ON THE TRAIL OF NEGRO FOLK-SONGS

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CHILDREN'S GAME-SONGS
131
Mrs. Harvey Carroll, of Austin, Texas, told me of game-songs that her mother, Mrs. Crawford, heard the children on planta­tions in Louisiana sing in the early days. One that she recalled was Ransum Scansum.
RANSUM SCANSUM
Dis way out and t'other way in, In my la-dy's cham-ber.
Ransum scansum, through yonder.
Bring me a gourd to drink water. Dis way out and t'other way in,
In my lady's chamber. Dis way out and t'other way in,
In my lady's chamber.
The children formed a ring, hands linked and arms held high. One child stood in the middle of the ring, which was "my lady's chamber," and as the song went on, would dodge in and out of the ring, under the uplif ted arms. The tempo of the tune is spirited, and it is hard to put the syncopation accurately on paper.
Another version of this, which Mrs. Carroll gave as her mother recalled it, is a little different.
Aransom Shansom through yander,
Bring me a go'd to drink water. Dis door's locked and t'other one's propped,
In dat Lady's garden. Dis door's locked wid a double lock,
In dat Lady's garden. Oh, Lawdy mercy, let me get out of here,
In dat Lady's garden!
A Negro girl was in the centre of the ring, and at the conclusion of the song the players sang to a different tune:







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