PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
“The Song of My People” is a catchphrase typically associated image macros and animated GIFs in which the subject is singing, shouting or playing a musical instrument.
On July 11th, 2007, a photograph of a loin-clothed street musician playing the violin was submitted to 4chan with the caption reading “I shall sing you the song of my people."
The phrase “I should like to teach you the dance of my people” was featured in a collection of East African fairy tales published in 1913. In the story “The Warrior and the Irimo,” a warrior is captured by an enemy tribe and offers to dance for them:
While the fire was being made the warrior said, “I am tired of life as all my companions have been killed, so am quite willing to die. Before you kill me, however, I should like to teach you the dance of my people.” The Irimo were very pleased, as they were fond of learning new dances, and agreed that he should dance to them.
One of the earliest instances of the phrase “the song of my people” was featured in the 1977 British comedy film Carry on at Your Convenience, according to a post on the Q&A website ChaCha on December 6th, 2010.
On July 3rd, 2008, Flickr user beerorkid uploaded an image macro of a man in his underwear playing a flute, with the caption reading “I shall play you the song of my people” (shown below, left). On January 18th, 2009, Yahoo Answers user hyungiskim submitted a request in search of an image macro with the description fitting Flickr user beerorkid’s image. During the 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa, the expression became widely used to caption photographs of local spectators and supporters using loud traditional stadium horns called “vuvuzelas” (shown below, right).
On November 15th, 2011, FunnyJunk user tonlynx uploaded a photoshopped GIF of a spider playing the bongos with the caption “I shall play you / the song of my people” (shown below, left ). On June 1st, 2012, a compilation of “songs of my people” image macros was featured on the viral content site BuzzFeed. On July 25th, the Cheezburger site Memebase posted an animated GIF titled “Let Me Play You The Song of my People,” which featured dancing characters from the animated television show King of the Hill (shown below, right)
Derivative: The Dance of My People
“The dance of my people” is a variation of the phrase used to caption image macros in which the subject is posing or flailing in an awkward manner.