Translate

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lou Rawl's Song "Memory Lane" & Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Song "Hand Me Down My Kappa Kane"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents lyrics for the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. song "Hand Me Down My Kappa Kane". This post also showcases three YouTube examples of that song.

A video clip of Lou Rawls's 1965 song "Memory Lane" is featured in this post because I believe that it is the prototype for Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc's song "Hand Me Down My Kappa Kane".

The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

This post is part of an ongoing pancocojams series that provides what I consider to be likely and/or confirmed sources for historically Black Greek letter fraternity or sorority songs and chants.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composer/s of the Kappa song "Hand Me Down My Kappa Kane". Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to all those who featured in these videos. In addition, thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

****
DISCLAIMER: As an African American community folklorist, I believe that it's important and interesting to document and share information about the source/s of historically Black Greek letter songs and chants.

The information contained in this post is the result of my conclusions, and isn't information that I received from any member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc.

As is the case with most* other Greek letter songs and chants, the song "Hand Me Down My Kappa Kane" should not be sung or stepped to by anyone who is not affiliated with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

*An example of a fraternity song that is often song by choral groups who aren't affiliated with that fraternity is "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi".

****
EDITOR'S NOTE
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is a historically Black Greek letter fraternity that is a member of "the Divine 9" (an association of nine historically Black Greek letter fraternities and sororities). Here's information about that fraternity from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kappa_Alpha_Psi:
"Kappa Alpha Psi (ΚΑΨ) is a collegiate Greek-letter fraternity with a predominantly African-American membership. Since the fraternity's founding on January 5, 1911 at Indiana University Bloomington, the fraternity has never limited membership based on color, creed or national origin. The fraternity has over 150,000 members with 721 undergraduate and alumni chapters in every state of the United States, and international chapters in the United Kingdom, Germany, Korea, Japan, United States Virgin Islands, Nigeria, and South Africa.[2]...

The fraternity was founded as Kappa Alpha Nu on the night of January 5, 1911 by ten African-American college students.[7] The decision upon the name Kappa Alpha Nu may have been to honor the Alpha Kappa Nu club which began in 1903 on the Indiana University campus, but there were too few registrants to assure continuing organization.[3] The organization known today as Kappa Alpha Psi was nationally incorporated under the name of Kappa Alpha Nu on May 15, 1911 (the 1st nationally incorporated college fraternity by African Americans). [8] The name of the organization was changed to its current name in 1915, shortly after its creation."..
-snip-
As I noted above, I believe that the song "Hand Me Down My Kappa Kane" is directly based on Lou Rawl's 1965 song "Memory Lane". That Lou Rawl's song includes the line "hand me down my walking cane".

The line "hand me down my walking cane" is probably an adaptation of the title of African American Spirituals or early Gospel songs with the title "Hand Me Down My Golden Trumpet".) There are also multiple non-religious songs with the title "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" (or "Walking Shoes". Many of these songs have the same tune and textual structure of the song "Ain't Gonna Grieve My Lord No More" (also known as "Oh You'll Never Get To Heaven". Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/08/hand-me-down-my-sliver-trumpet-gabriel.html for a pancocojams post on the songs "Hand Me Down My Golden Trumpet" and "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane".

There are multiple songs that include the lyrics "hand me down my walking cane", including the Spinner's 1976 R&B song "Rubberband Man" which begins with that line. However, the tune and tempo of Lou Rawl's "Memory Lane", its title, and its recording date* all point to it being the source for the revered Kappa song.

*It appears to me that in the mid to late 1960s, the styles and executions of the performance art of "stepping" became more solidified among historically Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs). During the mid to late 1960s, stepping (also known as hopping, bopping, marching etc.) also became more well known in African American communities. This was due in part to the increased number of African Americans attending colleges & universities, and also due to those Greek letter organizations holding step shows in African American communities, and not just on university campuses.

****
LYRICS AND SOUND FILE FOR "MEMORY LANE"
(Music/Lyrics: J.W. Alexander/Sam Cooke)

Boy, hand me down my walking cane
Boy, hand me down my walking cane
Hand me down my walking cane
I'm gonna take me a stroll down memory lane

Many a girl, I changed to love and woo
Many a girl, I changed to love and woo
Many a girl, I changed to love and woo
But a lot of woman quite like my Lana Lou

She had eyes that shine like stars above
I said, she had eyes, shine like stars above
She had eyes that shine like stars above
And a face as sweet as a mothers love

Ah, then I caught your hand, hand me down my walking cane
I want you to hand me down my walking cane
Oh, hand me down my walking cane
I'm gonna take me a stroll down memory lane

Source: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/lourawls/memorylane.html

Lou Rawls - Memory Lane



jimi564 Published on Oct 7, 2012
Year: 1965
Music/Lyrics: J.W. Alexander/Sam Cooke

****
LYRICS FOR "HAND ME DOWN MY KAPPA KANE"
(Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.)

I’m gonna take a stroll one day down Kappa Lane... Hand me down my Kappa Kane
I said, Hand me down my Kappa Kane (2x)
I’m gonna take a stroll one day down Kappa Lane

Tell them about the colors… We all wear that Krimson and Kream
I said, we all wear that Krimson and Kream (2x)
I’m gonna take a stroll one day down Kappa Lane

Tell them how we walk… We all step to the left and to the right
I said, we all step to the left and to the right (2x)
I’m gonna take a stroll one day down Kappa Lane

Tell them about the reason… Phi Nu Pi is the reason why
I said, Phi Nu Pi is the reason why (2x)
I’m gonna take a stroll one day down Kappa Lane

Source: From http://www.kappa-loukyalumni.com/kappakane.html
-snip-
A recording of this song plays when you click on this lyric page. That same recording is used for a number of YouTube examples of this song.

Notice that it is a Kappa custom to substitute a "k" for the word "cane" and for all other words that are usually begin with the letter "c".
-snip-
Click http://thesophisticatedpaperboy.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-pledged-kappa-alpha-psi-at-virginia.html for the article "I Pledged Kappa Alpha Psi At Virginia State University More Than Fifty Years Ago" by Michael Gordon, September 2, 2008. In that article Michael Brown writes "The pledge clubs had distinctive names. For Kappa the club was called the "Scroller Club”. It was named for the distinctive scroll that appears on the fraternities' shield and coat of arms. On this scroll are usually found the Greek letters, "Phi Nu Pi", which symbolizes something very important in the traditions of Kappa Alpha Psi."
-snip-
Elsewhere online I came across a comment from a Kappa (or a person who said he was a Kappa) writing on a who shared what he said was the meaning of "Phi Nu Pi". But since it appears that that information is supposed to be reserved for members of that organization, I've decided not to share what I read.

****
SHOWCASE VIDEOS OF "HAND ME DOWN MY KAPPA KANE"
These examples are given in chronological order based on their publishing date on YouTube with the oldest dated example given first.

Example #1: Hand me down my Kappa Kane- Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.



Kenny McCain Uploaded on Mar 18, 2011

dedication to the Kappa Kane (by Ken McCain)

****
Example #2: Kappa Alpha Psi- Theta Chi Sp13. Hand Me Down.



Jason Baccus Published on Apr 11, 2013

Hand me down my Kappa Kane, Scroller Bop.

****
Example #3: Hand me down my kappa Kane



NUPE202's channel Uploaded on Sep 22, 2011
just messin around.......boredom got to me
-snip-
The song begins at 1:10

The singer indicated that this is only a few of the verses of this song which can go on and on.

****
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment