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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156
NEGRO FOLK-SONGS
would be hard to put ordinary Negro dialect of a pronounced type into French, for example:
Go to sleep, my little brother.
Go to sleep. You shall have some cake.
Papa will have some,
And I will have some,
A whole basket full.
The promise of cake as payment for dropping off to sleep soon, in this lullaby, is reminiscent of that in the variants of the first given in this discussion. Cake evidently formed a more customary part of the baby's diet in older times than now — though perhaps the prom­ise was only a sort of poetic license, not to be taken seriously when the sleeper awoke. A night's slumber might be supposed to wipe out remembrance of what had been necessary to produce it.
An old nursery song remembered from the singing of various black mammies of the South has the appearance of being an antique Eng­lish nonsense jingle. I heard my mother sing it in my childhood, as she knew it from the Negroes on her father's plantation in East Texas. A version was given me by Kate Langley Bosher, of Rich­mond, Virginia, who said that she had been sung to sleep by it in her babyhood, her black nurse rattling it off.
CREE-MO-CRI-MO-DORRO-WAH
Cree-mo-cri-mo-dorro-wah, Mee-high-mee-low-me upstart, Pompey doodle, Sing sang polly witch, O-cri-meo!
A slightly different version was contributed by Dorothy Renick, of Waco, Texas, as she had heard colored nurses sing it.
Way down south on a cedar creek; Sing-song-Polly, won't you ki' me oh? There the Niggers grow ten feet; Sing-song-Polly, won't you ki' me oh?







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