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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NEGRO BALLADS
13
An' my ol' marster died on the leventeenth of April. Jack dug de hole at de root de sugar maple. He dug a big hole, right down upon de level, An' I have n't got a doubt but he went to de------.
Evelyn Cary Williams, of Lynchburg, Virginia, sends a brief bal­lad which is difficult to place with respect to time. It may be a genuine Negro ballad, or it may be one remembered from the smging of the whites. I have seen it nowhere else, and so I cannot say. There are certain typical Negro touches about it, for the " lonesome road" is often referred to in Negro songs, and in Negro ballads one often hangs down his head and cries, as in one of the religious songs, for example:
"What you gwine to do when Death comes tippin' in yo' room?" "I'm gwine to hang my head, I'm gwine to hang my head and cry."
"True love," also is a favorite term with Negro songsters, and ap­pears in numerous love ditties.
On the other hand, there is a sort of literary simplicity about it that is like the lovely little Caroline songs of England. I wish that I knew the history of this. Miss Williams gives it as taken down from the singing of Charles Galloway, a black man, uneducated, a worker on the roads in Virginia.
THE LONESOME ROAD
"Look down, look down that lonesome road, Hang down yo' head an' cry. The best of friends must part some time, An' why not you an' I? "
"True love, true love, what have I done, That you should treat me so? You caused me to walk and talk with you Like I never done befoV