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
calls and responses obtain there, though not so musical. He also tells me that the calls have a mean­ing there. There are calls and responses for those lost in the forest, for fire, for the approach of ene­mies, etc. These Alabama Negro calls, however, had no meaning, and yet the calls and responses so fitted into each other as to make a little complete tune.
Now, I had heard "field" calls all during my early childhood in Tennessee, and these also were answered by men in adjoining fields. But the Ten­nessee calls and responses which I remembered had no kinship which would combine them into a kind of little completed song as was the case with the Alabama calls and responses.
Again, in Tennessee when a musical call was ut­tered by the laborers in one field, those in the other fields around would often use identically the same call as a response. The Alabama calls and responses were short, while those of Tennessee were long.
I am listing an Alabama "call" and "response." I regret that I cannot recall more of them. I am also recording three Tennessee calls or responses (for they may be called either). Then I am record­ing a fourth one from Tennessee, not exactly a call, but partly call and partly song. The reason for
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