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
pleasant strain and inspired the production of some of the best Negro Rhymes.
I would next consider for a little the origin of the subject matter found in Negro Rhymes. When the Negro sings "Master Is Six Feet One Way" or "The Alabama Way" there is no question where the subject matter came from. But when he sings of animals, calling them all "Brother" or "Sister," and "Bought Me a Wife," etc., the origin of the con­ception and subject matter is not so clear. I now come to the question: From wThence came such subject matter?
First of all, Mr. Joel Chandler Harris, in his introduction to "Nights with Uncle Remus," has shown that the Negro stories of our country have counterparts in the Kaffir Tales of Africa. He therefore leaves strong grounds for inference that the American Negroes probably brought the dim out­lines of their Br'er Rabbit stories along with them when they came from Africa. I have already pointed out that some of the Folk Rhymes belong to these Br'er Rabbit stories. Since the origin of the sub­ject mattei of one is the origin of the subject mat­ter of the other, it follows that we are reason­ably sure of the origin of such Folk Rhymes because of the "counterpart" data presented by Mr. Harris.
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