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Besides, I have only been around for eighty-four of the one hundred years of the American Camp Association's existence!
Perhaps ninety-four-year-old "Pop" Hollandsworth would be a preferable choice for this assignment, although it is somewhat questionable whether he can, veritably, carry a tune (even in one of his ample packsacks).
They began in the days of slavery on Southern plantations.
Owners permitted their slaves to attend church services, although usually they stayed outside just listening or looking through a window.
Many spirituals appear simply to express joy or despair or the hope of salvation: "Balm in Gilead"; "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel"; "Every Time I Feel the Spirit"; "I Got Shoes, You Got Shoes, All God's Children Got Shoes"; "He's Got the Whole World in His Hand"; "Nobody Knows the Trouble I Seen." Whatever these songs mean, they are a delight to sing around a fire at night among comrades.
The number of them, still popular, is the best testimony to their value and place in tradition.
, and Rita Yerkes, historical series editor, were kind enough to invite me to write about the history and traditions of camp songs.
We sing folk songs; spirituals; patriotic songs; religious songs; fun, nonsense, novelty, action songs; melodious (rounds, partner songs); popular songs that are "catchy"; songs that we write (or adapt) ourselves.
That said, camp offered the perfect conditions for group singing and it is quite likely that whatever singing came to camps, the camps gave back more than they received, in repertoire, vocabulary, songleading techniques and providing singing experiences for youngsters.
(Personal communication, 2009) At camp, we sing songs that are fun, upbeat, harmonious, or inspiring.
Peter, Paul & Mary performed "The Cruel War," from the American Revolution (1775).
Have you sung these songs from World Wars I and II and Vietnam?