ON THE TRAIL OF NEGRO FOLK-SONGS

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LULLABIES
149
BAA-BAA, BLACK SHEEP
Another painful lullaby of a somewhat similar nature was given me by Mrs. Charles Carroll, who had learned it on her father's plantation in North Louisiana.
Three old black crows sat on a tree,
And all were black as black can be, Pappa's old horse took sick and died,
And the old black crows picked out its eyes.
These latter lullabies present rather melancholy and depressing pictures, and, it might be thought, would produce bad dreams on the part of infantile sleepers. Surely they are not of a type that mod­ern white mothers would choose to croon babies to sleep by, but Negro mammies knew not of dream-complexes and would have called Freud's ideas "torn-foolishness."
Another favorite hushaby song, which many Negro mammies con­fess to knowing, and which numerous white acquaintances remember dropping of! to sleep by, is Shorfnin' Bread. This has a lively tune which might easily have entertained an. infant enough to keep him wide awake. Of the following version the first stanza and the chorus, as well as the air, were given by Jean Feild, of Richmond, Virginia, and the other stanzas by Professor Wirt Williams, of Mississippi.
Short/nin' Bread
Put on de skillet, Put on de led; Mammy's gwine to make A li'l short'nin' bread. Dat ain't all







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