|Share page||Visit Us On FB|
American Ballads and Folk Songs
When he barks, he ro' like thunder,
All under de groun', oh, babe, all under de groun*.
When you hear my pistol shooting
'Nother man's dead, oh, babe, 'nother man's dead.
When you hear dat peafowl holPin', Sign o' rain, oh, babe, sign o' rain.
When you hear dat blue goose holler, Gwineta tu'n col', oh, babe, gwineta tu'n coP.
When I cross dat wide oP mountain, I'll be free, oh, babe, den I'll be free.
Take my houn' dog an' give it to my brother, Tell him I'm gone, oh, babe, tell him I'm gone.
You may look till yo' eye runs water, I won' be back, oh, babe, I won' be back.
Black Samson, having refused to sing anything that had to do with "worl'ly" and thus sinful matters, objected not at all to this work song. He furnished the air and, along with other Negro convicts in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, the verses.
"Tie-shuffling" is the lining or straightening out of a railroad track. To understand the work-rhythm that forms this chant it will be necessary to describe Henry Trevelyan's section gang as it worked to tune.
Henry, the foreman, stooped over and squinted off down the shining rail; then stood up and bawled out directions to his gang in the impossibly technical language of the railroad. They, with heavy wooden bars on their shoulders, trotted off down the track, jammed their lining bars down under the rail on the inner side, and braced against them. One of their number, a handsome yellow man, when he was sure that