Negro Folk Rhymes Wise & Otherwise - online book

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

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ing instinct, but when we come to "quasi" wise say­ings—directed largely to criticism or toward im­provement, there is very much more than instinct concerned. In Division III the Rhymes are directed largely to improvement. In explanation of why they are in Division III, I would say, the desire to better one's condition is instinctive, but the slightest attainment of the desire comes through thought pure and simple. I have invented the term Psycho-com­posite to include all this.
In reading the Rhymes under Division III, one finds comparatively large, abstract, general conclu­sions, such as—General loquaciousness is unwise: Assuming to know everything is foolish: Self-control is a great virtue. Proper preparation must be made before presuming to give instruction, etc. Such gen­eralizations involve something not necessarily present in the crudest initiations of such Rhymes as those found under Divisions I and II. Below is a tabular view of my proposed classification of Negro Folk Rhymes:
Division                                Class
i. Dance Rhymes
I. Social Instinct Rhymes
2.   Dance Rhyme Songs
3.   Play Songs
4.   Pastime Rhymes