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236 NEGRO FOLK-SONGS
A like easy philosophy is expressed in another song of economic adjustments:
Me 'n' my baby an' my baby's frien' Can pick mo' cotton dan a cotton gin. Oh, sugar babe, darlin' man!
I got a baby an' a honey, too, Honey don't love me but my baby do. Oh, sugar babe, darlin' man!
Boat's up de ribber an' she won't come down, B'lieve to mah soul she's water-boun', Oh, my ragtime Liza Jane!
Me'n' my wife an' a bob-tailed dog Crossed de ribber on a hollow log. She fell in, dog did, too.
Middlin' er meat an' er bucket o' lard, I got a gal in de white folks' yard.
I'se er-livin' easy, God knows I'm er-livin' high!
Charles Carroll reports that twenty years ago he saw a group of Negro prisoners being taken to a convict farm, near Hearne, Texas, and heard them sing,
I got a gal, her name is Maude, Lives right over in de white folks' yahd; Cooks dat turkey, brings me some, I ain't ever gwine to want for nothing.
Surely that was optimism shown under difficulties. Maude must have had to exert herself to justify their belief in her, but let us hope she was equal to the -emergency.
Professor Thomas, of Agricultural and Mechanical College, Texas, has likewise heard the song of the Negro who is the equivalent for " squawman" with respect to material support. He calls it the Song of the Fortunate One.
The reason why I don't work so hard,
I got a gal in the white folks' yard;
And every night about half-past eight
I steps in through the white man's gate;
And she brings the butter, and the bread and the lard.
That's the reason why I don't work so hard.