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Do they yodel in Malaysia ?: Noel Felix

6 July 2008

Yes ! They yodel in Malaysia ! That’s how you can see the big influence of Jimmie Rodgers all over the world but also the influence of western music in general. Noel Felix makes a local imitation of the international star with a cowboy yodelling song. It’s a bizarre and wonderful track, that begins as an unaccompanied ballad in Creole Portuguese but it changes after about a minute in a prairie song with a quite authentic yodel. Malaysia was influenced a lot by Portuguese culture, but as you hear, it doesn’t stop there.

Who is Noel Felix ? He was born in 1932 in Malacca, in Malaysia, in a poor eurasian (Kristang) fishing family. He joined the British army in 1952 where he learned to read and write. After that, he worked at the water company of Malacca. As leader of the dance group Tropa de Malaca, he plays Portuguese-style music for tourist shows or for festivals, in hotels or even abroad but he also is a good interpret of songs in Kristang for the locals. I have no idea why he yodels in this song or if he does it regularly.

Noel Felix – O amor, recorded October 19, 1990

Found on A viagem dos sons : Malaca. Kantiga di padri sa chang, recorded and compiled by Margaret Sarkission, also the author of this book, where the photo comes from.

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2 comments

  1. Great stuff! Check out my blog is you like SE Asian music!

    cheers,
    Dave


  2. I like SE Asian music and I know your blog, but not since a long time. Thanks for the comment !



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