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
just given has caused me to believe that Dance Rhyme Songs were probably evolved from Dance Rhymes pure and simple, through individuals put­ting melodies to these Dance Rhymes.
As Dance Rhymes came from the dance, so like­wise Play Rhymes came from plays. I shall now discuss the one found in our collection under the caption—"Goosie-gander." Since the Play has prob­ably passed from the memory of most persons, I shall tell how it was played. The children (and some­times those in their teens) sat in a circle. One in­dividual, the leader, walked inside the circle, from child to child, and said to each in turn, "Goosie-gander." If the child answered "Goose," the leader said, "I turn your ears loose," and went on to the next child. If he answered "Gander," the leader said, "I pull yo' years 'way yander." Then ensued a scuffle between the two children; each trying to pull the other's ears. The fun for the circle came from watching the scuffle. Finally the child who got his ears pulled took his place in the circle, leaving the victor as master of ceremonies to call out the chal­lenge "Goosie-gander!" The whole idea of the play is borrowed from the fighting of the ganders of a Hock of geese for their mates. Many other plays were likewise borrowed from Nature. Examples are
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