Thursday, January 3, 2013

Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Centaur Chant (Videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post is Part II of a two part series on Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.'s signature step walk & chant the "Centaur Walk". Part II provides seven video examples of the Centaur Walk.

Part I provides information about the Centaur Walk. Lyrics to two versions of the Centaur Walk song (chant) are also provided in that post. Click for Part I of this series.

The content of this post is provided for folkloric, historical inspirational, aesthetic, and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

I consider fraternity & sorority chants to be cultural artifacts which deserve to be collected, preserved, and studied. However, I also believe that fraternity & sorority songs and chants should only be recited and/or performed by those who are members or pledges of the specific organization that is affiliated with that particular chant.

(These videos are presented in chronological order with the oldest video being presented first.)

Video #1: iota phi theta centaur walk: Morgan State

mayrock1977, Uploaded on Mar 18, 2007

the brothers of Iota Phi Theta doing that centaur walk


andreduce, Uploaded on Oct 3, 2008
[University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida)

Transcription of chant [Azizi Powell, additions & corrections welcome.]

[Preface: "I Know A Place" song in which brothers are exhorted to “release their soul”]*

Group- Shi shi shi shi [sound approximation]
shi shi shi shi

Lead: I said my
frat brothers
Group -(Ole Ole)
I said my hard steppin brothers
(What in the hell do you want?)
I saida we’re about to do
(What are we about to do?)
I said ah Centaur Walk for you
(He said ah Centaur Walk for you)
It goes the bow
(the bow)
And the shield
(the shield)
Godd**n it the bow
(the bow)
And the shield
(the shield)

[continues with the "Centaur laugh"]

*I'm not sure if "I Know A Place" is the actual title for this Iota song. A text version of that song's lyrics is featured in Part I of this post.

The tune for this song is the same as that used for the fraternity/sorority song "All Of My Love (My Peace And Happiness" which is sung by multiple traditional Black Greek lettered organizations. Click for a pancocojams posts about that song.

The "streets are paved with gold" line from the "I Know A Place" song is an adaptation of the following lyrics from the African American Spiritual "Twelve Gates To The City": "Come and go to the city/Where the streets are paved with gold". "Brown & gold" in that fraternity song refers to the Iota's official colors.

I've also heard the line "I said my hard steppin brothers given as "I said my brown and gold brothers". There are probably other versions of that line.

Video #3: Iota Phi Theta. Psi Chapter. Fall 2008 Probate

MissWise, Uploaded on Nov 12, 2008
I know a place...

MissWise, 2008
[Coppin State University Baltimore, Maryland.]
This video features the song "I Know A Place" & not the Centaur Chant itself. Read my comments above about this song.

Video #4: Iota Centaur Walk VSU [Virginia State University]

georgearvan89, Uploaded on Mar 25, 2010
Spring 2k10
Is: speakerbox

Video #5: Iota Phi Theta - Centaur Walk & UF Graduation Fall 2010

tonystark1963, Uploaded on May 6, 2010

My Fall 2010 graduation & another brother at the University of Florida (Gamma Omicron Chapter). We also did the Centaur Walk after.

Video #6: IOTAS ON THE U OF M CAMPUS [University of Memphis]

Sedrick Askew, Published on Apr 2, 2012

Transcription of a portion of the end of the chant:*
Lead: That bow, that bow, that big ole bow
Group: (That bow, that bow, that big ole bow)
That shield, that shield, that big ole shield
(That shield, that shield, that big ole shield)

[The chant continues with the "Centaur laugh" given in the same call & response pattern]
* transcribed by Azizi Powell, addition & corrections welcome.

Video #7: Massive Centaur Walk During Iota's Super Regional Conference in Memphis

zPhiiilosophy, Published on Apr 5, 2012

Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. setting OWT a huge center walk after the Kings of Memphis Stepshow during their Super Regional Conference in Memphis, TN

Notice that prior to starting the actual chant, one after another, the brothers who are stepping raise their clasped arms above their head, and -one after another-individual members ball their fists to their sides, make a crouching motion, jump up and down, and scream. My guess is that this is done in imitation of the Centaur.

Also, notice that in a number of these videos an Iota carries another Iota on his shoulder in imitation of the Centaur.

Click for a page of my Cocojams website which features a number of text examples of fraternity and sorority chants.

Thanks to the composer of the Centaur Chant, and all the other brothers of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Thanks also to the uploaders of these featured videos.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.

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