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Songs to sing while treading the cob  RSS feed

 
Burra Maluca
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We've been doing a lot of cob-mixing up at the lab. And it's become apparent that we need some good songs to sing while we're getting all squishy between the toes.



I thought of this one.

\

Does anyone have any other good suggestions?
 
Jd Gonzalez
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How about this one?
 
Derek Brewer
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Work songs and shanties go back as far as humankind does. They really make work go by quickly, but it feels a bit odd to just burst out into song in this day and age... Might have to work on fixing that!
It's much easier to find shanties than old farming songs, though.

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/09/23/the-10-manliest-sea-shanties/
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/
http://brethrencoast.com/Sea_Shanties.html
http://www.folkways.si.edu/classic-railroad-songs-from-folkways/american-folk/music/album/smithsonian

 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Here's a video of a traditional 'work song'. As you see it was for 'waulking the tweed', but it might as well be used for 'walking the cob'
 
Thekla McDaniels
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look for a song you know the words to, with a rhythm that matches or can be fit to match the actions. This helps keep the pace steady, and the song kind of carries you along.

I did a few years of physical labor for the us forest service in the 70s. We cut fire break on the days we were not actively fighting forest fires in California's 'chaparral' plant community, and mixed ever green forests of the coast range. We used to pass many hours of work with a call and response singing. This only required that one person think about or know or lead the song. He would sing a line the rest of us would repeat the line. Hoping not to offend anyone here, but our funniest happiest days we were singing variations of "cutting line for Jesus" and making up lines about salvation etc.

We also used to sing Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Several children's songs where you play with people's names and rhymes: willoby walloby wartha an elephant sat on martha, willoby walloby wooley, an elephant sat on Dooley. (I don't know the name of that ridiculous one). Riding on that New River Train lasted many an hour, because of the opportunity to make up verses.

When you get a song that lends itself to making up verses, and you have a steady rhythm, the longer you "play with" that song the more verses you can think up. What really helped us was the companionship that developed around these songs. (There were all kinds of people on a crew, not just my select friends. There were some very challenging personalities). But when I would be trying to think up rhymes for names of plants we were cutting through, like ceonothus, and experiences we had shared or were currently sharing (the boss in a REALLY cranky mood, the crew member who died last week in a car wreck, the fire we had been at last week, the current gossip, what interesting or horrible food someone had cooked recently for a shared meal, or some memorable wonderful something someone cooked long ago) then it was a wonderful way to pass the time.

I wish I could think of more examples, but my best recommendation is to search back to the rhythmic songs children sang in generations past, the rhythmic work songs.

How bout: "I've been stomping on the co'ob all the live long day, I've been squishing clay-ey cob mix, just to pass the time away." and so on, to the tune of I've been working on the rail road.

It is as much to distract and have fun in your mind while your body labors, as it is to keep a reasonable pace.

The modern music is not designed for the everyday singer, it is for"experts" to sing to us, with astonishing range, ability to stay on pitch. It's torture to try to sing it your self and makes one even more self conscious.

Last thoughts: Santa Lucia, Home on the Range, God Bless America, God Save the Queen (My Country tis of thee), Yankee Doodle, Dixie, Waltzing Matilda, I've got sixpence, this land is your land. Christmas songs, just because most (USA) people have sung them, and church songs like the Doxology, again because a large number of people are familiar with it.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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most hymns recycle old familiar tunes, as do many folk songs. Hey, if a tune is singable, why not use it!

here are some suggestions for cobbers, but really the more you sing and work and share the experience, the more you'll find better word combinations. These are just my whimsy this grey morning in a cool kitchen.

(tune, the doxology)
Praise cob from which all blessings flow
praise cob all creatures hear me, lo
praise shelter from montana's storms

Mix cob from sand and clay
add straw to make it strong
tread it well the whole day long

____________
tune: for the beauty of the earth

For the beauty of the cob
for the glory of our work
we'll build walls to last us long
keeping us so safe and warm

sky above and earth below
hear our song as walls we raise

with the structure of sharp sand,
with the sticky sticky clay
mixed with straw so hollow and long
We'll build a rocket to keep us warm

sky above and earth below
hear our song as walls we raise

I'm thinking silent night would also lend itself to some fun words, but have to get going with my day.

most importantly, there is no right way on this! workers wanting song to accompany their work have to open their hearts to being silly and having some fun.
 
Erica Wisner
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I use sea chanteys and railroad songs - "Eddystone Light" at least has a "roll" in the chorus, and one good use of cob-stomping songs is to get people to stop stomping on the chorus, and flip the batch already.

I demonstrated for a musician one time to see if he thought of anything with the right pace, and "Mustang Sally" is what he came up with.

Still hoping for delivery of a special cob-stomping song commissioned from Sharla and Evan the ants.

-Erica
 
Alex Veidel
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Erica Wisner wrote:I use sea chanteys and railroad songs - "Eddystone Light" at least has a "roll" in the chorus, and one good use of cob-stomping songs is to get people to stop stomping on the chorus, and flip the batch already.

I demonstrated for a musician one time to see if he thought of anything with the right pace, and "Mustang Sally" is what he came up with.

Still hoping for delivery of a special cob-stomping song commissioned from Sharla and Evan the ants.

-Erica


Also a huge fan of the sea shanties...I used to drive my family crazy trying to get them to sing with me.

There's a great Johnny Collins collection cd called "Shanties and Songs of the Sea" that's nearly impossible to find now....there's only a few on Amazon, and they're sold by people trying to make $100 off of it. I got lucky and found a decently priced copy. If you want, I can email you a OneDrive link so you can give the album a listen

Alan Lomax has a great album of live recorded prison labor/railroad songs: https://www.amazon.com/Negro-Prison-Blues-Songs-Recorded/dp/B000QQWXAS/ref=sr_1_3?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1457623202&sr=1-3-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0&keywords=alan+lomax+prison

Leadbelly also has a few good railroad songs and folk songs on this album: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013AYST0/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp

Also, military cadence songs are good, but I haven't given them much of a listen.
 
Judy Bowman
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I guess I'm going to give myself away as a redneck, but I like this one both for cobbling and for washing blankets off-grid. ( I put them in the shallow stock tank that doubles as our bathtub and stomp them around in warm water). My husband gets tickled at either one.

 
Dale Hodgins
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T.E. Joseph
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Well...









and as it started with a bird, it should probably end with the other one you might need after all that...



 
T.E. Joseph
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(I should get around to making an actual post here... eventually.)
 
Pearl Sutton
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And after wasting WAY too much time this morning, I seem to have ended up with sea shanties and Little Big Town being played while I work today... I blame all of you, and thank you IMMENSE amounts
Awesome thoughts for work music!
 
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