Among some African-Americans, the term Hannah means “the sun.” This sense is memorialized in the lyrics of “Go Down Old Hannah,” a work song from the 1930s. One writer said of this haunting melody: “About 3 o’clock on a long summer day, the sun forgets to move and stops, so then the men sing this song.” The great folklorist Alan Lomax also made recordings of prison workers singing this song. This is part of a complete episode.
- Love Bites (episode #1569) 05/17/2021: The word filibuster has a long and colorful history, going back to the days when pirates roamed the high seas. Today it refers to hijacking... [more]
- Lasagna Hog (episode #1568) 05/04/2021: Understanding the varieties of conversational styles can mean the difference between feeling you're understood and being insulted. "High-involvement" speakers interrupt or talk along with someone... [more]
- Kiss the Cow (episode #1567) 04/19/2021: An anadrome is a word that forms a whole new word when you spell it backwards. For example, the word "stressed" spelled backwards is "desserts."... [more]
- No Cap, No Lie (episode #1566) 04/05/2021: We take our voices for granted, but it's truly miraculous that we communicate complex thoughts simply by moving our mouths while exhaling. A fascinating new... [more]
- Lead On, Macduff! (episode #1565) 03/22/2021: For rock climbers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, the word send has taken on a whole new meaning. You might cheer on a fellow snowboarder... [more]