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
the caption, "Did You Feed My Cow ?" is one which was current in my childhood in the many versions as just indicated. The general thought in the story of the Rhyme was the same in all versions whether prose or rhyme, or song. In cases where children repeated it instead of singing it, it was generally in prose and the questions were so framed by the leader that all the general responses by the crowd were "Yes, Ma'am!" Where it was sung, it was invari­ably rhymed; and the version found in this collec­tion was about the usual one.
The main point in the discussion at this juncture is—that there were large numbers of Play Songs like this one found in the transition stage from plain prose to repeated rhyme, and to sung rhyme. Such a status leaves little doubt that the Play Song trav­elled this general road in its process of evolution.
I might take up the Courtship Rhymes, and show that they are derivatives of Courtship, and so on to the end of all the classes given in my outline, but since the evidences and arguments in all the cases are essentially the same I deem it unnecessary.
I now turn attention to a peculiar general ideal in Form found in Negro Folk Rhymes. It probably is not generally known that the Negroes, who emerged from the House of Bondage in the 6o's of the last
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