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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284
AFTERWORD
Hangman, hangman, wait a while,
Wait a little while. Yonder comes my father — he
Has travelled many a weary mile.
"Father, father; did you bring
The diamond ring to set me free? Or did you come to see me hung Upon this lonesome tree? "
"No, no. I did not bring
The diamond ring to set you free; But I come to see you hung Upon this lonesome tree."
The other relatives follow in order, and then the last hope appears.
"Sweetheart, sweetheart, did you bring," etc.
"Yes, yes, I did bring
The diamond ring to set you free. I did not come to see you hung Upon this lonesome tree."
Clement Wood (who sings Negro songs delightfully in his lec­tures on Negro literature) gave me some fragments.
Down in de place whar I come from
Dey feed dose coons on hard-parched cawn;
Dey swell up an' dey get so fat
Dat dey could n't get deir heads in a Number Ten hat.
The chorus to this is the well-known You Shall Be Free.
Another bit that Mr. Wood gave is about a character that figures often in folk-lore, but less often in Negro folk-song:
Did you ever see de devil Wid his hoe and pick and shovel Jus' a; scratchm* up de ground At his oV front do'?
That is from John Wyatt, a Negro peddler, seventy years old, from Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. The lines are like some I learned in Texas years ago from Dr. John T. Harrington:
Did you ever see de devil Wid his iron wooden shovel Tearin' up de yearth Wid his big toe-nail?







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