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African Noel background info

Does anyone have any background information about the origins of the song "African Noel"? Lyrics are: "Sing Noel, sing noel, noel, noel....Sing we all noel"
 
Thanks!
 
Hallie
Woburn, MA
on December 1, 2009 3:23am
Hearing this song sung with the lyrics Sing Noel was a real surprise.    In the wonderful little book called "Short Stuff"   published for community choirs by Community Music Victoria (Australia), we know it as Bunawa,  a Liberian chant.   Many years ago it also appeared in the ABC Sing! songbooks used by most schools in Australia so there is a whole generation of kids who know this song really well.      The words are sung as a round:
Bunawa, bunawa, bunu-i-o  (4 times)
No-ni-ni-no-na (4 times)
We think the meaning is "don't cry little girl, don't cry" . Commentary on the song states  "some Liberian refugees... know it as the word used in one African dialect as knocking on a door". 
Also in the commentary it says that it has been used with great hilarity as a stick passing song.     This is true - I used it for years with young children  and up to high school age.     Every child starts with a stick and passes it to the next child in perfect time to the music.     Great fun at the same time having to fiercely concentrate to get the rhythm and song just right.
 
Jane
 
 
on December 1, 2009 3:36am
The tune is the same as the Liberian chant "Banuwa", which is included in the Voiceworks 2 collection.
on December 1, 2009 4:13am
Try contacting MUSIK INNOVATIONS, Perry Highway, Pittsburgh, Pa.  
Call directory assistance: 412-555-1212 for the phone number.  When you reach the shop (HUGE distributor for music in the Pittsburgh Diocese), ask for a man named Jim Falcione; he should have the answer.
Terry
on December 3, 2009 12:55am
How interesting!  So the tune is African, the words are not.  Does anyone know how those words became associated with the song?
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