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
89
And now I 'm penitentiary-bound,
Poor boy 1 And now I'm penitentiary-bound. They handed me over to the contractor, And now I 'm penitentiary-bound.
The night was cold and stormy,
It sho' did look like rain. I ain't got a friend in the whole wide world,
Nobody knows my name.
Nobody knows my name,
Poor boy! Nobody knows my name. I ain't got a friend in the whole wide world.
Nobody knows my name.
My mother's in the cold, cold ground,
My father ran away. My sister married a gamblin' man,
And now I'm gone astray.
And now I 'm gone astray,
Poor boy! And now I'm gone astray. My sister married a gamblin' man, And now I 'm gone astray.
Another picaresque ballad, The Hop-Joint, which is a fit compan­ion piece for The Coon-Can Game, is also sent by Mrs. Bartlett, who says:
" There are many more stanzas to The Hop-Joint, but I have had a hard time getting even these. The 'respectable' Negroes don't like to confess that they know any of it, because it is a disreputable song, and they are quite averse to having the shadow cast on their good name that any acquaintance with the song would, to their mind, shed. You know a hop-joint is the vernacular for a drug-shop, and all that implies, and 'drug' to a Negro means cocaine,' coke/ 'dope/ etc., being synonymous with 'hops.' I have heard the term 'hop-head/ or 'hop-eater' applied to 'dope-fiends.' Of course, the hop-joint is the very lowest imaginable rendezvous for the most thoroughly submerged of the colored underworld. No wonder they all disclaim the song."







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