Oral Traditions and Songs Essay

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Oral Traditions and Songs Some may say that without a written language, literature cannot exist. However, to deny the oral traditions and songs of cultures prior to the existence of their written languages would deny the world some of the earliest literature of humankind. Whether passed down through oral or written means, literature consists of all stories, songs, and poetry every generation loves, inspires, and passes on. Early in life children are told stories by parents, siblings, grandparents, and teachers. Those early years are filled with nursery rhymes and silly stories. Sometimes the caregiver will read from a book of composed nursery rhymes. Sometimes it is simply a rhyme they heard in their childhood. Either way such…show more content…
As a matter of fact, many of the nursery rhymes known today got their start through oral traditions. And more importantly, that is how they are generally passed on through the generations. Even before they are transcribed, they are uttered and, hopefully, passed on to the next generation. So although many people find the need to write down such stories so as not to be forgotten, the nursery rhymes are already a part of literature. As a young child grows older, parents tend to give the child stories with more meaning. Often parents fill their child’s desire for a story with a moral story. Again this phenomenon tends to cross cultural lines. Every culture seems to have a set of morals in which they abide. Furthermore they tend to have stories that demonstrate the moral in action. Young children are told such stories orally. Whether or not the story was written in a book has little effect on the power of it. And whether or not the story is written down in a book before that child grows up to tell it to his/her child is irrelevant. The story, told over and over to generation after generation, has become a part of literature. Literature is not made up of just stories. Poems and songs can be attributed to literature. Poetry and songs, like the nursery rhymes of childhood, are also vital to a culture. Sometimes a story is told in the form of a poem or song. And sometimes a poem or song can be pure entertainment. However labeled in a culture, the poems and songs

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