The song “So Go Rabbit” originated on the Sea Islands, which are located off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, during slavery times. Before the Civil War, there were large plantations on the islands. During the war, the islands were captured by the Union Army and used as Union military strategic posts. The slaves who lived there were freed. After the war, the Union troops left, but the former slaves remained.
Because of their isolation from mainland America, the people maintained their distinctive beliefs and culture, including songs like these. This call-and-response sing is typical of Sea Island children’s songs. The highly rhythmic patterns created with a combination of claps, hand slaps, and rapid sing-song speech create musical interest and excitement. This early musical style is reflected in the modern idiom of rap music.
1. This song is sung a cappella, which means without instrumental accompaniment. Have students heard other songs sung a cappella? Have they sung songs a cappella? What would be challenges of singing a sing this way?
2. What is the role of the hand slapping in the song? Was it easy to follow along with it? Did all the members of the group slap the same rhythm or did they slap different rhythms?
3. This is a call-and-response song. What is the call and what is the response?