Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

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AFRICAN SONG.                                              H
as she is among all other heathen peoples, so is woman aiiiong the Africans,�an inferior being to serve and fear man, her superior, her lord. She performs much of the drudgery and practically makes the living for the family. While her husband sits comfortably in the shade smoking his pipe and perhaps telling stories to a companion, the wife with her baby strapped upon her back, sows, tends, and reaps the casada and rice. On the other hand, man is a being of might and power whose every wish, however, trifling, must be a law unto her; while he is a law unto himself. She is slave, he is master; and the relations commonly existing between master and slave are cruelly maintained between them. Under such conditions there is no deep love and where love does not abide there can be born no such tender expression of the "divine passion" as is found among Christian people. It is Christianity that has taught the true loveliness of woman and the true nobility of man. Those love songs that make our hearts throb in harmony with every note and syllable of their divine sentiment are expressions of those hearts alone that believe woman to be an angel and man just a "little lower than the angels." Such an intelligent recognition of the divine within us; such homage to that divinity; such tender yet powerful affection for the beautiful in woman and the noble in man,�these all have their sources and nature in souls that have been touched and enlightened by a God of Love.
The heathen's god is a god of frowns and of vengeance; of storm and of destruction; of might and of power; some Zeus who "shakes Olympus with a nocl." The African sings his love in these words:
"My lover is in yonder town, So I also must'hurry to be there, For, oh! my lover shall be my husband."
The American Negro sings:
"Sun lights up all de big blue skies,
Shines all de live-long day: Silvan moon and de star's bright eyes
Drives all de darkness, away. But what is dat to de light dat gleams
In dis merry heart of mine ? I luv her true an' my luv jis beams,
Beats all de sun dat shine.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III