Glory & Shame
by Ernest Thompson Seton
Glory and Shame Rhymes
When men were more spontaneous and maybe more generally vocal in a musical sense than now, they had in use a great many glory chants or acclaims as well as some of shame or reprobation.
Thus Scott in the "Lady of the Lake" as the new Chief's bodyguard chant the Gaelic acclaim "Hail to the Chief!"
There are one or two of these in the Old Testament, and among the singing nations of Central Europe, we hear references to these greetings of high honor.
Among ourselves, the historical chant that I fear is dying out, thanks to its poor literary quality, is that to the memory of Washington. The leader chants: "Who was Washington?" And the group chant in response
He was first in peace,
It would be easy to gather a long array of similar honor greetings, but alas, they are all, or nearly all, obsolete.
As I scan our daily life-school or business--I find remaining one or two, chiefly shame rhymes, such as--
When a school boy has tattled, the rest express their detestation of this crime of crimes by singing in unison, as they point the finger of scorn at him:
Or if a boy comes late, the rest sing:
Dilly dilly dollar,
Another version of this is
A dilly, a dollar,
Or a child too ready to cry is ridiculed as
But no honor rhymes at all in school. I cannot at this moment recall a single glory rhyme among adults, except perhaps the occasional and uninspiring
He's a jolly good fellow,
In most assemblages today the best we can do to recognize the entrance of some one we wish to honor is simply by stamping the feet or even standing up in dead silence. Isn't it pitiful!
Here is a perfectly natural and desirable instinct followed by a surge of admirable emotion. We wish to voice it and don't know how.
Our Woodcraft summer camps are so natural and so conducive to healthy spontaneous sentiment that they are digging up and evolving both glory and shame chants.
Thus at one camp when a boy smashed a dish, all the rest broke out into their established and disapproving
But the glory rhymes are fortunately developing faster. Quite a number of the tribes now use
Some folks say Blankety ain't got no style.
It is pretty poor, but a start in the right direction.
A feeble attempt is seen in
"What's the matter with Blankety?"
It is sadly bad as art, yet it is correct in frame-work, for it begins with a question or announcement by the leader, indicating the one to be honored, followed by a rousing response from all.
All of which scattered observations go to show that here is a proper and admirable instinct that prompts us to express an honor greeting in an established rhyme or acclaim by a group. We need some good ones.
When you place an order with Amazon.Com using the search box below, a small referral fee is returned to The Inquiry Net to help defer the expense of keeping us online. Thank you for your consideration!
To Email me, replace "(at)" below with
If you have questions about one of my 2,000 pages here, you must send me the
"URL" of the page!
This "URL" is sometimes called the "Address" and it is usually found in a little box near the top of your screen. Most URLs start with the letters "http://"
The Kudu Net is a backup "mirror" of The Inquiry Net.
Last modified: October 15, 2016.