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Ole Marse John come ridhV by.
Say, Marse John, dat mule's gwine to die.
Ef he die, I'll tan his skin,
An' ef he don't, I'll ride him agin.
Oh, mourner, you will be free, Yes, mourner, you will be free, When de good Lawd sets you free.
Standin' on de corner, wa'n't doin' no harm; Up come a 'liceman, grabbed me by de arm. Rang a little whistle, blew a little bell;
Here come de p'trol wagon, runnin' like------.
Standin' in de chicken-house on my knees, Thought I heard a chicken sneeze. Sneezed so hard wid de whoopin' cough, Sneezed his head an' his tail right off.
Katherine Love, of Richmond, sent me some years ago a letter from her grandmother, now dead, with comment that establishes the authenticity of the old songs she enclosed.
"I send the following plantation melodies; they are genuine, and, so far as I know, have never-been put to music. Divorced, however, from the original syncopated darky melody, they lose five fifths of their interest. Elizabeth, you know, has all her life been trying to get the swing and go of Picayune Butler, Picayune Butler, Is She Coming to Town? I told------of her effort, while I was in Richmond, and their individual and combined efforts to get it gave us a half-hour of the most spontaneous mirth you can imagine. I play the music to the following songs. I know they are genuine, for I learned them by hearing them sung on the old plantation, and the music to them our old ante-bellum carriage driver played on the banjo."
As I was walkin' 'long the new-cut road,
I met a tarapin an' a toad.
Ebery time the toad would spring,
The tarapin cut the pigeon-wing.
Picayune Butler, Picayune Butler, Is she cornin' in town?