ON THE TRAIL OF NEGRO FOLK-SONGS

A Collection Of Negro Traditional & Folk Songs with Sheet Music Lyrics & Commentaries - online book

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5o
NEGRO FOLK-SONGS
What shall the wedding supper be?
Umph — humph! What shall the wedding supper be? Two big beans and a black-eye pea,
Umph — humph!
The first that came was a possum small,
Umph — humph! The first that came was a possum small, A-totin' his house upon his tail,
Umph — humph!
The next that came was a bumberly bee,
Umph — humph! The next that came was a bumberly bee, Bringing his fiddle upon his knee,
Umph — humph!
The next that came was a broken-backed flea,
Umph — humph I The next that came was a broken-backed flea, To dance a jog with the bumberly bee,
Umph — humph 1
The next that came was an old grey cat,
Umph — humph! The next that came was an old grey cat, She swallowed the mouse and ate up the rat,
Umph — humph I
Mr. Frog went a-hopping over the brook,
Umph — humph! Mr. Frog went a-hopping over the brook, A lily-white duck came and gobbled him up,
Umph-humph!
Dr. Charles C. Carroll, of New Orleans, Louisiana, gave another variant, which his mother had heard from Negro slaves. So there are versions from three different states, showing points of difference, but each retaining the real tradition of the story and music. It is easy to imagine that the preservation of this entertaining and touching story of Froggy's fate was due to the pleasure that children took in it, for it seems always to have been sung to children by older people, and to have been retained as a nursery song.
Another delightful old song, of ancient tradition, Ole Bangum, was given me by Mrs. Landon Randolph Dashiell, of Richmond, Vir­ginia, who sends it "as learned from years of memory and iteration."