Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Fa Sol La Singings

I've been reading Rick Bragg again. He just makes me miss the deep south so much, him with his way of story telling. He drags up all these memories I have of growing up there. If I hadn't lived it, I heard plenty of it from my aunts. The talk of how things were in the 'good ole days', you know, back in the Depression. Yep, I can remember me a bunch of stuff from the hard times when I was young.

I just got to thinking about how I'd like to share a story of those days with you from time to time. I sure might bore you to death. Who knows. Some folks don't want to remember when they were young, when times were hard, when we did without because we didn't know or have any better. If we were poor (and by golly, we were) we were no different from our neighbors. Everybody was in the same boat back then.

Rick was writing about his mama dragging him to an all night singing. That got me to thinking about the singings in my youth. I never did go to an 'all nighter' but I went to a few gospel singings. But, my family was more into 'fa sol la' singing. Bet you never heard of that. It's derived from the old tunes brought over on the boat from the old country and is sung with the four parts of harmony with the singers seated in a square, the bass on the left (well, that is depending on which way you are looking at it.

Anyway, I learned to sing fa sol la when I was young. Little bitty kids learned early and they were just as passionate about their music as the grownups.

click on this link to hear the Singing.

photo taken from internet

My whole family sang. We'd sit there facing each other in that square, with our books open, music coming from the heart, a foot (and sometimes both feet) stamping time to the music. The person leading the music stood in the middle and cued each group on when they were to chime in. The director of the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra came out once to 'observe', he said. He went away proclaiming that the music sounded like a symphony. Well, we knew that already.

I grew up, got married, moved away. There weren't any fa sol la singings in most places we lived. But, if I ever got back to the Deep South and could find me a singing going on in some old church somewhere, I bet I'd pick up that book and join right in just like I never left. It's sort of like riding a bicycle... you may fall off but you never forget how. 

Tales of the Past #1


  1. I loved reading about your memories and hope you will tell us some more!

  2. Love your header..the singing is wonderful..Hope all is well..

  3. I enjoyed those memories of singing in the south Latane. You say the same thing my father-in-law used to say about the depression. Everyone was in the same boat. Have a great Thursday :)

  4. A delight to visit I have never heard of far sol la singing so a joy to learn something new.

  5. I never have heard of that kind of singing. Can you share with us some of the song lyrics?


  6. Marcie, the above link (you'll have to copy and paste) will take you to a video with audio and the words to the song printed on the screen. Hope this helps.


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