Negro Folk Rhymes Wise & Otherwise - online book

A detailed study of Negro folk music, includes lyrics & sheet music samples.

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they are heard from a distance on quiet summer nights or clear Southern mornings, even the most fastidious ear is satisfied with the rhythmic pulse of them. That pathos of the Negro character which can never be quite adequately caught in words or transcribed in music is then augmented and intensiĀ­fied by the peculiar quality of the Negro voice, rich in overtones, quavering, weird, cadenced, throbbing with the sufferings of a race. Or perhaps that well-developed sense of humor which has, for more than a century, made ancestral sorrows bearable finds fuller expression in the lilting turn of a note than in the flashes of wit which abundantly enliven the pages of this volume. There is one lyric in parĀ­ticular which, in evident sincerity of feeling, simple and unaffected grace, and regularity of form, appeals to me as having intrinsic literary value:
She hug' me, an' she kiss' me, She wrung my han' an' cried. She said I wus de sweetes' thing Dat ever lived or died.
She hug' me an' she kiss' me. Oh Heaben ! De touch o' her han'! She said I wus de puttiest thing In de shape o' mortal man.