ON THE TRAIL OF NEGRO FOLK-SONGS

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SONGS ABOUT ANIMALS                      199
The bullfrog jumped from the bottom of a well,
And swore that he was just from hell;
He tied his tail to a hickory stump
And he r'ared and he pitched but he could n't make a jump.
Other reptilian folk appear in a song given by Josephine Pankey of Little Rock, Arkansas, which was sung by slaves before the war and was "fiddled" for the Negro dancers.
Old Dan Tucker
Oh, Daniel Tucker on the railroad track,
Pinnin' the engine to his back, Trirnmin, the corners of the railroad wheel,
Give him the toothache in his heel.
Chorus
Oh, Sambo, pore boy,
Oh, Sambo, pore boy I The frog wanted to come,
But he did n't have the chance.
The cricket played the fiddle,
An' the tadpole danced. The frog wanted to come,
But he did n't have the chance.
Chorus
I sympathize with the disappointment of the frog and wonder what ill fate it was that kept him back. I have an affectionate in­terest in frogs and toads, and still grieve for my pets, Nip and Tuck, twin little toads in "From a Southern Porch." But the most famous frog is he that has a ballad all his own, recorded here in an earlier chapter, describing his wooing.
Fish seem not to have been caught much in folk-song, but I have found at least one stanza, a fragment sung years ago by the Negroes in Angelina County, Texas.
Catfish runnin' down de stream, Yes, my Lawd, I'll meet you. Run so hard he could n't be seen, Yes, my Lawd, I'll meet you.
Insects, too, have their shrill little part in this biological orchestra­tion. The cricket fiddler mentioned above is not by himself, for there are various others, as the flea I quoted in my "Southern Porch,"







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