Negro Folk Rhymes Wise & Otherwise - online book

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

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Rhymes. One can judge whether or not he has dis­covered the correct line of descent of the Rhymes by seeing whether or not he has all the connecting links requisite to the line of evolution. I think it must be agreed that I have given every type of con­necting link between common Field "calls" and "sponses," and incipient crude Negro Rhymes. They set the mold for the other general Negro Rhymes not hitherto discussed.
If the reader will be kind enough to apply the test of connecting links to the Play and other Rhymes already discussed, he will find that the reac­tions will indicate that we have traced their correct lines of origin and descent.
The spirit of "call" and "sponse" hovers ghost­like over the very thought of many Negro Rhymes. In "Jaybird," the first two lines of each stanza are a call in thought, while the last two lines are a "sponse" in thought to it. The same is true of "He Is My Horse," "Stand Back, Black Man," "Bob-White's Song," "Promises of Freedom," "The Town and the Country Bird," and many others.
Then "call" and "sponse" looms up in the midst in thought between stanza and stanza in many Rhymes. Good examples are found in "The Great Owl's Song," "Sheep and Goat," "The Snail's Re-