the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

01
August

Rounds Resounding Day

Posted by Brittany

Rounds Resounding DayRounds Resounding Day, sponsored by the Rounds Resounding Society, celebrates the singing of rounds, catches and canons. Rounds are part of a tradition that has survived hundreds of years, with the oldest published rounds dating back to the late 14th and early 15th century. Rounds are musical compositions where two or more people sing the same melody, basically on a loop, but start at different times. As they sing, different parts of the melody overlap, but ultimately fit together in perfect harmony. Rounds and canons are simple to learn and are often favored by Glee clubs. More daring performers may choose to sing a catch — a type of round where a catchphrase that might not be obvious in a single line emerges when all the singer’s voices come together, often with obscene results. Rounds Resounding Day is celebrated each year on the first day of August. The day’s motto reads: “as rounds resound and resound, all the world’s joined in a circle of harmony.”

My earliest memories of rounds date back to my days as a Brownie, and then a Girl Scout. Even though my troop was full of a bunch of sissies who never went camping, we would sing the typical campfire songs like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Make New Friends”. I love singing now, but as a little kid I didn’t enjoy it very much. Still, something about singing rounds was always fun — it was more like a silly group game than an embarrassing way to highlight my tone deafness. Luckily for Chris, who often has to put up with me singing in the car, I’ve outgrown that tone deafness. But unluckily for Chris, who is embarrassed by participating in childish activities (at least while we don’t have any children), I still love singing rounds and won’t pass up an opportunity to sit around a campfire singing, even if everyone else is a quarter my age. In fact, on our last vacation to Disney’s Hilton Head Resort, we participated in the campfire and marshmallow roasting, complete with songs and ghost stories. And yes, were the only ones without kids.

To celebrate Rounds Resounding Day Chris and I sang the usual “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Make New Friends”, but we also decided to learn a couple of new songs. Thanks to the internet we were able to sing “Frere Jacques,” (believe it or not, neither of us could remember the lyrics), and “Hey Ho Nobody’s Home”.

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