Negro Folk Rhymes Wise & Otherwise - online book

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

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dining-room was frequently crowded, he would say when in need of passing room, 'Jump back, Honey, jump back.' Out of the commonplace confidences, he wove the musical little composition—'A Negro Love Song.' "
Now, this line, "Jump back, Honey, jump back," was used by Mr. Dunbar to recall and picture before the mind the scurrying hotel waiter as he bragged to his fellows of his sweetheart and told his tales of adventure. It is the "stage scenery" method used by the slave Negro verse maker. Mr. Dunbar uses this style also in "A Lullaby," "Discovered," "Lil' Gal" and "A Plea." Whether he used it knowingly in all cases, or whether he instinctively sang in the measured strains of his benighted ancestors, I do not know.
The Supplement was used in another way in Ne­gro Folk Dance Rhymes. I have already explained how the Rhymes were used in a general way in the Dance. Let us glance at the Dance Rhyme "Juba" with its Supplement, "Juba! Juba!" to il­lustrate this special use of the Supplement. "Juba" itself was a kind of dance step. Now let us imag­ine two dancers in a circle of men to be dancing while the following lines are being patted and re­peated :