Negro Folk Rhymes Wise & Otherwise - online book

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

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the Negroes many years ago often told a story, in conjunction with song, of the great misfortunes which overtook a Negro who tried to get his living by hunting Jaybirds. Finally it also belongs under the heading Superstitions, for its last stanza very plainly alludes to the old Negro superstition of slavery days which declared that it was almost im­possible to find Jaybirds on Friday because they went to Hades on that day to carry sand to the Devil.
But so important do I think of comparative study that I have taken the ordinary headings used for Ballads and, after adding that omnibus heading "Miscellaneous," have done my best. The majority of the Rhymes can be placed under headings ordi­narily used. This was to be expected. It is in obedience to Natural Law. We see it in the Music World. The Caucasian music has eight funda­mental tones, the Japanese music has five, while, according to some authorities, Negro Jubilee-mu­sic has nine; yet all these music scales have five tones in common. In the Periodic System of Ele­ments there are two periods; a short period and a long period, but both periods embrace, in common, elements belonging to the same family. So with the Ballads, certain classification headings will very well take in both the Negro and all others. The Negro