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.


Anonymous said...

I went to Blue Lake, a music camp in michigan, and we sang that song

Joe said...

Thanks, Anonymous. If there is a video or audio of the song being sung at Blue Lake, please send me a link!

CA Brown said...

I learned it at Girl Scout camp in Southern California in the late 1970's!!

CA Brown said...

Your version seems a kittle different than the one we sang. We sang (punctuation added for clarity):

When you hear a cannon it goes Bang! (rest) Bang! (rest)
When you hear a cannon it goes Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang (rest), bang! (rest)
Bang-bang, bang-bang, bang!

(Basically all quarter notes, with rests being quarters too and bang-bangs being doubled up (eigths).)
Sorry if I'm being literal over a song everyone sings the same? Just thought it'd be good to record for posterity!!

Joe said...

Thanks for the comments, C A. Yes, the way you lay out the rhythm of the "bangs" is the same as we sing it, but thanks for clarifying. Good to know where and when you learned it, I appreciate the info.