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
as three of the systems of rhyming are found in one stanza. I venture to suggest the calling of those with one system "Simple Rhymed Stanzas;" those with two, "Complex Rhymed Stanzas;" those with more than two "Complicated Complex Rhymed Stanzas."
I next call attention to the seeming parodies found occasionally among Negro Rhymes. The words of most Negro parodies are such that they are not fit for print. We have recorded three: "He Paid Me Seven," Parody on "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep," and Parody on "Reign, Master Jesus, Reign." We can best explain the nature of the Ne­gro Parody by taking that beautiful and touching well-known Jubilee song, "Steal AwTay to Jesus" and briefly recounting the story of its origin. Its his­tory is well known. We hope the reader will not be disappointed when we say that this song is a parody in the sense in which Negroes composed and used parodies.
The words around which the whole song ranges itself are "Steal away to Jesus, I hain't got long to stay here." Now the slave Negroes on the far away plantations of the South occasionally met in the dead of night in some secluded lonely spot for a religious meeting even when they had been forbidden to do so by their masters. So they made up this song,
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