"Blues in All Flavors" Learning Activities
© Gaye Adegbalola
SONG #4: ZIP-A-DEE-DOO-DAH
FLAVOR: ROCK & ROLL
- This song was first in a Disney movie, "Song of the South," in 1946. It was based on the Uncle Remus/Brer Rabbit stories which had been handed down orally as Anansi (a-NAHN-see) stories from Africa. Find & read some Anansi stories, like this one called "Anansi and the Pot of Beans:"
What is the "moral" of each story?
- The word "Anansi" is Akan and means spider. (Akan is the language spoken in much of Ghana in West Africa.) He is a trickster and is also known as Ananse, Kwaku, Anancy, or Aunt Nancy. In one Anansi story, Anansi himself was tricked when he tried to fight a tar baby after trying to steal food, but became stuck to it instead. This story was used for Br'er Rabbit's "Tar Baby" story. Try to find one of the stories. What tricks are used by Anansi or Br'er Rabbit?
- Some morals can be summarized with visual symbols or drawings like West African adinkra symbols.
Look at some of these symbols and find their meanings. Now, based on an Anansi story, draw a symbol that represents one of the Anansi stories.
- In the song, there is a line that says, "Mister Bluebird on my shoulder. . ." If you were writing this song, what kind of bird would be on your shoulder? What birds live in your area? Many people love to watch birds. See if you can find some binoculars and look at some of the birds around you. The study of birds is called "ornithology."
- In this song, the word "satisfactual" is sung in a really low voice. Other parts of the song are sung in a high voice. How high or low you can sing is called your "range." The range is one characteristic that make voices different. Different people have different tones and different loudness. Invite a few friends over or gather the members of your family. Blindfold someone. Have different people in the room to say the same sentence. Have the blindfolded person to guess who's voice it is.
ORIGINAL VERSION OF ZIP-A-DEE-DOO-DAH:
A BLUE BIRD'S SONG:
DIFFERENT BIRDS & THEIR CHARACTERISTICS:
Bird Species Profiles on About.com
SPECIAL VOCABULARY WORD: MORAL
The word "moral" concerns the rules of right conduct, of how to act correctly. It makes the distinction between right and wrong. Often the rule for doing the right thing, the moral, is contained in a story, a tale or an experience.