Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday Concert: Abiyoyo

One of my favorite activities is storytelling. I do a lot of it. I come by it naturally. My grandfather (Daddy Shaw) was a storyteller for a living, that is, a barber. My father and mother have also been professional storytellers, that is, Methodist ministers. And I have been a professional storyteller, that is, an elementary school teacher.

My favorite childhood occupations, other than pestering my five sisters, were:
  • perching in the spare barber chair, drinking a small coke with ice flecks and peanuts floating in it, and listening to Daddy Shaw regale his customers with a tales.
  • gathering with my sisters on the floor of my father's little study in the backyard of 333 South Ninth Street in Griffin, Georgia, hanging on every word of Daddy's stories of growing up in Milstead, Georgia.
  • sitting with my mother as she read/told Bible stories.
As a grown-up I am most happy when I am performing:
  • on stage in musicals and plays
  • in church and other groups (even a stadium full of baseball fans) as a singer
  • before girl scouts, PTO nights, civic groups, classrooms, other school groups, or just my two daughters as a storyteller.
Two of my Terrell's Basic Repertoire stories come from Pete Seeger. They are simple, formulaic, audience participation stories that anyone can tell. Kids love them! They are "Abiyoyo" and "The Foolish Frog". I have no idea how to estimate how many times I have told these two stories during the last 38 years. A lot.

This video of Pete telling "Abiyoyo" may be 38 years old.


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