Archive for category Fanmanship

WRITING OFF A LONG SENTIENCE :On the road with Jim Morrison

 James Douglas “Jim” Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971)

We dream out of a poetry karaoke
below the constellated shine,
let’s just create one, if there be nay
for random words to be yours and mine.
 “Listen, real poetry doesn't say anything;
 it just ticks off the possibilities. 
Opens all doors. 
You can walk through anyone that suits you.* 

The audience, they,
were quiet vampires
Nights are fiction in a subway,
where lovers and pens write their quires.
I talk of spirits woven in the air
I am the voice of a diegesis
Her laughter, the shadows of a mimesis
there are streaks of whiteness in the dark chambray
  “I believe in a long, prolonged, derangement  
 of the senses 
in order to obtain the unknown”*
Someday on that stone there will be a coda
and your ashes will become  dandelion dust
The day is inflamed, aroused till the final star
so will us gain, by the bathos of death, harvest.
“Death makes angels of us all 
and gives us wings where we had shoulders
 smooth as ravens claws.”*  

  THIS IS NOT THE END OF THIS END.  


 
[* all italicized quotations 
in green above belong to Jim Morrison"]

 











Jim's gravestone bears the Greek inscription:
  ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ, 
 literally meaning
  "according to his own daemon" 
and usually interpreted as  
"true to his own spirit"
(wikipedia :en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Morrison)

©Rangam Chiru, 26/2/12

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UNDERLINE JOHN PRINE: Collected “souvenirs” over the web

Heres a few links that might be of some help for John Prine study. Am currently on one, doing a round-up of his folk poetry in songs. If anyone could add to it, thanks beforehand. Those underlined red are the bigger, important ones, you can’t afford to miss.

I like the way Paul Zollo begins his introduction of John Prine in an interview post:kinda sums up any write .

❚Straight from the streets of Maywood he came, a mailman with a chain of masterpieces. It’s Chicago, 1970, and word starts circulating around this close-knit folk music scene that there’s a new guy who must be heard to be believed. A songwriter who seems to have emerged fully formed with a voice like Hank Williams and songs that resound like some miracle collaboration between Woody Guthrie and Hemingway. His name’s Prine. And almost as soon as the denizens of the Windy City learned of him, the secret was out, and John Prine belonged to the world.  ☗ ( read interview at : http://bluerailroad.wordpress.com/john-prine-the-bluerailroad-interview/ )

A Big, Fat Retrospective by Steve Cooper (Sept 1997) at Perfect Music : http://www.furious.com/perfect/prine.html

http://stupidd.blogspot.com/2008/09/john-prine-6-great-albums.html

http://www.fensepost.com/main/2010/06/21/john-prine-feature/

http://thismornin.com/2010/04/john-prine-tribute-album-loaded-with-great-artists/

http://katarokkar.cribble.net/2010/07/album-reviews-band-of-horses-john-prine/

☗ Friday, April 09, 2010 Popular Artists Celebrate John Prine With New CD : Today’s avant-roots renaissance owes a great debt to John Prine’s laconic, ever-questioning poetic quality – a debt that is warmly repaid by Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine :  http://ohboyrecordsblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/popular-artists-celebrate-john-prine.html

☗  JOHN PRINE’S  MUSIC IN DETAIL : http://www.jpshrine.org/music/index.html

Complete list of John Prine songs : http://www.whosdatedwho.com/music/songs/john-prine.htm

☗  Casey Chambers interview : http://thecollegecrowddigsme.blogspot.com/2007/06/interview-john-prine.html

☗   REVERB interview http://www.heyreverb.com/2009/06/12/interview-john-prine/

library of Congress with Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, who introduces him in as ” SOMEBODY WHO I HAVE WAITED TO MEET FOR 35 years – http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=3677

http://www.ohboy.com/media/01%20John%20Prine%20Interview%20-%20WGLD%2012-19-71.mp3

☗  Bob Dylan Exclusive Interview: Reveals His Favorite Songwriters, Thoughts On His Own Cult Figure Status http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/15/bob-dylan-exclusive-inter_n_187216.html

☗ FOLK MUSIC.COM : http://folkmusic.about.com/od/artistskr/p/JohnPrineBio.htm

WORD PRESS TAGS :- http://en.wordpress.com/tag/john-prine/

http://devoguy.livejournal.com/214128.html

http://dkpresents.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/masterpiece-john-prine/

☗John Prine: American LegendRoger Ebert: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/pages-for-twitter/john-prine-an-american-legend.html

I guess that’s much about what I thought was an indispensable part of Prine’s collectibles. One thing he has about him is that he draws you towards the words and you say I should perhaps listen to it again- once you read Prine it’s the same as saying “How the hell can a person go to work in the morning
And come home in the evening and have nothing to say” – ANgel From Montgomery

cheers. will get back on the finished product soon.


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Things have a life of their own

 

 

( To Garcia Marquez, for the truth in every race’s 100 years of solitude. ” But we rise by waking up our souls”)


Imagination is as icky for some as much as it is lovely,
Civilizations somewhere influencing the other
Passing on batons of an athletic wisdom relay,
Where man races against time, money, customs and culture
as they run through renewed tracks of  poetry and literature,
Magic from stone to paper gradually;
(And that includes noble recognitions and currency)

Thursday’s over
And it’s been raining for the past three months of this year
It’s crazier than the fight of mere cats and dogs, for these monsoons
see long giraffes trampling over my grassy lawn,
And hippopotamuses wallow in the muddy drainage lagoons
Their eyes pop out at times like balloon–sized bubbles of foam;
These elected kings have been ignoring us, sleeping in a prayer’s womb
We live without relief, without fresh milk or without much food;
But as soon as November comes, we hope to be good
For the fields where folks have labored acres of green canopy
to save crops for rainy days like these times of Old Testament calamity,
should make it to harvest for the big feast of Christmas culture ;
When the ancient man with wise words, shall orate through the winter.

My grandfather’s long dead
But he often speaks back through the rain-spirits in our homestead
His friend, standing on the mud, looks up so intense he’d needle a rain-thread
“My fisherman of nine fingers, Does your mouth water for the fishes of your pond?”
I suddenly realize why this air of memories smells so fishy, on and on
But in a world full of magic, lies and truthful metaphors,
Things have a life of their own; it’s a matter of simply releasing our own fears.

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Who is worthy and who is not ?

Souls are not displayed
on mannequins
at the neighborhood mall,
nor hang at the butcher’s shop
to choose a fine breast
that just covered a finer heart,
to feed my own. 

But was it you whom I heard when I was deaf ?
deaf to banal words, but yours were absorbed
Was it you who shew the next obstacle,
when I was blind?
they gave a myriad sights, yet I preferred
a simple hold of your arm, the candor in your voice

Apartments of books lean on a burdened bookend
the pock-marked bespectacled librarian,
with intermittent beard
(like moss on burnt brick)
picks out the thickest
with a keenest intent ;
Glad he lightens the weight on a deadwood.

It would take the time of libraries
to know all authors and pages
Next time you pay the bookman,
look at the unbelievable shelf-stack of attractive wisdom
But gaze longer at that book, when you
put your hands in the backpocket
and pay for the one you just chose;
It’s not necessary for its little press time
or its author’s household connect,
that you’d put it later
on your own shelf.

Who is worthy and who is not?
I rang the bell of my neighbor
to return a well-liked book
she says, “keep it, I just didn’t like it”
I said,” Thank you so much”
and my shelf was happy
for my well-read trophy.

[Author notes] : Prompt : True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends,But in the worth and choice.

Benjamin Jonson

http://allpoetry.com/poem/6901921

For me, a friend is so much a book at first, that allows to grow itself into books.
And in a library world of all sorts of books, true happiness is found only in the selected ones you borrow for a lifetime.

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    April 09, 1916, NYTimes Interview by JOYCE KILMER:Edwin Arlington Robinson Defines Poetry; A Language, Says Well-Known Poet, that tells us through more or less emotional reaction something which cannot be said

    I typed out of the original photo documentation from New York Times  archives by way of my instant liking for an almost century old print that spoke volumes of how poetry remains deeply rooted till today, to the basic values discussed by Edward Arlington Robinson and Joyce Kilmer. ( Top class pioneers of the 20th century writing)  I liked the interview format, as in a prose form too. I guess copyright issues do not affect as this is purely meant for blog reading and not for commercial reproduction. Here’s a link to the copyrighted photo PDF.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9402E4DD1439E233A2575AC0A9629C946796D6CF#

     

    At no time in the history of literature have the critics been able to agree upon a definition of poetry. And the recent popularity of VERS LIBRE and IMAGISME has made the definer’s task harder than ever before.

    IS RHYME ESSENTIAL TO POETRY?  IS RHYTHM ESSENTIAL TO POETRY? CAN A MERE REFLECTION OF LIFE  JUSTLY BE CALLED POETRY, OR MUST IMAGINATION BE  PRESENT?

    I put some of these questions to EDWARD ARLINGTON ROBINSON, who wrote ” CAPTAIN CRAIG” ” THE TOWN DOWN THE RIVER” and ” THE MAN AGAINST THE SKY”. And this man, whom WILLIAM STANLEY BRAITHWAITE and other authoritative critics have called the foremost of American poets, this student of  life, who was revealing the mysterious poetry of humanity many years before EDGAR LEE MASTERS discovered to the world the vexed spirits  that HEART SPOON RIVER, rewarded my questioning with a new definition of poetry.

    He said : POETRY IS A LANGUAGE THAT TELLS US, THROUGH MORE OR LESS EMOTIONAL REACTION, SOMETHING THAT CANNOT BE SAID. ” ALL THAT POETRY, GREAT OR SMALL DOES THIS” he added ” AND IT SEEMS TO ME THAT POETRY HAS TWO CHARACTERISTICS. ONE IS THAT IT IS AFTER ALL UNDEFINABLE. THE OTHER IS THAT IT IS EVENTUALLY MISTAKABLE.

    “Eventually ,” I said. ” Then you think that poetry is not always appreciated in the lifetime of its maker?”

    Mr. Robinson smiled whimsically.” I never use words enough,” he said.” It is not unmistakable as soon as it is published but sooner or later it is unmistakable.

    AND IN THE POET’S LIFETIME THERE ARE ALWAYS SOME PEOPLE  WHO WILL UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE HIS WORK. I REALLY THINK THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A REAL POET PERMANENTLY TO ESCAPE APPRECIATION. AND I CAN’T IMAGINE ANYTHING SILLIER FOR A MAN TO DO THAN TO WORRY ABOUT POETRY THAT HAS ONCE BEEN DECENTLY PUBLISHED. THE REST IS IN THE HANDS OF TIME, AND TIME HAS MORE THAN OFTEN A WAY OF MAKING A PRETTY THOROUGH JOB OF IT.”

    google images

    But why is it,” I asked,” that a great poet is without honor in his own generation where mediocrity is immediately famous?”

    ” it’s hard to say” said Mr. Robinson , thoughtfully regarding the glowing end of his cigar. ” Many causes prevent poetry from being correctly appraised in its own time. Any poetry that is marked by violence, that is conspicuous in color, that is sensationally odd, makes an immediate appeal. On the other hand, poetry that is not noticeably eccentric sometimes fails for years to attract any attention.

    ” I think that this is why so many of KIPLING’s worst poems are greatly overpraised, while some of his best poems  are not appreciated. ” GUNGA DIN” which is, of course, a good thing in its way, has been praised far more than it deserves because of its oddity. And the poem beginning ” There’s a whisper down the field’ has never been properly appreciated. It’s one of the very best of Kipling’s poems, although it is marred by a few lapses of taste. One of his greatest poems, by the way, ” The Children of the Zodiac,” happens to be in prose.

    ” But I am always revising my opinion of Kipling. I have changed my mind about him so often that I have no confidence in my critical judgement. That is one of the reasons why I do not like to criticise my American contemporaries.”

    ” Do you think,” I asked ” That this tendency to pay attention chiefly to the more sensational poets is a characteristic of our generation  as of those that came before?”

    ” I think it applies particularly to our own time,” he replied.” More than ever before oddity and violence are bringing into prominence poets who have little besides these two qualities to offer the world, and some who have more. It may seem very strange to you, but I think that a great modern instance of this tendency is the case of Robert Browning. The eccentricities of Browning’s method are the things that first turned popular attention upon him, but the startling quality in BROWNING made more sensation in his own time than it can ever make again. I say this in spite of the fact that BROWNING and WORDSWORTH,are taken as classic examples of slow recognition. WORDSWORTH, you know, had no respect for the judgement of youth. It may have been sour grapes, but I am inclined to think that there was a great deal of truth in his opinion.

    ” I think it is safe to say that all real poetry is going to give at some time or other a suggestion of FINALITY. In real poetry you find also about it a sort of NIMBUS os what can’t be said.

    ” This NIMBUS may be there- I wouldn’t say that it isn’t there and yet I can’t find it in much of the self-conscious experimenting that is going on nowadays in the name of poetry.

    ” I can’t get over the impression,” Mr. Robinson went on, with a meditative frown,” that these post-impressionists in painting and most of the VERS LIBRISTES in poetry are trying to find some sort of SHORT CUT to artistic success. I know that many of the new writers insist that it is harder to write good rhymed poetry. And judging from some of their results, I am inclined to agree with them.”

    I asked Mr. Robinson if he believed that the evident increase in interest in poetry, shown by the large sales of the work of ROBERT FROST and EDGAR LEE MASTERS and RUPERT BROOKE, indicated a real renascence of poetry.

    ” I think that it indicates a real renascence of poetry,” he replied.” I am sufficiently childlike and hopeful to find it very encouraging.”

    ” DO YOU THINK,” I asked , ” that the Poetry that is written in  America today is better than that written a generation ago?”

    ” I should hardly venture to say that,” said Mr. Robinson.” For one thing we have no EMERSON. EMERSON is the greatest poet who ever wrote in America. Passages scattered here and there in his work surely are the greatest of American poetry. In fact, I think that there are lines and sentences in Emerson’s poetry that are as great as anything anywhere.”

    I asked Mr. Robinson whether he thought the modern English poets were doing better work than their American contemporaries.At first he was unwilling to express an opinion on this subject, repeating his statement that he mistrusted his own critical judgement. But he said: ” Within his limits, I believe that A.E. Housman is the most authentic poet now writing in England. But, of course, his limits are very sharply drawn, I don’t think that anyone who knows anything about poetry will ever think of questioning the inspiration of  “A Shropshire Lad”.

    ” Would you make a similar comment on any other poetry of our time?” I asked.

    ” Well” said Mr. Robinson reflectively ” I think that no one will question the inspiration os some of Kipling’s poems, of parts of JOHN MASEFIELD’s ” DAUBER” and some of the long lyrics by ALFRED NOYES. But I do not think that either of these poets gives the impression of finality which A.E.HOUSMAN gives. But the way in which I have shifted my opinion about some of RUDYARD KIPLING’s poems and most of SWINEBURNE“S , makes me think that Wordsworth was very largely right in his attitude toward the judgement of youth. But where my opinions have shifted, I think now that I always had misgivings. I fancy that youth always has misgivings in regard to what  is later to be modified or repudiated.”

    Then I asked Mr. Robinson if he thought that the war had anything to with the RENASCENCE OF POETRY .

    ” I can’t see any connection,” he replied.” The only effect on poetry that the war has had, so far as I know, is to produce those five sonnets by RUPERT BROOKE. I can’t see that it has caused any poetical event. And there’s no use prophesying what the war will or will not do to poetry, because no one knows anything about it. The civil war seems to have had a little effect o poetry except to produce JULIA WARD HOWE’S ‘ Battle hymn of the Republic,” Whitman’s  poems on the death of Lincoln and LOWELL’s -ODE.

    “Mr. Robinson,” I said ” e has been much discussion recently about the rewards of poetry, and Miss Amy Lowell has said that no poet ought to be expected to make a living by writing. What do you think about it?”

    ” Should a poet be able to make a living out of poetry?” said Mr. Robinson.” Generally speaking, it is not possible for a poet to make a decent living by his work. In most cases it would be bad for his creative faculties for a poet to make as much money as a successful novelist makes. Fortunately there is no danger of that. Now, assuming that a poet has enough money to live on, the most important thing for him to have is an audience. I mean that the best poetry is in the air. If a poet with no obligations and responsibilities except to stay alive can’t live on a thousand dollars a year, ( I don’t undertake to say just how he is going to get it) he’d better go into some business.

    ” Then you don’t think,” I said, ” that literature has lost through the poverty of poets?”

    ” I certainly do believe that literature has lost through the poverty of poets.” said Mr. Robinson. ” I don’t believe in poverty. I never did. I think it is good for a poet to be bumped and knocked around when he is young, but all the difficulties that are put in his way after he gets to be 25 or 30 are certain to take something out of his work. I don’t see how they can do anything else.”

    ” Sometime ago you asked me,” said Mr. Robinson,” how I accounted for our difficulty in making a correct estimate of the poetry of one’s own time. The question is a difficult one. I don’t even say that it has an answer. But the solution of the thing seems to me to be related to what I said about the quality of finality that seems to exist in all real poetry. Finality seems always to have had a way of not obtruding itself to any great extent.”

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    madhya pradesh on my mind-for Dabangg fans only

    [Saw it yesterday, the unforgettable day of September. Not just for Americans but for the world. 9/11 defied any genre of movies nine years back. Well, life moves on, I prayed for the day, the victims and slowly got about moving for a weekend ]

    I’m gonna spell it DaBungg since i read it “The Bang” the first time I saw that name. later when i saw its hindi da-ba ga with a bindu, I realised the importance of grace marks in my school life. Because of my Madhya Pradesh upbringing, I fail in anglicised hindi, just as Gopal of INSCRUTABLE AMERICANS by Anurag Mathur clearly explained. Gopal sahab, abhi bhi aap is desh ke kone-kone mein amar ho. Even when i watched Omkara earlier by Vishal Bharadwaj from Bijnaur (UP) and Gulaal by Anurag Kashyap, all I had in mind was Madhya Pradesh. I had a fearless Bhaubali as a classmate, so he came back to mind. My friend kinda looks like Ajay Devgan too, if school ( house) friends reading this can recall faces of classmates. The hain-ji-ain-ji also brought back a dayscholar friend. Some friends still call me Danny, so I really don’t think it’s a racist comment!:-)

    I got to learn early that this UP-Bihar-MP belt is the trinity of Indian Movies.The good, the bad and the ugly, not respectively. MUMBAI took advantage of this “Familiarity breeds contempt” belt and fed India ostentatiously with the Trio politics, culture, lingo and arts coupled with Tapori– underworld slang that nobody really escaped from.Even Salman Rushdie got hooked to killofy, karofy and Maro-fying of slang-bang in his hawadaar writing. ( though he claims it came from the family language of his younger kith and kin)

    So, Dabungg begins. DASHING-DESHING ENTRY has to be there. Maan Gaye bhaiyya what an entry. Aisa Phaaiting tha, beech mein Matrix jaisa still shots, aur durjon bank lootne walon ko ek akela Salman Eid ke din badhiya dhota hain…dialogue mein bola, abhi tak toh nehelaya hain, ab dho-unga. If you don’t get the belt’s hindi, its difficult to understand, I have bathe them, now I’ll wash them kinda dialogue.

    Thank You Shatrughan Sinha. Hum Khamosh nahin reh sakte. Sonakshi Sinha is Bihar’s poshiest Garam Masala so far. I mentioned Garam Masala for obvious reasons of Baby Neetu chandra who constantly changes her D.O.B. Sonakshi has all it takes to Khamoshify whosoever. jug jug jiyo!those who don’t agree with my views on Sonakshi Sinha….bhai bhaad mein jao, ya patli gali se niklo. [ Reena Roy- ahoy!!] The AAITUM BUMB was a Nesunal phirecracker since d promos. So again, it brought back my classmate bhaubali who sang LAUNDA BADNAAM HUWA in one of our classroom histrionics. As it happened i read a review where the research went absolutely deep. Picture the making of the song interview and the LAUNDA-LAUNDI research links below. To see Salman and Malaika in an item song, in a movie produced by Arbaaz, deserves some applause. Its not just ” All about loving your family sentiments”. This goes beyond that to me. As for now, let me praise the Madhya Pradesh Public School education of the Khan Brothers.

    I don’t wanna really think of how classic actors OM PURI & ANUPAM KHER were roped in for few minutes. VINOD KHANNA already has a WANTED tag, DIMPLE KAPADIA of RUDAALI already knows the language in perfect rendition. I noted that in some movies, Dimple really spews desi venom with the word haraami, just as Sadashiv Amrapurkar would with AAULAD” Thank you KASHYAP BROTHERS, Ehsaan Qureshi of The Great Indian laughter Challenge, & KHAN brothers for constant memories of the Belt- obviously inclusive of above and below the belt connotations.
    The Movie surprisingly had a Kolkata Multiplex full of Seeti- Baazi.Thanks to BPO culture of import-export audience in the metros.

    MINDLESS MAGICAL STUFF with starpower, inclusive of the new Lady Sinha.

    Related archives : 1. THE MAKING OF MUNNI : http://bit.ly/9c7oy5

    2. LAUNDA BADNAAM HUWA :-http://bit.ly/1b8tXq

    3. UTTAR PRADESH FOLK: http://bit.ly/dyrvij

    4. RELATED READ ON A DHAANSU BLOG : http://bit.ly/bAixEe

    5. REENA ROY LOOKALIKE http://bit.ly/9fOUi1

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    What does “kumbaya” mean?- Cecil Adams

    ” One of the biggest questions i ever had of an automatic hum chorus. was going through Creole and pidgin language forms and came across this one.I can get back to my sunday school teachers who said ” just sing, don’t ask.its a fun word”

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1280/what-does-kumbaya-mean

    September 11, 1998

    Dear Cecil:

    This has probably been answered somewhere before, but I was getting my teeth drilled that day. Just what does kumbaya mean?

    — F. Pierson, via the Internet

    Cecil replies:

    Oh Lord, kumbaya. Also spelled kum ba yah, cumbayah, kumbayah, and probably a few other ways. If you look in a good songbook you’ll find the word helpfully translated as “come by here,” with the note that the song is “from Angola, Africa.” The “come by here” part I’ll buy. But Angola? Someone’s doubtin’, Lord, for the obvious reason that kumbaya is way too close to English to have a strictly African origin. More likely, I told my assistant Jane, it comes from some African-English pidgin or creole–that is, a combination of languages. (A pidgin is a linguistic makeshift that enables two cultures to communicate for purposes of trade, etc.; a creole is a pidgin that has become a culture’s primary language.) Sure enough, when we look into the matter, we find this conjecture is on the money. Someone’s grinnin’, Lord, kumbaya.

    Kumbaya apparently originated with the Gullah, an African-American people living on the Sea Islands and adjacent coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. (The best known Sea Island is Hilton Head, the resort area.) Having lived in isolation for hundreds of years, the Gullah speak a dialect that most native speakers of English find unintelligible on first hearing but that turns out to be heavily accented English with other stuff mixed in. The dialect appears in Joel Chandler Harris’s “Uncle Remus” stories, to give you an idea what it sounds like. In the 1940s the pioneering linguist Lorenzo Turner showed that the Gullah language was actually a creole consisting of English plus a lot of words and constructions from the languages of west Africa, the Gullahs’ homeland. Although long scorned as an ignorant caricature of English, Gullah is actually a language of considerable charm, with expressions like (forgive my poor attempt at expressing these phonetically) deh clin, dawn (literally “day clean”); troot mout, truthful person (“truth mouth”), and tebble tappuh, preacher (“table tapper”).

    And of course there’s kumbayah. According to ethnomusicologist Thomas Miller, the song we know began as a Gullah spiritual. Some recordings of it were made in the 1920s, but no doubt it goes back earlier. Published versions began appearing in the 1930s. It’s believed an American missionary couple taught the song to the locals in Angola, where its origins were forgotten. The song was then rediscovered in Angola and brought back here in time for the folksinging revival of the 50s and 60s. People might have thought the Gullahs talked funny, but we owe them a vote of thanks. Can you imagine sitting around the campfire singing, “Oh, Lord, come by here”?

    — Cecil Adams


    This might curb your anger at the internet ignored sunday school teachers.

    Choir form :


    dunno if its pop kumbayah or choir ;-)..i Jived for the first time to this kumbayah though


    ★ How an innocent campfire song got warped by the cynicism of our times.

    By: Michael E.Ross

    http://www.theroot.com/views/oh-lord-kumbaya


    KOOM BA YAH !!

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    Book Review: A terrible Matriarchy – Easterine Kire( Zubaan,2007)

    “All of you know my brother was a man who was free with his words and sometimes with his fists…” a funeral speech by a younger brother aimed at seeking apology for the soul of his dead elder brother.

    Such realistic portrayals of the evolving Naga Society, leaving aside its inherent humour, contextualizes to mind a “non-diary” Anne Frank, a “non thick-book” Roots, by Alex Haley  “or less than a hundred years” Garcia Marquez for the consuming references to their umbilical roots, from where its literary spirits beautifully haunt many to this day.

    Easterine Kire’s  “ A terrible matriarchy” ( Zubaan 2007) has no pretensions, neither magical realism’s, no high-aiming metaphors and clichés , yet it coagulates into a familiarity so strong that one is left to strongly question as to why it took so long for such a story. ( Sorry, it took me 3 yrs after its publication, hence spare me Ad Hominem)

    The narrative is in first person which is an elegant part of the novel re-affirming her Naga consanguinity through oral narration of histories, customs and cultures. It’s as though you were closely huddled in a group by the hearth, listening to the narration of an exceptionally strong-willed 5-yr old girl named Dielieno.

    Emerging questions would be as strong as those of Dielieno, who exemplifies the quintessential Naga girl, never fighting pro-male privileges, yet gradually managing to pose the quietest interrogations that were to be an eye-opener for the rising status of women in contemporary Naga society. With a quiet rendition of inner strength, Dielieno leaves an undeniable impression with her circumstantial services for a stone-hearted grandmother, who is anti-privileges to a girl child, from a simple treat of jaggery to education. Dielieno, in her own words, hated the woman with vengeance and hence the title of this novel.

    Easterine’s fiction prominently displays rich aromas of home-grown metaphors and examples, and each one of these are meticulously put into place to make a reader feel strong lingering realities of the rural hills of Nagaland. You meet an old, tough lady so strong in her own mindset, that she’d cane the scary spirits on their back were they to haunt her; a common well, where usual women drew more gossip than water, an educated grand-uncle on whose written applications depend the village’s official communication,  funeral speeches where speakers are carefully picked from the family to avoid social-bloopers, young school girls re-using Christmas cards, a God-sent leftover British ammunition box to bake Christmas cakes, young boys picking up vices in school, semi-modern girls marrying prematurely etc. and most of all, the nursing sacrifices of Bano, an illegitimate girl-child who would epitomise the persevering qualities of a Naga girl despite the prevailing odds of socio-political disorders, with the book offering brief flashes of the ongoing Naga political Movement.

    Heissh! As the tough granny would tiringly say, it’s certainly announcing the cementing of new age ideologies that have waited long to burst out through years of pre-dominant patriarchal weight. A must read for realizing that farthest corners of the world where indigenous communities live in close harmony with nature still have a lot to say about  societal errors, undying romanticism of the living and the dead alike and certainly about feminine qualities of story-telling that makes even the spooky spirits of the Naga hills in north-eastern part of India, worth a curious visit.

    For the Nagas‘ themselves, Dielieno herself  is the new face of their story-telling.

    http://www.bookvook.com/book/details/terrible-matriarchy-a-zubaan–53-54253.html

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