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
recall trom childhood days a clear remembrance of many of these crude things is due to the fact that he belonged to a Negro family that laughed much, early and late, at such things. But the simple forms of "call" and "sponse" were used much in courtship by the more primitive. This points out something of the general origin of "call" and "sponse" in Social Instinct Rhymes, but does not account for their origin in other types of Rhymes. I now turn atten­tion to those.
About eighteen years ago I was making a So­ciological investigation for Tuskegee Institute, which carried me into a remote rural district in the Black Belt of Alabama. In the afternoon, when the Negro laborers were going home from the fields and occasionally during the day, these laborers on one plantation would utter loud musical "calls" and the "calls" would be answered by musical re­sponses from the laborers on other plantations. These calls and responses had no peculiar signifi­cance. They were only for whatever pleasure these Negroes found in the cries and apparently might be placed in a parallel column alongside of the call of a song bird in the woods being answered by another. Dr. William H. Sheppard, many years a missionary in Congo, Africa, upon inquiry, tells me that similar
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