Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

Background, histories, development & commentary

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB


Previous Contents Next
82
FOLK SONG OF THE AMERICAN NEGRO.
being sung at her bedside, she awoke and make a supreme effort to join in the melody. That baby girl was Ella Sheppard, who after�wards became the pianist of the Original Jubilee Singers. At the annual meeting of the American Missionary Association in Burling�ton, Vermont, General O. O. Howard was one of the speakers. Be�fore lie delivered his address, he requested the Fisk Quartette to sing for him "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," adding that he felt it would not be long before the chariot would swing low for him. As the quartette sang, the General stood and listened as tears filled his eyes. He then touched all hearts present with the pathos of a stirring ad�dress. A few days later, the chariot swung low and bore the Gen�eral home.
''Most done toilin' here; ;                                            Urn! Most done toilin' here!"
This song was born since freedom and is one of the very few real ; folk songs that were produced by freedom. It is really a "new song" of Virginia. It leaped almost wholly from the heart of a good woman who simply wanted something new to sing. She doubtless gave some thought to it and to a certain degree it was "composed, � but in spirit and melody it is a true folk song. The good woman who gave me the history of this song, told it in these words: "We simply wanted a new song to sing in church, and we just started to sing this song. Our troubles weighted us down, and, of course, we were thinking of them more than anything else. It came to me this way, 'Urn! most done toiling here,7 and I sang it; another sister added something else, and it kept on until we had a 'new song.' "
"You may bury me in the East, You may bury me in the West, But I'll hear the trumpet sound, In-a that mornin'."
If there is in all the collections of folk song a pure melody this is it. It is the song of faith. It was born in Georgia, near Atlanta. A slave was sold from his wife and it seemed that he would really die of broken heart, but as he was being led away he said with a
wail:
"You may bury me in the East, You may bury me in the West, But I'll hear the trumpet sound, In-a that mornin'."








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