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
laughed at, or apparently laughed at. Such Rhymes carry on their face a strictly American slave origin. An example is found in "Christmas Turkey." If one asks how I know its origin to be American, the answer is that the native African had no such thing as Christmas and turkeys are indigenous to America. In explanation of the origin of these "stealing" Rhymes I would say that it was never the Negro slave's viewpoint that his hard-earned productions righteously belonged to another. His whole view­point in all such cases, wThere he sang in this kind of verse, is well summed up in the last two lines of this little Rhyme itself:
"I tuck mysef to my tucky roos', An' I brung my tucky home." To the Negro it was his turkey. This was the Negro slave view and accounts for the origin and evolution of such verse. We leave to others a fair discussion of the ethics and a righteous conclusion; only asking them in fairness to conduct the discus­sion in the light of slave conditions and slave sur­roundings.
In a few of the Folk Rhymes one stanza will be found to be longer than any of the others. Now as to the origin of this, in the case of those sung whose tunes I happen to know, the long stanza was used
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