uJsesu)
Ngumangqoba
Ngumangqoba
Uyakorobha
Yikakharamba
Asus' our sins"
-snip-
Hopefully, someone who understands Zulu will confirm or correct these lyrics and this translation. Thanks in advance!

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