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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72
NEGRO FOLK-SONGS
He chawed up all de Bible An* den spat out de Scripter, An* when he 'gin to arger strong, He were a snortin' ripter!
Chorus
Nigger used to pick de banjo,
He play so berry well [strong?]; He alius play dat good ole tune,
"So Go It While You're Young." He play so clear, he play so loud, He skeered de pigs an' goats. He alius tuck a pint ob yeast To raise his highest notes.
Chorus
Virginia Stait sends a ballad which she thinks is old. It certainly recounts incidents that are of slavery times. The Negro's terror and his devices to escape attack are dramatically presented, and one aspect of slave life is shown which might tempt some present-day Negroes to regret emancipation the daily ration of liquor given by the master.
'Twas on de Bluff
'Twas down on de bluff, in de state ob Indiana, Dat's where I uster lib, chick up in de banner, Ebery mornin, nearly, my marster gib me liquor, An' I took a little boat an' pushed out de quicker.
Oh, 'twas up de river drif' an' 'twas in er little skiff, An' I caught as many cat-fish as any nigger lif!
I turns around my skiff think I see a alligator, I picked up my rod an' I chunked a sweet potato. I picked up my pole and I tried for to vex him, But I could n't fool him bad, noways I could fix him.
So I up with a brick and fotched him sech a lick I found 'twas a pine knot upon a big stick.
Then I turn around my skiff, think I see a white man comin'; "Lord," says I to myself, "here's no time for runnin'!" So I jumped on my horse, threw my cloak around my shoulders, An' I stood jes' as still as a old militia soldier.
An' he pass all around, like a hound upon de soun'; He took me for a mile-post, stuck into de ground.