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Copland, Ching-a-ring chaw

Choralist Members -

Many thanks to all of you that replied! I was way off with what I thought
this piece was about. This is why I love teaching...I am always learning!
This is a great learning tool...slavery, politics, racism... I encourage
all to research the background of this tune carefully and present it with
the history involved. Good luck and again, thank you for your replies!

Anne R. Nichols
Choral Director
McFarland High School
(608) 838-4516

Here's what I know:

- The Choral Journal has published an article in the past few years
(more than two, fewer than five years ago, I think) on the Copland
and American folk songs.

- "Ching a ring..." is imitating a banjo.

- "ding kum" should be pronounced "dinkum" (same vowels as "Lincoln")
-- not "koom" as in Latin!

- Some of the Copland songs are about Haiti, not heaven. I think
this is one of them.

- "larkee" is Copland's graceful substitution for the original folk
song text, which was "darkee." Isn't that interesting?

Hope this helps,

Nina Gilbert

============================================================Dear Anne,

Ching-a-ring chaw† is an early minstel tune. The title words imitate the
sound of a banjo. In the text,"ho-ding-a-ding kum larkee," Copland
substituted "larkee" for the original "darkee," to avoid making a racial
slur. I refer you to the website below . . .


When you get to the site, click on EDUCATION, and then on EDUCATIONAL
RESOURCES. You'll see a long list of resources that we make available free
of charge to music educators. You'll notice two Aaron Copland CDs, one for
band, the other for chorus. As you will except, Ching-a-ring chawis on the
Soldiers' Chorus CD. It features extensives, well researched linewr notes
that address your questions about this tune.

You may e-mail your request to Master Sergeant (MSG) Tedd Griepentrog at .
. .


Make sure you include your school address, we can't honor requests that
come with personal home addresses.

I hope you find this information helpful. Good luck in your program.

Douglas Cox
Assistant Director
Soldiers' Chorus of
The US Army Field Band
Washington, DC