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
85
Lilly, or Georgy — learned of his Sly defection. And her name — though varied in different versions of the song so that perhaps she would not recognize it herself if she heard it sung in other sections of the South — will go down among those of other romantic heroines who have been handy with weapons in emergency.
Duncan and Brady is another ballad of recent origin. It is fairly well known among the Negroes in Texas. Mrs. Tom Bartlett, of Marlin, writes concerning it:
"The Duncan and Brady song is a gem, and I will not rest in peace till I get it all for you. It is a genuine ballad in that it cele­brates the final adventures of a 'bad Nigger' who shot up the town. No other place than Waco was the scene of the fray, and that prob­ably accounts for its great popularity in this region. ... I am exerting myself greatly to get this song, having offered various Negroes of my acquaintance bribes in the way of Mr. Bartlett's old hats and shoes; and if you know their weakness for these two objects of apparel, you may feel confident of my success."
Duncan and Brady
Duncan and Brady had a talk;
Said Duncan to Brady, "Let's take a walk,
Go down to the colored saloon
And whip out all the colored coons,"
Went down to the colored bar, First a drink and then a cigar. Duncan thought Brady was a bluff, Brady showed Duncan he was the stuff.
Next mornin' at half-past nine Buggies and hearses formed in line, Takin' oP Brady to the buryin' ground.
Later on, Mrs. Bartlett writes:
"This is all I have ever been able to trace of the famous Duncan and Brady ballad. As you see, it is not the same as the first one I sent you, and Mr. Bartlett and Dr. Shaw (a highly respectable gentleman from whom I got most of the following rather question­able ditties) had hot and bitter words over this particular song, Mr. Bartlett contending that the other (the first) was the only true and original Duncan and Brady, and Dr. Shaw contesting as feverishly that his own version was the authentic one. I give it and leave you the responsibility of a decision in favor of one or the other.







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III