Negro Folk Rhymes Wise & Otherwise - online book

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

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who know the "poems," key verses. The very fact that the key verses, only, are known to all, seems to me to warrant the conclusion that these were prob­ably the first verses made in each individual Rhyme. Now wThen an individual made such a key verse, one can easily see that various singers of "calls" using it would attempt to associate other verses of their own making with it in order to remember them all for their long "singing Bees." The story, the de­scription, and the striking thought furnished con­venient vehicles for this association of verses, so as to make them easy to keep in memory. This is why the verses of many singers of "Calls" finally became blended into little poem-like Rhymes.
I have pointed out "call" and "sponse," in Rhymes, and have shown how, through them, in scng, the form of the Negro Rhyme came into ex­istence. But many of the Pastime Rhymes ap­parently had no connection with the Play or the Dance. I must now endeavor to account for such Rhymes as these.
In order to do this, I must enter upon the task of trying to show how "call" and "sponse" originated.
The origin of "call" and "sponse" is plainly writ­ten on the faces of the rhymes of the Social Instinct type. Read once again the following rhyme re-