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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84
NEGRO FOLK-SONGS
Another variant of the ballad has a different tune, somewhat more sophisticated. The words and the air are less frequently heard than the others, yet they are fairly popular in the South.
FRANKIE AND ALBERT
the bright stars a - bove. He was her man, but he done her wrong.
Frankie and Albert were lovers.
Oh, lordy, how they did love! Said they 'd be true to each other,
True as the bright stars above. He was her man, but he done her wrong.
Glenn Mullin is using one form of this version, somewhat different from any that I have, in his forthcoming book, "Adventures of a Scholar Tramp." He captured it in the Texas Panhandle, and it contains some fascinating details.
Loraine Wyman sent me a version she had got from the singing of Robert Buchanan, from Beaver Creek, Ash County, North Caro­lina, which has additional details and varying refrains at the end of the stanzas.
There is something elemental about the passions and the swift action of this ballad that makes it popular. Jealousy, whether of a husband or a lover, is a comprehensible and common emotion, so that the reader's sympathy is divided between the indignant wife, swift to avenge her injury, and "her man" who " done her wrong." We do not know and perhaps shall never discover—so lame is scholarly research — where this militant woman lived, nor when she used her pistol with such telling effect. We do not know who Franky was—or Lilly, or Pauly, or Georgy, as the case may be. We cannot tell whether her erring spouse was Albert or Johnny, but whether or not he was a Baker, his cake was all dough when Franky — or Pauly, or







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