Negro Folk Rhymes Wise & Otherwise - online book

A detailed study of Negro folk music, includes lyrics & sheet music samples.

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NEGRO FOLK RHYMES
SPEAK SOFTLY
"Wus dat you spoke, Or a fence rail broke?" Br'er Rabbit say to de Jay * Wen you don't speak sof, Yo' baits comes off; An' de fish jes swim away.
STILL WATER RUNS DEEP
Dat still wrater, it run deep. Dat shaller water prattle. Dat tongue, hung in a holler head, Jes roll 'round an' rattle.
DON'T TELL ALL YOU KNOW
Keep dis in min', an' all '11 go right; As on yo' way yjou goes; Be shore you knows 'bout all you tells, But don't tell all you knows.
* The last three lines of the rhyme was a superstition current among antebellum Negroes.
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