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
In "Frog Went a-Courting" we see the Sup­plement "uh-huh! uh-huh!" It is placed in the midst to keep vividly before the mind of the listener the ardent singing of the frog in Spring during his courtship season, while we hear a recounting of his adventures. It is to this Simple Rhyme what stage scenery is to the Shakespearian play or the Wagnerian opera. It seems to me (however crude his verse) that the Negro has here suggested some­thing new to the field of poetry. He suggests that, while one recounts a story or what not, he could to advantage use words at the same time having no bearing on the story to depict the surroundings or settings of the production. The gifted Negro poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, has used the supple­ment in this way in one of his poems. The poem is called "A Negro Love Song." The little sentence, "Jump back, Honey, jump back," is thrown in, in the midst and at the end of each stanza. Explain­ing it, the following is written by a friend, at the heading of this poem:
"During the World's Fair he (Mr. Dunbar) served for a short time as a hotel waiter. When the Negroes were not busy they had a custom of con­gregating and talking about their sweethearts. Then a man with a tray would come along and, as the
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