Bassez Down

Lyrics

(Caribbean folk song)

Bassez*, mama, Bassez down,
Bassez in the morning, Bassez down. (repeat)

Bassez down, Missie Mary, Bassez down,
Bassez down, Missie Mary…

*Pronounced “bassay”

In Renaissance dance, basse danse means “low dance”. In French the suffix changes to bassez which still means ‘low’. ‘Bassez Down’ could therefore be translated as ‘dance low down’. (source)

Game

Children stand in a circle. One student walks around on the inside of the circle while they sing. On the words “bassez in the morning,” that child picks another child to come into the center of the circle, and the first child joins the others in the circle. The child does a motion, and everyone in the circle copies the motion while singing the song again. You can substitute the name of that child for “Miss Mary.” Then that child walks around the inside of the circle and picks a new child.

YouTube

  (or available for purchase here)

  • Song with chords, Orff Arrangement (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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