Hi WPRB! We wanted to start a blog series about music- and radio-related content.
So let’s talk about yodeling!
Imagine this: You’re an eighty-year-old Swiss man, standing at the top of a mountain next to another eighty year old man (your best friend and fellow chorus member for the last seventy or so years) and a bunch of other people, singing old Swiss yodeling songs in nineteen part harmony. I am not making this up. Switzerland is full of little yodeling groups, known as Jodlerclubs, with members between the ages of thirteen and eighty-five, singing songs that will literally make you cry.
I’m not talking about a throwaway ‘Yodel-ay-hee-hoo’ at the beginning of a Gwen Stefani song right now. These are a mixture of ballads and vocalizations, where a sung story narration is paired with transcendentally beautiful yodeling. They’re steeped in Swiss history, and sung entirely in local dialects.
I found a couple of snippets online for you all to check out, but it’s definitely worth investing in the whole thing.
This song was composed by the Abbot Joseph Bovet, who worked with troubled kids in the canton of Fribourg. Whenever the postbus breaks down in the Valais, everyone sings this. Switzerland is a magical place.
Les ranz des vache
So yes. The Swiss are really into their yodeling. On the 1st of August every year (the Swiss national day), there’s a four-hour yodeling festival inside the cathedral in the capital city. This is a standing room only situation, and all the best Jodlerclubs from across Switzerland come to preform in an acoustically gorgeous space.
If you’re super passionate about yodeling, or think I should listen to yodeling from countries besides Switzerland, drop me an email at email@example.com!
Also, if you have a musical genre that you feel is underrepresented or overrepresented, or just-right represented… feel free to email me too! I’d love to get your voices out!