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NEGRO FOLK RHYMES
scendants and its unseen ghost walks in the midst of all their poetry.
Many Negro Folk Rhymes were used as banjo and fiddle (violin) songs. It ought to be borne in mind, however, that even these were quite often repeated without singing or playing. It was common in the early days of the public schools of the South to hear Negro children use them as declamations. The connection, however, of Negro Folk Rhymes with their secular music productions is well worthy of notice.
I have often heard those who liked to think and discuss things musical, wonder why little or no music of a secular kind worth while seemed to be found among Negroes while their religious music, the Jubilee Songs, have challenged the admiration of the world. The songs of most native peoples seem to strike "high water mark" in the secular form. Probably numbers of us have heard the explanation: "You see, the Negro is deeply emotional; religion appealed to him as did nothing else. The Negro therefore spent his time singing and shouting praises to God, who alone could whisper in his heart and stir up these emotions." There is perhaps much truth in this explanation. It is also such a delicate and high compliment to the Negro race,