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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60                            NEGRO FOLK-SONGS
She walked across de fiel's nex' day
An' heerd de birds a-singin', An* every note dey seemed to say:
"Hard-hearted Bob-ree Allin."
She war walkin' 'cross de fieF nexJ day,
An* spied his pale corpse comm*. "Oh, lay him down upon de groun',
An* let me look upon him."
As she war walkin7 down de street
She heerd de death bells ringing An' every tone dey seemed to say:
"Hard-a-hearted Bob-ree Allin."
"Oh, fader, fader, dig-a my grave, An' dig it long an* narrow; My true love he have died to-day, An' I must die to-morrow.
"Oh, mudder, mudder, make-a my s'roud An' make it long and narrow; Sweet Willie died of love for me An' I must die to-morrow."
Sweet Willie war buried in de new churchyard,
An' Bob-ree Allin beside him. Outen his grave sprang a putty red rose,
An' Bob-ree AlhVs a briar.
Dey grew as high as de steeple top,
An' could n't grow no higher, An* den dey tied a true-love knot,
De sweet rose roun' de briar.
Professor Smith, who is custodian of the archives of the Virginia Folk-lore Society, tells of other instances of Negro"versions of bal­lads, as found by members of the society.
The Old Man in the North Countree (Child, No. 10) was taken down from the singing of Negroes in Fairfax County.
The Cherry Tree Carol (Child, No. 54) is said to be current among the Negroes of North Carolina as well as of Virginia. Professor Smith was the first to discover this ballad in America, and gives the first stanza of it in the Bulletin of Virginia Folk-lore,
Joseph was an old man,
An old man was he, And he married Mary,
The Queen of Galilee.