Afro-American Folksongs - online book

A Study In Racial And National Music, With Sample Sheet Music & Lyrics.

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"Ma i ze inkomo yeiuf si ya yi biza;
Si ti, ma i ze, ma % zeka;
Ma i ze kumi, ma t zeke; Ma i ze inkomo yetu, si ya yi biza,99
That is:
"Our cow, let her come, we are calling her;
We say, let her come, let her come, so let her come;
Let her come to me, then let her come;
Our cow, let her come, we are calling her."
Several natives spent a rainy day hard at work digging out and killing three or four porcupines which had made them trouble in their gardens; and the next morning one of them passed my door singing the following song, which I was told he indited for the occasion:
"Truly, oh, truly, they'll perish anon.
The land of the Zulu so slyly they leave. All the people, they come, they come,
The land of the Zulu so slyly they leave. Truly, oh, truly," etc.
From Denham and Clapperton's "Narrative of Travels in Northern and Central Africa,"1 Carl Engel quotes the following extemporaneous song of negro bards in Bornou in praise of their Sultan:
Give flesh to the hyenas at daybreak—
Oh, the broad spears! The spear of the Sultan is the broadest—
Oh, the broad spears! I behold thee now—I desire to see none other—
Oh, the broad spears! My horse is as tall as a high wall—
Oh, the broad spears! He will fight against ten—he fears nothing!
Oh, the broad spears! He has slain ten; the guns are yet behind—
Oh, the broad spears! The elephant of the forest brings me what I want-On, the broad spears! Like unto thee, so is the Sultan—
Oh, the broad spears! Be brave! Be brave, my friends and kinsmen—
Oh, the broad spears! God is great! I wax fierce as a beast of prey—
Oh, the broad spears! God is great! To-day those I wished for are come—
Oh, the broad spears!
It would be an easy matter to multiply parallels of this song in the matter of form from among the religious songs of the American negroes. Let two suffice:
I want to be my fader's chil'en—
Roll, Jordan, roll! O say, ain't you done wid de trouble ob de world?
Roll, Jordan, roll!
' London, 1826, II, 19.
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