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A GAME SONG
I lingered at the door, looking on the motley scene: the women and children in the background; the old men in groups, talking over their younger days; the line of men singers, each with his piece of board with which to strike the floor in lieu of a drum; the young men who were to play, ranged in two opposite rows; and others standing about, watch­ing their friends and eager for the game to begin.
When all was ready, the leader of one side held up for a moment in one hand a small piece of bone, then began tossing it secretly from one hand to the other, moving the closed fists rapidly past each other to the rhythm of the song sung by the singers, the opposite side keeping sharp eyes on the moving fists, to be ready, when the signal should be given, to detect, if possible, the hand to which the bone had finally been passed.
Heavy stakes were put up, and there was every sign that song after song would follow each other as the night wore on.
The song which follows is sung when playing a game of chance: —
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III