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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pow-Wow Drums and Cho Cho Fire

In last Sunday's post, I mentioned the Canadian and Australian aboriginal entertainers and artists who participated in this year's annual live show in celebration of Canada's National Aboriginal Day.  One such performer was the legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie,who, at the age of 71, still has more energy and vibrancy than many artists half her age.  Buffy is an internationally known Aboriginal activist, musician, educator and artist. I had the pleasure of meeting her once many years ago at a conference. I was struck by how tiny she is.  She is short but also very petite and much prettier in person.  (Read more about her by clicking on her name in the sentence above).

She has many songs that I love; Piney Wood Hills and Darling Don't Cry, among them.  The one I'm sharing with you today is one of her newer compositions, "Cho Cho Fire".  The drums she is referring to in the song are the pow-wow drums which are played by groups of singers.

Photo Credit:  Tribal Spirit
You can read more about the drum and can also buy one if interested, at the Tribal Spirit website.


Songwriter: BUFFY SAINTE MARIE

Ooo you better wake up
Man it's like you're dead and gone
See you movin around the same ole neighborhood
Same ol thoughts in your head spin around

Oh I know that you're a city boy
But if you got a chance to go - ah - ah
Would you come out to a new world
I promise that I'll take it slow - ah - ah

Aya Aya Are you ready?
Aya Aya Come on now
Aya Aya It's a new world
Aya Aya Cho cho fire
Aya Aya Listen to the drum beat
Aya Aya That's my heartbeat
Aya Aya Have a little fun now
Aya Aya Cho cho fire

Look like you're burnin out to me Babe
No good to nobody no how
Think you need a new experience
Need a little powwow in your soul

See the people get excited
Know the best is yet to come
You can see the people gatherin from miles around
See em running for the drum - ah - ah

Aya Aya Are you ready?
Aya Aya Come on now
Aya Aya It's a new world
Aya ay Cho cho fire
Aya Aya Listen to the drum beat
Aya Aya That's your heartbeat
Aya Aya Have a little fun now
Aya Aya Cho cho fire

I noticed that the female back up singers in this video, Soni Moreno and Jennifer Kresiberg, are well known singers in their own right, from the group named Ulali.  I was fortunate to have see them in Vancouver performing with Pura Fé , the third, and also very talented member of Ulali. But I had first heard Pura Fé of the women's trio by the same name, at a pow-wow in Kahnawake, Quebec, many years ago. It was an a capella group, and it was the first time I'd heard an aboriginal a capella group. Since then, many women's groups have sprung up that perform in a similar fashion.  I've always felt that Pura Fé was  a pioneer of some very unique and wonderful music.

There is a terrific video at this link which will bring you up to date on Buffy's latest recording efforts "Running to the Drum" and her new band.

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm glad you did too. I've been enjoying playing it over and "dancing" in my chair. It's fun and I'm not just "sitting around" ;-)

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  2. Replies
    1. I thought you might like it, Graham. Have a great day!

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  3. Oh my, I remember Buffy. And I love the drums. Thanks for sharing. Also for stopping by my blog and commenting, too. Nice to have you any time you visit. Susan

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    Replies
    1. Susan, I'm glad you remember Buffy. I hope you'll come by anytime and visit me too!

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  4. Dear Friend,
    Well, that will wake you up!!!
    very interesting!

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    Replies
    1. Play it in the morning when you need a pick me up ;-)

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  5. I've just listened to several songs of BSM, and I'm impressed by her gutsy delivery - I think this one is the most exciting and a wonderful example of modernised aboriginal Canadian music.
    Caroline

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    Replies
    1. Caroline, I'm very happy that you took the time to listen to several BSM songs. She has a unique style of delivery but it is her lyrics in protest songs over the many generations that have had true impact. I do like how her latest album really modernizes Aboriginal music as you say. Her new band members are rockers and so her music sounds more contemporary. It is only too bad that most of the youtube videos are not the best quality.

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