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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DANCE-SONGS OR REELS                      125
Wish I had a needle and thread As fine as I could sew. I'd sew my sweetheart to my side And down de road I'd go.
Chorus
Sebenteen hundred and sebenty-six, De year I got my jawbone fixed, I put my jawbone on de fence, And I ain't seen dat jawbone sence.
Chorus
Some folks say de Debbil 's dead And buried in a shoe. But I seed de Debbil t'other day And he looks jus' as good as you.
Chorus If I had a scolding wife I'd whoop 'er sho's you born. Hitch her to a double plow And make her plow my corn.
She says, "I live in a typical inland county where my people have lived since before the Revolution and where many of the old customs and traditions still survive. . . . The old lady who has given me most of my songs is now bedridden and she amuses herself by writing out what she can remember. . . . There is an old-time fiddler and banjo-player here and I will get him to help me with the music, though he is very shy about playing now.
"This song was sung to me by an old lady of Nottaway County, Virginia, who had heard it before the war. The number of verses varies, but some at least are generally known. I have never heard a Negro sing it, but it is very hard to get a Nottaway Negro to sing anything but hymns. The music is suggestive of that of Polly-Wolly-Doodle, 0 Susanna, etc., and has a Negro swing to it. The fiddlers used it as a dance tune."
Thomas D. Rice, or Jim Crow Rice, as he was called, utilized an old Negro folk-song which he heard a slave sing in Louisville, Ken­tucky. William Winter relates the incident in his " Wallet of Time.''
Jim Crow was old and had a deformity that caused him to limp peculiarly as he walked, and he would croon a queer old song, and "set his heel a-rocking" with the refrain,
Wheel about, turn about, do jes' so,
And ebery time I wheel about, I jump Jim Crow I







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