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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CHILDREN'S GAME-SONGS
139
prisoner is put into a pen and the game begins with those that are left free.
Many — if not most — of these songs and games are of old Eng­lish origin and have courtiy traditions behind them, as their phrasing suggests. " My lady " of the old songs is changed in the Negro child's version to "some lady" or "dem ladies."
John Stone, of Virginia, sends this game-song, which was given him as used by Negroes. "The darkies would form a ring, as in 'drop­ping handkerchief,' but with hands behind them. One with a key would walk around the ring and place the key in some one's hands. Led by the walker, all would sing:
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I done lost de clos - et key In dem la - dies' gar - den.
I done lost de closet key In dem ladies' garden; I done lost de closet key In dem ladies' garden.
The walker, leading all, would then sing:
Help me to find de closet key In dem ladies' garden; Help me to find de closet key In dem ladies' garden.
All would then sing, led by the one having the key:
I done found de closet key In dem ladies' garden; I done found de closet key In dem ladies' garden.
The one having the key would then hide it again and sing as before." This is something like an old song given me years ago by Dorothy Renick, of Waco, Texas, who had learned it from Negroes.







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