The Chippewa poem, “Love-Charm Song” is a short repetitive piece from Chippewa culture. The song was sung acappella, in the lower(tenor) register by a woman. This song was sung as a spell and was supposed to be very powerful.
The first line of the song, ”What are you saying to me?” is a question. This is significant because, the singer continues by telling her audience how beautiful she is, “I am arrayed like the roses/as beautiful as they”. This simple three line poem is repeated over and over again, slowly and rhythmically in order to mesmerize and enchant the listener. The purpose of the song is to get the listener to fall in love with the singer.
This poem is a good example of Chippewa culture. It tells us how much they valued music. The Chippewa believed that songs were sacred and were inspired by the spirits (p995). Obviously women where also highly regarded in there society because the singer is a powerful and highly skilled woman. The Chippewa placed a high value on love and beauty, for that is what the song is about. Also the Chippewa must have valued nature, as the woman compares herself to roses “I am arrayed like the roses”, which are a part of nature.
This simple short Chippewa song is more interesting than it appears on first inspection . It is a powerful example of a love song. It also provides insight into the Chippewa way of life.