Posted by: David French | March 27, 2013

Yellow Bird – Folk Song

Yellow Warbler (Setophaga aestiva) in Ontario, Canada. The copyright holder is Geoff Clarke.The image appears on his website from the section featuring Canadian birds.

Yellow Warbler (Setophaga aestiva) in Ontario, Canada. The copyright holder is Geoff Clarke.
The image appears on his website from the section featuring Canadian birds.

Is this style of music calypso, folk, mento or mérengue? Does it originate from Trinidad, Haiti, Jamaica, Latin America or the United States?

Is the yellow warbler native to Costa Rica? Does it belong to Wisconsin, USA or Ontario, Canada? The answer is that the bird flies from place to place and will be known by different names!

The song Yellow Bird has flown around many parts of the world! In the Caribbean island of Haiti it appeared in the late nineteenth century as a poem and a folk song about the beautiful lady known as “Choucoune”. The language is French and the music is mérengue. Following the Calypso Craze of the 1950’s many versions in English began to appear. As Val Serrant reminds us, ‘Trinidad is the land of Calypso’.

Listen to this recent version by the Jamaican born musician Dereck Rose. Visit the Foxyart website  to discover 49 arrangements or original songs songs by Rose, including 18 REGGAE, 3 FOLK, 5 ACOUSTIC, 6 POP, 1 EXPERIMENTAL, 3 EASY LISTENING, 3 CLASSICAL and 10 GOSPEL. Yellow Bird appears in the FOLK category of Foxyart, together with lyrics and a listening track.

The important thing is that, in common with other songs by Dereck Rose, Yellow Bird is inspirational! The young students in my music classroom enjoy singing and performing their own versions. I hope you will also enjoy this song!

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Responses

  1. […] the post “Yellow Bird – Folk Song” on the Tanbur Music Education Blogspot, the genre of the song Yellow Bird is discussed. It is a […]


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