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
pat right along while Jubilee melodies were being sung.
All Negro Folk productions, including the Negro Folk Rhymes, seem to call for this patting of the foot. The explanation which follows is offered for consideration. The orchestras of the Native Afri­can were made up largely of crudely constructed drums of one sort or another. Their war songs and so forth were sung to the accompaniment of these drum orchestras. When the Negroes were trans­ported to America, and began to sing songs and to chant words in another tongue, they still sang strains calling, through inheritance, for the accompaniment of their ancestral drum. The Negro's drum having fallen from him as he entered civilization, he unwit­tingly called into service his foot to take its place. This substitution finds a parallelism in the highly cultivated La France rose, which being without sta­mens and pistils must be propagated by cuttings or graftings instead of by seeds. The rose, purposeless, emits its sweet perfume to the breezes and thus it attracts insects for cross fertilization simply because its staminate and pistillate ancestors thus called the insect world for that purpose. The rattle of the crude drum of the Native African was loud by in­heritance in the hearts of his early American de-
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