Monday, September 13, 2010

I Love The Flowers - Song #34

I initially had "I Love The Flowers" (aka "I Love The Mountains" or "Boomdiada," etc.) on my list of rounds two posts ago. But then I realized it wasn't one - it's not sung in a chain reaction with an unlimited number of groups able to take part.

No, it belongs to a unique subgroup of songs in which the singers at some point split into two halves, each singing something different. In this case, the verse and chorus are sung once through by all, then one half repeats the "boomdiada" refrain while the other signs the verse. Then the two sides reverse roles and finish the song.

Here is an example from Sweden:

I previously posted twice about the use of the song in Discovery Channel promos:

Now, when looking for performances or other info online, it's amazing to see how many people now know this not as a camp or school song, but as 'that Discovery song." The power of television advertising.

It's been hard tracking down the origins of the lyrics. But the music almost certainly was modeled after Hoagy Carmichael's tin pan alley classic of 1939, "Heart and Soul," which has been recorded many times in many genres and is a famously easy two-person piano piece. See the two following videos to see what I mean.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

When You Hear a Cannon - song #33

Making the rounds with rounds... one of the songs I mentioned in my last post is a good example of why rounds are useful for group singing: they're easy to learn. Due to the repetitive nature of these songs, you only need to learn one chorus. You sing it over and over. Three times is the norm. And the melodies are likewise generally easy to pick up.

And WYHAC takes simple lyrics to an extreme:

When you hear a cannon it goes bang bang
When you hear a cannon it goes bang bang bang bang
Bang bang bang bang bang

The percussive sound of all those "bangs" is fun to sing. And as the subgroups finish one by one, the sound gradually transforms from raucous to simple.

A funny thing happened when I googled "When you hear a Cannon" - the only references I can find online are from Camp Ajawah related posts, other than one from the Delhi Girl Scouts. Is it really that obscure? I tried searching various permutations and still found nothing.

The origins of who taught any given song and when at Ajawah can be lost to the fog of time, since the camp has been around 80+ years and has distinct girls' and boys' halves. So if anyone reading this knows the song but is not from Camp Ajawah, please let me know in the comments.

Of, if you are from Ajawah and know anything about the origins of "When You Hear A Cannon," I would love to hear from you as well.