Brown Girl in the Ring: An Anthology of Song Games from the Eastern Caribbean

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9780679404538: Brown Girl in the Ring: An Anthology of Song Games from the Eastern Caribbean
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Award-winning author Alan Lomax has dedicated his life to recording the music of cultures that are largely ignored, thereby preserving forever a magnificent musical heritage. In the words of Studs Terkel, Lomax is "one of America's most imaginative and daring musicologists."

Together with J. D. Elder, a former minister of culture of Trinidad and Tobago, and his sister Bess Lomax Hawes, Lomax collects here sixty-eight children's song games--the music, the lyrics, and the stories behind them--from countries throughout the eastern Caribbean. Also included are personal essays that detail Lomax's experiences while recording the music, and his and Elder's encounters with the traditions upon which the songs are based.

Through words, music, and pictures, Brown Girl in the Ring captures a fascinating and essential part of life on the islands of Trinidad, Tobago, Dominica, St. Lucia, Anguilla, Nevis, and Carriacou. And as they have criss-crossed the world in the wake of the great migrations of the last four hundred years, these songs have taken on as well a life of their own, becoming a cherished part of many different cultural traditions.

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Review:

The 70 song games collected in Brown Girl in the Ring come from the Eastern Caribbean, a crescent-shaped chain of islands that stretches from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago. The compendium is based on song games that folklorist Alan Lomax recorded in 1962. For each of the songs--which come from Dominica, St. Lucia, Anguilla, Nevis, and Carriacou, as well as Trinidad and Tobago--there are lyrics and music, explications, and instructions on how the games are played. A compact disc is available from Rounder Records featuring Lomax's original recordings.

About the Author:

Alan Lomax is the author of, among other works, The Folk Songs of North America, Mister Jelly Roll, and The Land Where the Blues Began, for which he received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Beginning in the spring of 1997, Rounder Records will be releasing The Alan Lomax Collection, a library of one hundred CDs made from his landmark recordings.

J. D. Elder is the author of Song Games of Trinidad and Tobago.

Bess Lomax Hawes is the co-author of Step It Down: Games, Plays, Songs, and Stories from the Afro-American Heritage.

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