ON THE TRAIL OF NEGRO FOLK-SONGS

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

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244
NEGRO FOLK-SONGS
My mammy said, "It's a pity." My woman she did say, "They're taking my man to Huntsville, poor boy, For ten long years to stay."
Upon that station platform we all stood waiting that day, Awaiting that train for Huntsville, poor boy, For ten long years to stay.
The train ran into the station; the sheriff he did say, " Get on this train for Huntsville, poor boy, For ten long years to stay."
Now if you see my Lula, please tell her for me, I 've done quit drinking and gambling, poor boy, And getting on my sprees.
Rather a compulsory reformation, the cynical might observe; but perhaps the message might comfort "Lula" as indicating a change in mental attitude. The singer is reticent as to the nature of his offence against the law, but perhaps that detail seemed unimportant to him.
A railroad song given by Dr. Moore, of Charlotte, North Carolina, reveals a "dummy line" as the object of the songster's admiration, personified and credited with laudable exploits, as well as the wit­ness of the Negro's own discomfiture. The dummy, it might be ex­plained, is a small train running on a short track.
De Dummy Line
Some folks say de Dummy don't run,
Come an' lemme tell you what de Dummy done done:
She lef St. Louis at half-pas' one,
An' she rolled into Memphis at de settin' of de sun.
Chorus
On de Dummy line, on de Dummy line,
I'll ride an' shine on de Dummy line.
I'll ride an' shine an' pay my fine,
When I ride on de Dummy, on de Dummy, Dummy line.
I got on de Dummy, did n't have no fare;
De conductor hollered out, "What in de world you doin' dere?"
I jumped up an' made for de door,
And he cracked me on de haid with a two-by-four.
Chorus







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