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
found in "Hawk and Chickens Play," and "Fox and Geese Play." "Caught by a Witch Play" is borrowed from superstition. But to return to "Goosie-gander"ómost children of our childhood days played it, using common prose in the calls, and answers just as we have here described it. A few children here and there so gave their calls and re≠sponses as to rhyme them into a kind of a little poem as it is recorded in our collection. Without further argument, I think it can hardly be doubted that the whole thing began as a simple prose call, and re≠sponse, and that some child inclined to rhyming things, started "to do the rest," and was assisted in accomplishing the task by other children equally or more gifted. This reasonably accounts for the origin of the Play Rhyme.
Now what of the Play Rhyme Songs? There were many more Play Rhyme Songs than Play Rhymes. There were some of the Play Rhyme Songs sung in prose version by some children and the same Flay Song would be sung in rhymed ver≠sion by other children. Likewise the identical Play Song would not be sung at all by other chil≠dren ; they would simply repeat the words as in the case of the Rhyme "Goosie-gander," just discussed. The little Play Song found in our collection under
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