Afro-American Folksongs - online book

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

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Coupon Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
Local tradition in New Orleans may have preserved the date of the incident which gave rise to what in one of my notes I find called "Old Boscoyo's Song" (seepage 152), but it has not got into my records. Mr. Cable calls the victim of the satire "a certain Judge Preval," and old residents of New Orleans have told me that he was a magistrate. If so, it would seem that he not only gave a ball which turned out to be a very disorderly affair, but also violated a law by giving it without a license. Many of the dancers found their way into the calaboose, and he had to pay a fine for his transgression and live in popular contumely ever afterward. From various sources I have pieced to­gether part of the song in the original, and in the translation have included several stanzas for which at present I have only the English version in an old letter written by Hearn:
Michie Preval li donnin gran bal, Li fe neg' paye pou sauter in pe.
Dans Pecui vie la yave gran gala, Mo ere soual la ye te bien etonne.
Michie Preval li te Capitaine bal, Et so coche, Louts te maitr' ceremonie.
Y'ave de negresse belles passe maitresse, Qui vole belpel dans l'ormoire momselle.
"Comment, Sazou, te vole mo cuilotte?"
"Non, no maitr', mo di vous mo zes prend bottes."
Ala maitr' geole li trouve si drole, Li dit: "Moin aussi mo fe" bal id."
Ye" prend maitr' PreVal ye" mette" li prison, Pasque li donnin bal pou vole nous l'arzan.
Monsieur Preval gave a big ball; he made the darkies pay for their little hop.
The grand gala took place in the stable; I fancy the horses were greatly amazed.
M. Preval was Captain of the ball; his coachman, Louis, was Master of Ceremonies.
(He gave a supper to regale the darkies; his old music was enough to give one the colic 1)
(Then the old Jackass came in to dance; danced precisely as he reared, on his hind legs.)
There were negresses there prettier than their mistresses; they had stolen all manner of fine things from the wardrobes of their young mistresses.
(Black and white both danced the bamboula; never again will you see such a fine time.)
(Nancy Latiche (?) to fill out her stockings put in the false calves of her madame.)
"How, now, Sazou, you stole my trousers?" "No, my master, I took only your boots."
(And a little Miss cried out: "See here, you negress, you stole my dress.")
[ 151 3
Previous Contents Next