Way Down

Storytime! Another African-American spiritual from 160 years ago with a hidden meaning. Yonder means far awayKeep the beat as you listen the first time.  Then repeat a second time and sing along, tapping the rhythm of the words.   Remember to do this many times until you can think the rhythm on your own!  First memorize how the song goes, then you can play the melody on the XYLO app.

The lyrics of this 160 year old song were a way for slaves to talk to the white man. Since slaves in Virginia made the bricks for the roads, they were saying, ‘you not paying me nothing, … but someday maybe you’ll remember me’. They sang ‘to get the pressure off their minds’; they clapped and danced to feel good, as they put the bricks down with their feet, stepping them down. (https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=62946) In colleges and universities today, black students still create step moves as a team,  competing against other college step teams for trophies.

Open XYLO app  and snap the Window Tab to one side.  Minimize and have 2 windows open so you can see the letters and play XYLO.

Open DRUMBIT app No fair copying this Drumbit of the first two phrases!  Your job as a musician is to figure out how to create the next two phrases of “Oh step it, step it, step it down.  Remember me.”