Singing in tongues
Is there such a thing? Some people would say, sure: scat. And indeed, Ella Fitzgerald - just to take the readiest example - improvised into existence a whole new vocabulary of the singer’s soul with her scatting abilities, perhaps most famously in this marvelous, classic, dazzling performance of “How High the Moon” from her 1966 Stockholm recording (which may well be among the five greatest live sets of music ever recorded). But while many people have found religion in good jazz, I doubt anyone who’s ever heard glossolalia would mistake Ella’s scatting for singing in tongues.
Evidently the Cunning Linguist thinks she’s found a punk band that sings in tongues (hat tip, M). Maybe, but I don’t care enough about punk to go to the trouble of finding out. Instead, I put the question to you: does anyone know of a recorded gospel song that includes an attempt to sing - as opposed to simply speak - in tongues? Perhaps my Baptist upbringing shows here. We were at best sneering tourists of glossolalia (and anyway, wouldn’t glossolaliaists argue that you couldn’t score “the language of the spirit”?). But tourists get to ask the dumb questions, so I’ll blunder on. I’m not so much thinking of glossolalia monologues with the music playing in the background, but glossolalia that’s sung instead of spoken. McGruder’s fans? Anybody?
PS: I fully concede that whether or not anyone would want to hear such a song is a different question for another day. Right now, I’m just trying to find something else for us to talk about than divorce.Email this Post