Jelly Roll Morton, Inventor Of Jazz, Online Book by Alan Lomax

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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My Folks Was All Frenchmans
Shell Beach, Lake Ponchartrain, Spanish Fort, Milneburg, Al­giers, Gretna, all considered New Orleans suburbs, and I was convinced this was the whole world: the names on the map, such as New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Hong Kong, etcetra, were just there to fill the map out—that was my idea until my great-grandmother Mimi took a trip around the world. She brought back toys for every one of the kids but me and she told me in French, "Never mind, when I go again, 111 bring you something real nice." She never did go again and my heart was broken. It was then 1 decided that I wanted to work for money, see the world on my own, get the things 1 wanted for myself and not have to ask anyone for anything.
My first fob was dishwasher after school, with permission from my mother. Just to please me, she agreed. The salary was seventy-five cents a week, three dollars payable monthly. At the end of the month my boss said I ate enough for my pay and would not pay me. That broke my heart, until my mother gave me the money. She said she had collected it, but later I could understand she, herself, had given it to me.
I was about eleven years old at the time and used to stay with my godmother, Euklie Echo, who spoiled me and gave me a little freedom. When school closed, she permitted me to go to pick berries at the strawberry farm. I thought I could eat up the whole strawberry farm and ate enough to get sick and so returned back home, about a forty-five mile trip. Then I was convinced that the world was a little larger than New Orleans,
My godmother, Eulalie Echo, wasn't a handsome woman, but she was very intelligent, had a pleasant personality and plenty money. She used to monkey around with this spiritual business. There were glasses of water around her house and voices would come out of those glasses. Very prominent people would consult my godmother and she would give them stuff like uncooked turtle heart—covoein*—she'd have them swallow
* Cowein means turtle, a dish made o£ turtle meat, or by extension, a social get-together.