ON THE TRAIL OF NEGRO FOLK-SONGS

A Collection Of Negro Traditional & Folk Songs with Sheet Music Lyrics & Commentaries - online book

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Easter Hymns



Share page  Visit Us On FB


Previous Contents Next
SONGS ABOUT ANIMALS
^3
Along come an old man riding by;
"Old man, if you don't mind, your horse will die."
"If he dies, I'll tan his skin,
And if he lives, I'll ride him agin."
Hibo, for Charleston gals,
Charleston gals are the gals for me.
As I went walking down the street,
Up steps Charleston gals to take a walk with me.
I kep' a-walking and they kep' a-talking,
I danced with a gal with a hole in her stocking.
An amusing instance of the inaccuracy of oral transmission of song is seen in this rendering of the second line of the first stanza, which should read, of course, according to many authentic reports from the field, "I met the tarrepin and the toad." This collector — a North­erner, I fancy, unaccustomed to Negro dialect and terminology — put down what he thought he heard, which does not make sense. The Negro puts together nonsensical lines, but they usually have their own queer logic. Another variation from what the darky said is in the last line of the same stanza. It should read "cut the pigeon-wing7' and not "cut the pigeon's wing." No actual bird is referred to here, but a characteristic Negro dance movement.
Dorothy Renick, of Waco, Texas, sent a version of the stanza, with a chorus which has obviously been lifted from another old-time song, Pretty Betty Martin. She says this was an old banjo song.
Will Harris, of Richmond, contributes a different version of the second theme of the old song:
OLE MARSE JOHN







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