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SONGS ABOUT ANIMALS                         171
Oh, Marster had a little mule,
He was colored like a mouse; I went to bridel that mule one day
And he kicked me in the mouth.
Old Marster had a little dog,
He was three quarters hound, And every time he struck the trail
He almost quiter the ground.
Old Marster had a fine house
Sixteen stories high And every story in that house
Was filled with chicken pie.
I went to see Miss Sallie,
And Miss Sallie she was gone; I seat myself in the old arm-chair
And picked on the old banjo.
Miss Sallie cooked a ginger cake
And set it on the shelf; 'Long come that other Nigero
And eat it all himself.
Miss Sallie give me one sweet kiss, Which almost killed me dead.
The Negroes in their folk-songs have a custom of mixing stanzas of various songs together in a fashion calculated greatly to perplex con­scientious collectors. They do that notably in their religious songs, where, at one of their interminable meetings, the recognized stanzas of one song will be helped out, when they have been exhausted, by additional stanzas remembered at random from other songs. That communal necessity for keeping up singing has more reason in a re­ligious song than in a secular, for it is often thought best to continue one tune till certain "sinners" have "come through." But the usage is common in secular songs as well, and we see it illustrated in this one under discussion. Here the variation appears chiefly in the

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