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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TRADITIONAL SONGS AND BALLADS              57
his old aunt used to sing this to him. She sang it to various tunes, none of which he remembers well enough to reproduce.
Once upon a time, long, long ago,
Two little babes were lost in the woods.
They wandered and wandered all through the woods.
The sun went down, and the moon gave no light.
The two little babes they died in the woods.
Then a robin came whose breast was so red,
He spread green leaves over the dead babies.
And this is the song that he did sing.
Two little babes were lost in the woods.
The sun went down and the moon gave no light.
And the two little babes, they died in the woods.1
A Negro song, which is a version of Three Jolly Welshmen, an old English song, was given me by Mrs. J. S. Diggs, of Lynchburg, Vir­ginia, as she says that this is a very old song and that it was sung years ago by Negroes in Campbell and Bedford Counties.
So We Hunted and We Hollered
So we hunted and we hollered,
And the first thing we did find Was a barn in the meadow,
And that we left behind.
One said it was a barn, And the other said, "Nay!" They all said a church With the steeple washed away.
So we hunted and we hollered
And the next thing we did find Was a cow in the meadow,
And that we left behind.
One said it was a cow, And the other said, "Nay!" One said, "It's an elephant With the snout washed away."
1 This is a version of an old children's song, printed in America as early as 1818, to which Professor Kittredge gives a number of references in the Journal of American Folk­lore, xxxv, 349, in connection with a report of it in an article by Albert H. Tolman and Mary O. Eddy. The ballad is found in Percy's Relioues.