The Tar Baby and the Tomahawk: Race and Ethnic Images in American Children's Literature, 1880-1939




Carl Johann Memorial Library
Culver-Stockton College

Copyright, 1904, by
PublishedSeptember, 1904
COPYRIGHT, 1880, 1895
COPYRIGHT, 1903, 1904
COPYRIGHT, 1902, 1903



WITHthe exception of the Tar-Baby story and one other, all the folk-lore stories herein embodied are new, having come into my hands from various sources during the past ten years. The Tar-Baby story has been thrown into a rhymed form for the purpose of presenting and preserving what seems to be the genuine version. Those who care for the'narratives themselves will no doubt overlook the somewhat t:!!,onotonous character of the verse. When Uncle Remus sets himself to produce new stories in a form, that would seem to be alien to his methods, it is inevitable that his efforts should move along the line of least resistance, which in English is the iambic four-beat movement, the simplest form of narrative verse. Under the circumstances, and in view of his environment, it is natural that he should pay small attention to the misleading rules of the professors of prosody, who seem to have not the slightest notion of the science of English verse. His instinctive love of melody, and his appreciation of the simplest rhythmical movement, would lead him to ignore syllables and accents and to depend wholly on the time-movement that is inseparable from English verse.






Brer Rabbt and the Tar-Baby

INLevemteen Hunder'd-an'-FuIl-er-FIeas,
When dey raise sech a crap er gooba peas,
De creeturs wuz all des ez chummy ez you please:
Dey raced an' dey rastled, dey jumped an' dey
An' dey wa'n't nothin' 'tall fer ter make 'um
Dey had der parties, bofe dar an' here,
Wid May-pop puddin' an' 'simmon beer;
An' de way dey keep der Fo'th-er-Julys
Wuz in eatin' goobas an' fresh tater pies-
An' dey wa'n't no doubt, an' no prehaps,
Dat dey hoIp one an udder out wid der craps.

An' dey had der frolics in de fall,
When dey 'scort'd Miss Meadows ter de ball,
Wid "Sasshay, ladies!" an' "Balance all!"
Dey had mighty little fer ter set um back,
Good health an' good craps-but what dey lack
Wuz good, clean water when de branch run dry,
Kaze de river wuz muddy when lower high,
Dey mought'a' got a well by sellin' corn,
But de man what dugged um ain't been born;
So dey rocked along fum day ter day,
An' hoed der corn an' saved der hay.

When de Sun helt its own up in de sky,
An' de long drouth come, an' de branch run dry,
Mr. Fox an' Mr. Wolf look like dey'd die;
An' all de creeturs wuz in de same fix,
Ceppin' ol' BreI' Rabbit, wid his errytatin' tricks;

He went his way, an' he had his fun
Ef de branch wuz dryer ef it run;
He loped along wid his lippity-clips,
A-wigglin' his nose an' a-workin' his lips,
An' his mornin' drink wuz allers new-
It wuz sweet-gum sap an' honey-dew!

De kin' what you fin' in de heart uv a flower,
Er de poplar-leaf, ef you'll wait fer de hour,
An' watch fer de moonshine's sweetenin' shower!
But de yuther creeturs ain't cotch de knack,
Dey wuz dull ez walkin' ter mill an' back;
Dey never tuck notice how de birds kin sing,
How de black bee zoons when he's on de wing,
How de stars swing 'roun', how de flowers smell,
An' dey'd dodge fum thunder wid "Well, well,

Dey wisht mighty strong dat der cants wuz coulds,
Twel de day Mr. Fox got back fum de woods.

He come back, he did, an' sezee, "By jing!
You kin b'lieve me or not, but I done foun' a spring,
An' I feel like cuttin' de pidjin-wing!
An' it runs so clean, an' it runs so clear,
Oat it do like it's whisp'rin' in yo' y'ear,
Wid its' Google-goody! ' an' its' Google-good!'
It's 'way over yander in de Chinkapin wood!"
An' de creeturs all, dey wuz happy, mon!
Dey trot, an' dey gallop, an' den dey run,
Wid a tip pity-tip, an' a long-time swing,
Ter whar dey kin see de googlin'-spring!

Well, de spring wuz dar at de head er de dreen,
Whar de calamus shuck its flags er green,

An' de cat-tails tried fer to make a screen:
De creeturs all laugh, an' den dey squeal,
An' dey hopped all 'roun' on toe an' heel.
Brer Rabbit, he ax, "What's de hullabaloo?"
An' dey answer back, "It's a spring fer true!"
Den 01' Brer Rabbit tuck anudder chaw
Er his terbacker, an' he work his jaw,
An' sniff de a'r, an' shet his eyes,
An' fling back his head, an' look mighty wise.

Now, de spring had been dar sence de Flood,
But one fine mornin' 'twuz full er mud,
(An' ol' Brer Rabbit, he chawed his cud!)
An' atter dat 'twa'n't never clear,
An' der wa'n't no google fer de creeturs ter hear;
'Twuz mud in de mornin', an' mud at night-
'Tain't no use er talkin', dat mud wuz a sight!

Mr. Fox, ez de finder, watched over de spring,
An' he try ter diskiver what kinder thing
Wuz a-stirrin' up mud bofe night an' day-
An' he watch an' he wait twel he had his way.

An' one fine mornin' he foun' some tracks,
An' he shuck his head (I'm tellin' you de facts!)
An' he went off an' got 'im some shoemaker's wax,
An' pitch an' rozzum, an' den an' dar
He mould him a baby outer de tar,
Wid leg an' body, an' head an' han'-
An' it look like it settin' dar playin' in de san'-
An' he hide hisse'f whar he kin see
Whatsomever gwine ter happen ter de Tar-
De Tar-Baby-ow, de Tar-Baby-oh-
An' den he hide an' lay mighty low!

Brer Rabbit, he skipped along at las'-
He skip sorter slow, den he skip kinder fas'-
Kaze he use de spring ez a lookin'-glass,
An' he seed de Tar-Baby settin' dar:
"Good-mornin', suh, an' how's yo' Ma?
An' how does yo' copperositee
Seem ter segashuate ?" sezee;
"An' whar yo' manners? You mus' be deff!
You'll hear ef I hit you, an' you'll lose yo' breff!"
Brer Rabbit, he wait, wid "Tooby sho!"
Tar-Baby say nothin'-Mr. Fox lay low!

"You better tell me howdy! you better make yo'
No trouble ter show you ef you dunner how-
Er maybe you er keen fer ter git in a row?
Good-mornin', dis mornin', I'll ax you once mo'!"

Tar-Baby say nothin'-Mr. Fox lay low!
Brer Rabbit, he stomp his foot on de groun',
"You er mighty stuck up, but I'll fetch you down!
You see dis han'? Well, I'll hit you a blip
Dat'll split you open fum hat ter hip!
What ail you, man? an' whar did you grow?"
Tar-Baby say nothin'-Mr. Fox lay low!

Brer Rabbit made a pass at 'im des fer luck,
An' he hauled off an' hit 'im in de eye-kerchuck! An' tried ter jump away, but de han' done stuck!
"Turn me loose, you villyun, er I'll hit you ag'in!
I'll gi' you a jolt dat'll cave you in!"
Brer Rabbit draw'd back-I' I'll try yo' pluckl"
An' biffed 'im ag'in, an' t' er han' stuck!
"You see dis foot'? I'll gi' you a kick
Dat'll lan' you down yander close ter Ol' Nick!

[illustration - "'Turn me loose, you villyun, er I'll hit you ag'in!
I'll gi' you a jolt dat'll cave you in!'"


Des turn me loose, an' I'll let you go!"
Tar-Baby say nothin'-Mr. Fox lay low.

Brer Rabbit hit de groun' wid his foot, an' say:
"You'll be sorry you pestered wid me dis day-
So des turn me a-loose an' go on away! "
Den he up wid his foot an' kicked 'im-blam!"
I lay I'll show you des who I am! "
But de foot done stuck! "Will you Ie' me go?"
Tar-Baby say nothin'-Mr. Fox lay low!
Den Brer Rabbit feel like he 'bout ter git vext,
Kaze he spected eve'y minnit would be de next,
An' he monstus sorry dat it wuz so!
Tar-Baby say nothin'-Mr. Fox lay low.

Well, de yuther foot stuck, an', atter dat,
Brer Rabbit, he grin like a Chessy-cat-

"Ef you don't turn me loose I'll butt you flat!
I'll scatter yo' brains! I ruin you, sho!"
Tar-Baby say nothin'-Mr. Fox lay low.
Brer Rabbit, he butted ez hard ez he could,
An' his head it stuck, let 'im do what he would-
An' de Tar-Baby heIt 'im hard an' fast,
An' it look like his time done come at last:
Mr. Fox sa'nter'd out fum his hidin' place,
Wid a blood-red smile runnin' 'cross his face!

He scraped his foot an' den he bow,
He licked his chops an' den he 'low:
" Howdy-do, Brer Rabbit? How you feel, nohow?"
Wid a th'obbin' heart an' a shakin' knee
Brer Rabbit wuz skeer'd ez skeer'd could be.
"You er mighty stuck up," Mr. Fox, he say,
" An' I'm s'prized ter see it at dis time er day!"

He walked aroun'-" Here's a gooba shell,
I kin skacely believe it! Well, well, well! "
He pulled off his coat an' rolled up his sleeves-
"Now, I'm gwine ter show you des what I

An' he grinned ag'in de grin dat wuz red,
An' he opened his mouf fer ter let it spread
Twel he show all de tushes in his head:
He grab Brer Rabbit by de leg,
An' you oughter hear dat creetur beg!
Mr. Fox, he say, "What I'm gwine ter do
Is to pay you bofe fer de ol' an' de new!
Oh, you nee'n ter talk: I know you er nice:
But you fooled me once an' you fooled me twice!
You steal my goo bas, an' den you fling
A whole pile er mud right in' dat spring!

"But I got you now, an' yo' hide I'll stretch-
I'll l'arn you sump'n, you triflin' wretch!
I'll gi' you de ol'-time Buckra tetch!
I'll skin you alive, I'll drown you dead!
I'll break yo' neck, I'll crack yo' head-
I'll wallop you twel I make you think
I'm de patter-roller, you wall-eyed slink!"
Brer Rabbit sniffle, an' den he say,
"I know mighty well you'll have yo' way:
You may drown me, suh, ef it's yo' desires,
But please don't fling me in de briers! "

De tar wuz so rank dat Brer Rabbit sneeze,
But he still wuz shakin' in de knees
An' he keep on a-whimplin', "Please, suh, please!"
"Oh, yes! I'll please!" Mr. Fox, he say,
"An' I'll please myse'f dis very day!

You mayn't be mine, but I think you is,
An' I'm sho gwine ter bake you twel you sizz!
I'll kindle de bresh-heap, an' fling you in,
An' I lay dat'll cook an' crisp yo' skin!"
Brer Rabbit, he say: "Des fetch on yo' fires,
But please don't fling me in de briers! "

Brer Fox, he study an' rub his chin,
He rub it once, an' he rub it ag'in,
An' he wunk one eye, an' grinned a grin-
"I'll hang you high, an' maybe higher,
An' I'll fling you in de big quogmire! "
" Do des ez you please," Brer Rabbit cry,
"An' I'll ax no reason, fer which er why;
You kin drown me deep, you kin hang me
An' not one tear will drap fum my eye;

You kin hamstring me wid red-hot wires,
But-please, oh, please, keep me outer de briers!"
Mr. Fox he tuck him at his word,
An' sont him sailin' like a bird,
Ez ef he wuz feather'd instidder furr'd,
Right spang in de briers growin' dar
Ez thick, ev'y bit, ez de thickest ha'r:
Brer Rabbit, he holla, "I ain't got a scratch!
I was bred an' born in de brier-patch!
You flung me in an' lif de latch:
Oh, one fine mornin', when day was dawnin',
I was bred an' born in de brier-patch!"





De Appile-Tree

Dat'sa mighty quare tale 'bout de Appile-tree
In de Pa'dise gyarden whar Adam run free,
Whar de butterflies drunk honey wid 01' Mammy
Talk 'bout good times! I bet you he had 'em-
OI' man Adam un' de Appile-tree.

He woke one mornin' wid a pullin' at his sleeve;
He open one eye, an' dar wuz Eve;
He shuck her han', wid" Honey, don't you grieve!"
Talk 'bout good times! I bet you dey had 'em-
Adam an' Eve un' de Appile-tree.

Den Eve tuck a bite er de Appile fruit,
An' Adam he bit, an' den dey scoot
(Dar 's whar de niggers l'arned de quick callyhoot),
An' run an' hid behime de fig-tree.
Talk about troubles! I bet you del' had 'em-
Adam an' Eve behime de fig-tree.

Dey had der frolics an' dey had der flings,
An' den atter dat der fun tuck wings.
Honey mighty sweet, but bees got stings.
Talk about hard times! I bet you del' had 'em-
Adam an' Eve behime de fig-tree.

Kaze out er dat gyarden dey had fer ter skin,
Fer ter look fer de crack whar Satan crope in.
Dey s'arch fur an' wide, an' dey s'arch mighty well-

Eve she knowed, but she 'fuse fer ter tell.
Ol' Satan's trail wuz all rubbed out,
Ceppin' a track er two whar he walked about.
Talk about troubles! Well, I bet you dey had 'em-
Adam an' Eve an' all der kin.

An' when dey got back, de gate wuz shot,
An' dat wuz de pay what Adam got.
In dat gyarden he went no mo';
De overseer gi' 'im a shovel an' a hoe,
A mule an' plow, an' a swingletree ..
Talk about hard times! I bet you dey had 'em-
An' all er his chill un, bofe slave an' free;
Dey had ' em-
Bekaze er de fruit er de Appile-tree.

An' de chillun er Adam, an' de chillun's kin,
Dey all got smeared wid de pitch er Sin;
Dey shot del' eyes tel' de big hereatter,
An' flung Sin aroun' wid a tur'ble splatter,
An' collogued wid Satan, an' dat what de matter.
An' troubles-well, I bet you dey had 'em-
De chillun er Adam dat fergit tel' pray-
Dey had 'em-
An' dey keep on a-had'n' 'em down ter
dis day!

But dat wa'n't de last er de Appile-tree,
Kaze she scatter her seeds bofe fur an' free,
An' dat's what de matter wid you an' me.
I knows de feelin's what fotch on de Fall
De red Appile an' ol' Satan's call-

[illustration - "I'm kinder lopsided an' pidjin-toed,
But watch me keep in de middle er de road."


Lor' bless yo' soul, I knows urn all!
I'm kinder lopsided an' pidjin-toed,
But watch me keep in de middle er de road,
Kaze de troubles I got is a mighty big load.
Talk about troubles! I got um an' had urn,
An' I know mighty well dat I cotch urn fum Adam
An' de Appile-seeds what he scatter so free-
Adam an' Eve an' de Appile-tree.






De 'Gater and de Rabbit Gizzard

Mr. Rabbit come gallopin' home fum de frolic,
But a look at de creek made him feel sollumcolic,
Kaze de creek in a night done turn ter a river,
An' de water look so wet it make him shiver;
He holler, an' holler, an' holler at de ferry-
'Twuz run by a man which his name wuz Jerry-
But de creek so high, de ferry wa'n't dar,
An' Jerry wuz treed by ol Brer B'ar.

He holler twel he wake up ol' Brer Yalligater,
Which he dine on pine-knots an' sweet pertater;
Brer 'Gater stuck his nose fum de muddy water,
An' ax Brer Rabbit how wuz his daughter;

Brer Rabbit he say dat dey ain't no tellin',
Kaze when he lef home her head was a-swellin';
Some er Brer Fox' chillun come by an' rocked her,
An' he hatter rush off an' git de doctor.

An' on top er dat, here de creek come a-risin',
It beat anything he y'ever lay eyes on;
"Brer Rabbit," sez de 'Gater, "you sho is a rover,
But dis one time I'll put you over."
Brer Rabbit, he chaw twel his jaw wuz jimber-
"Brer 'Gater," he say, "yo' tail mighty limber."
" It's made dat-a-way," sez de Yalligater,
"We er all j'inted up accordin' ter natur."

Brer Rabbit he 'low, "I speck dat's so, suh,
An' mo' dan dat, I b'lieve I'll go, suh.
I'll git on yo' back ef you:ll come a leetle closer;

I'm a-dreadin' er de water mo' an' mo', suh."
Yalligater float up, ez light ez a feather,
Wid a word here an' dar about de weather,
An' how col' de water wuz down in de slushes,
An' a grin on his mouf dat showed all his tushes.

BreI' Rabbit he' say ter de grinnin' Yalligater,
"I'll be much erbleeged efyou'll show me de way ter
Ride on yo' back." " Des jump kinder straddlin';
You do de pantin', and I'll do de paddlin'."
An' right thoo de water dey went a-skimmin',
Brer Rabbit a-pantin', an' de Yalligater swimmin';
Brer Rabbit he say, "Yo' sho got yo' han' in,
But ef I ain't mistooken, you er passin' de lan'in'."

"You got good eyes," sez Brer Yalligater.
"I been waitin' long, an' I ain't a good waiter;

You ain't fergot dat day in de stubble,
When you make me shake han's wid red-hot
When you got me in de dry grass, an' sot it afire,
An' I squenched myse'f by raJlin' in de mire."
Brer Rabbit he sot dar a-shakin' an' a-shiverin',
An' mo' dan dat, he was quakin' an' quiverin'.

"I been so sick, I wuz nigh ter dyin',
An' de doctor come an' faun' me cryin';
He look me over from A ter Izzard,
An' he say dat I needs some Rabbit Gizzard."
Now, all dis make Brer Rabbit feel funny,
But he up an' 'low, ., I'm de man fer yo'
De folks all say I'm a quare ai' creetur,
Kaze I'm long been a-huntin' fer de Gizzard-Eater.

"I got a big un, but she done gun me trouble
Sence de doctor found dat she is double;
I'm a-telIin' you sump'n what I ain't had oughter,
But she has ter come out eve'y time I cross water;
De doctor say my sk(n won't hol' me
Ef my gizzard smell water-dat what he tol'
An' las' night I hid 'er in a hick'ry holler,
An' I'll take you dar ef you'll des but foller."

Brer 'Gater ain't hurt wid too much sense-
He can't write his name, an' he can't clim' a fence-
An' he steer fer de bank whar all de trees is,
Whar de Owl shake her wings an' wake up de
He swum an' he steered twel he got ter de dry lan',
Brer Rabbit fetched a jump an' lit on de highIan',

Wid" Good-by, Brer 'Gater! you wanter change
yo' habits-
Ef you bleege ter eat Gizzards, des hunt yer Unc'
Rabbit's! "





A Wishing Song

Atter usin' de spring fer a lookin'-glass-
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
Mr. Rabbit tuk a walk on de pastur'-grass-
A-wish, wish, wishin'.
De gals come along-Will you let us pass ?-
Des a-wishin'.
He bowed, he did, an' he shot one eye-
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
An' he tip his beaver when dey pass by-
Des a-wishin'.

Ok, ladies all, ain't you sheered er ha'nts?-
A-wish, wish, wishin'.

Skeered er no, we're gwine ter de dance-
Des a-wishin'.

Miss Meadows done say dat we kin go-
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
An' show um how ter slup on de heel an' toe-
Des a-wishin'.

An' it's Oh, Mr. Rabbit! won't you go 'long?
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
An' dat's de reason I'm a-singin' dis song-
Des a-wishin'.

An' Oh, Mr. Rabbit! does you know de place?-
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
Mr. Rabbit chaw his cud an' wrinkle his face-
Des a-wishin'.

It's right over yander at de head er de dreen-
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
Whar de branch runs google, an' de leaves is green-
Des a-wishin'.

Mr. Fox 'll scrape de fiddle, Miss Cow 'll blow de
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
An' de tune gwineter tell how de sheep shell corn-
Des a-wishin'.

Mr. Rabbit, he stood dar, slicker dan sin-
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
A-Iookin' at de gals, an' a-rubbin' his chin-
Des a-wishin'.

An', Ladies all, kin you read me dis riddle-
A-wish, wish, wishin'-

What gwineter happen rer my noddle-niddle-
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
When dey's so much Fox an' so little fiddle?-
Des a-wishin'.

So, ladies all, ef you'll skuzen me-
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
I'll santer roun' ter de Trimblin' Tree-
Des a-wishin'.

I'll slip thoo de bushes, au' up I'll creep-
A-wish, wish, wishin'-
An' listen ter de Mockin'-Bird talkin' in his sleep-
Des a-wishin' .





How Brer Tarrypin Learned to Fly

BrerTarrypintired er prom'nadin' roun',
An' he lay in de sun right flat on de groun';
His foots wuz eoI', an' his eyes wuz red,
An' it look like sump'n done bunged up his head;
But he watch Brer Buzzard a-sailin' in de sky,
An' he wisht fum his heart dat he could fly-
Fil-a-ma-Iooner-Ieener! fiI-a-ma-leener-li!

He frown an' he grunt, he grunt an' he groan,
He sniffle an' snuffle, he wheeze an' he moan;
He drapt a big tear in de acorn-cup,
An' de bug dat run out, he gobble 'im up;
Brer Buzzard flew'd, an' he flew'd mighty high,

He flop his wings an' he wink his eye-
Fil-a-ma-Iooner-Ieener! fil-a-ma-Ieener-li!

He see Brer Tarrypin lay in' flat,
An' he chuckle ter hisse'f, "Oh-ho! look at dat!
It's a mighty funny place fer ter make a bed,
An' he may be sick, an' he may be dead! "
So he drap down slow, an' he drap down sly,
But Tarrypin watchin' wid his red eye-
Fil-a-ma-Iooner-Ieener! fil-a-ma-leener-Ii!

Buzzard he lit a little up de slope,
An' hit de gait call de buzzard-lope,
An' den Brer Tarrypin tuck in his head
An' lay des like he done gone ter bed.
Brer Buzzard he holler, "Hey! hi-hi! "
An' Tarrypin 'span', "Ah-yi! ah-yi!"
Fil-a-ma-Iooner-Ieener! fil-a-ma-Ieener-li!

"You keep yo'se'f shot upin yo' shell,"
Brer Buzzard 'low, ,. but I hope you er well?"
Brer Tarrypin, say he feelin' ez smart
Ez what a man kin wid a swelled-up heart,
An' a liver all blue, an' a blood-red eye;
An' he moaned an' groaned, an' he cried, "Oh, my!"
Fil-a-ma-looner-leener! fil-a-ma-Ieener-li!

" Better git de doctor!" Brer Buzzard say;
' " He'll kyo you, sho, ef dey's any way."
" I done been saw 'im," Brer Tarrypin 'low,
" An' he up an' tol' 'me dat my onliest how
Is to fin' somebody dat'll tote me high
An' turn me loose so I'l l'arn how ter fly"-
Fil-a-ma-looner-leener! fil-a-ma-leener-Ii!

Brer Buzzard he say, "Why, bless you, chile!
You kin count on me! " an' he smole a smile.

"When it comes ter heft you er right smart chunk,
But I speck I kin tote you "-an' den he wunk.
" I'll tote you low, an' I'll tote you high;
I'll tote you past, an' I'll tote you by "-
Fil-a-ma-Iooner-Ieener! fil-a-ma-Ieener-li I

He ruffle his fedders, an' he flop his wings,
Wid" Dis is de trouble dat frien'ship brings;
But I'll take it all an' ax fer mo',
Ef so be I kin git you ter go."
Brer Tarrypin study, an' look at de sky,
Kaze his heart wuz sot on l'arnin' ter fly-
Fil-a-ma-Iooner-Ieener! fil-a-ma-Ieener-li!

Down on his hunkers Brer Buzzard squot,
An' on his back Brer Tarrypin got;
'Twuz slip an' fall, but he got on,

An' de nex' news you know dey bofe wuz gone!
A-sailin' low, an' a-saiIin' high,
A-saiIin' fur, an' a-sailin' nigh-
Fil-a-ma-looner-leener! fil-a-ma-Ieener-li!

"Now, how shill I J'arn ?" Brer Tarrypin say.
Brer Buzzard 'span', "I'll show you de way.
I'm a-flyin' high, but I'll start down,
Den you turn loose an' sail all roun'."
Brer Tarrypin say-an' he shot his eye-
" Ef we go much higher we'll 'sturb de sky! "
Fil-a-ma-looner-leener! fil-a-ma-leener-li!

Tarrypin turn loose an' down he come,
Wid a blip an' a blap an' a blim-blam-blum!
He come wid a squeal, he come wid a squall-
Dey ain't nobody y'ever had sech a fall !

An' a mighty good reason: he wuz up so high
Dat when he hit de groun' he wuz dead, mighty
Fil-a-ma-looner-leener! fil-a-ma-leener-Ii!

Buzzard he foller fer ter see it done well,
Wid "La, 01' frien'! it seem like you fell!
An' all you hatter do wuz ter flop yo' wings!"
Tarrypin groan; he say, "By jings!
I know one thing, an' dat ain't two-
I know one thing wid my fil-a-mo-loo!
I know one thing, an' I know it right-
I know how ter fly, but I dunner how ter light!
Sump'n n'er tol' me ez I sail in de sky,
L'arn how 'ter light 'fo' you I'am how ter fly! ' "
Fil-a-ma-looner-Ieener! fil-a-ma-leener-Ii!





"It's Good to be Old if You know how to Do"

Somefifty year ago, ef I'd 'a' been tol'
Oat some fine day I'd be glad ter be ol',
I'd 'a' sassed urn all, an' laughed in der face,
An' 'a' dar'd urn ter run me a mile foot-race;
I'd 'a' up an' 'a' cut de pidjin-wing,
Kaze I allers felt like a colt in de spring;
I'd 'a' whirled in de a'r an' lit on my feet,
Fer when it come ter dat I couldn't be beat;
I'd 'a' grinned right at um-but now I know
Lots better dan I know'd some fifty year ago.

Kaze now I kin set right flat in my cheer,
An' call back de days fum year ter year-

An' wid no need ter call, kaze, time I sets down,
Dey all comes a-flittin' an' a-flyin' 'roun',
An' all wid der Sunday doin's on,
An' all der troubles done clean gone,
An' I sets up wid um, er I draps ter sleep,
Glad fer ter git my fun so cheap;
It's de same ez a frolic-fer now I know
Lots better dan I know'd some fifty year ago.

No shade fer me! I kin set in de sun,
An' hear dem chill un, an' see um run;
An' over de hills when de day is long
I kin hear de plough-han's homin' song,
An' in de creek bottom-go-bing! go-bang!
I kin hear de racket er de new-groun' gang,
An' it seem mighty quare dat it come ter pass,
Kaze chillun an' niggers is under de grass-

Dey er dar, dey er here, an' one thing sho,
I never would 'a' b'lieved it fifty year ago!

Little chillun die, an' you think dey er gone,
An' you weep an' wail wid de mourn in' on;
Fambly an' frien's, dey er tooken, too,
An' it seem like de reaper won't never git thoo;
Bofe big an' little, bofe young an' ol',
Dey all got ter answer ter de call er de roll;
Dey answer an' go. Does you speck dat's all?
Is de oak tree sorry when de acorns fall?
Bless you, honey! I know what I know
Lots better dan I did some fifty year ago.

Dey all comes back, an' dey comes ter stay,
An' you has um wid you bofe night an' day-
An' I dunner whar yo' eyes ef you can't see
Dem chillun a-stan'in' right at my knee,

Wid shinin' eyes an' ha'r fallin' free,
One little gal, an' little boys three;
An' mos' eve'y day when de light gits pale
I ketch myse'f a-tellin' um a tale,
An' I goes on an' tells it-fer now I know
Lots better dan I know'd some fifty year ago.

"Unc' Remus! Unc' Remus! " dey hollers at me,
"Please tell 'bout de Rabbit what clomb de tree!"
An' den dey laughs an' claps der han's,
Wid "Dis is de way dat Brer B'ar stan's!"
An' den dey mingles wid de chillun dat's new,
An' I gits so dazed I dunner what ter do;
An' when dey plays at hidin' - switch
I scratches my head ter tell t'other fum which,
An' I never could tell ef I didn't know
Lots mo' dan I know'd some fifty year ago,

Some fifty year ago, ef I'd 'a' been tol'
Dat some fine day I'd be glad ter be ol',
Dey'd 'a' been a quoil; yit I'm sholy glad,
Fer I can't make a move but it's" Please wait, Dad!"
"Run, git Daddy's hat!" "Run, git Daddy's cane!"
"Come, bresh Daddy's coat!" "Ain't you 'fraid
it'll rain?"
I waits fer it all, an' den I has ter wait
Twel some un um runs an' opens de gate!
An' it makes me laugh-fer now I know
Lots mo' dan I know'd some fifty year ago.

An' it's des dat a-way, day in an' day out,
Eve'y time I turn 'roun', eve'y time I walk about;
No matter when I come, no matter when I go,
It's des like dancin' ter Jim-along-Joe!
It's des like skippin' ter Jim-along-Jeems,

All day when I'm 'wake, all night when I dreams!
Dey er playin' close by, no matter whar I stan',
An' when I doze off dey er holdin' my han';
Dey er allers wid me-kaze now I know
Lots better dan I know'd some fifty year ago!





The hard-headed Woman

Now, den, honey, I tell you what,
You'll be like de 'oman an' de big dinner-pot
Ef yo' don't min' yo' mammy. You don't see how
come it?
Well, I tell you right now, you ain't fur fum it;
You kin blin'fol' my eyes, an' I'll call yo' name-
It's" Hello, Mr. Hardhead! Ain't you 'shame' ?"
You kin grin an' twis' an' squirm an' frown,
But I know yo' name by de way it soun'-
Don't dull dat shoe-knife! Des put it down!

Don't pester my pegs! an' des drap dal awl
You'll slick yo' se 'f wid it, an' den you'll squall-

Don't fool wid my jillin' s! don't scatter de tacks,
you'll drap um on de flo' an' lose um in de cracks-
Don't tangle my twine, an' don't chaw up my wax!
What kin you do? Why, set still a minnit,
An' de way fer ter do it is ter commence an'
begin it!
I tell you, honey, you done got so wil'
Dat nobody'll b'lieve you er Miss Sally's chil'!

You wanter hear a tale? Well, you sho do skeer
Kaze how kin you set right still an' hear me ?
De or sow done got up fum whar you knocked 'er,
An' de heifer is lookin' fer ter see who rocked 'er
You er sholy ailin', an' you'll hatter see de doctor!
I dunner what gwine ter happen ef dey ain't
sump'n done-

[illustration - "You wanter hear a tale? Well, you sho' do skeer me!
Kaze how kin you sit right still an' hear me?"


Ef you ain't rockin' creeturs, dey ain't no fun;
Boys bleeze ter have fun-you say dat yo'se'f-
Er else dey mought ez well be put on de shelf.
It mought er been Georgy, er Yallerbammer-
Fer de goodness' sake, put down dat hammer!-
In one er de yuther dar lived a 'oman,
She wuz nine parts Injun an' one part human.
She lived in a wood-lot, close ter water,
An' she done a heap er things what she ain't had
De neighbors say dat she done kilt her daughter!
She had a bad temper, an' her clackin' tongue
Wuz long an' loud an' mighty well hung.

Her ol' man done de best dat he could,
He split up kindlin' an' he chopped up wood;

He fotch home meal an' he fotch home meat,
Yit she never would cook what he wanter eat;
She wuz hard-headed, honey, des like you,
An' what folks wanted wuz de thing she won't do.
But she'd scol' an' quoil de whole day thoo;
An' she'd be contrary, an' ack like a mule,
Twel de neighbors all say she's a Friday-born fool.

Ef her husban' want grits she'd cook him greens,
Ef he want roas' tater she'd bile 'im beans,
Ef he want fried meat she'd make corn-bread,
An' de pone wuz so hard 'twould 'a' broke his
Ef she but had 'a' hit 'im he'd 'a' done gone
She'd kindle a fier wid sparrer-grass,
An' gi' her 01' man de wuss kinder sass.

She'd burn de spar'-rib an' scorch de tripe-
When it come ter meanness she wuz good an' ripe.

Her ol' man watch, an' wait, an' pray
Fer de time fer ter come when she'd change her
He spit in de ashes an' make a cross-mark,
An' sump'n n'er tal' 'im fer ter wait twel dark,
When de moon look pale, an' de loony-dogs bark
An' put in de pot, when de big owls hoot,
Some thunderwood buds an' calamus root.
Well, dat night de 'oman come in kinder late,
An' she slam things 'roun' like you does de gate.

Atter kickin' up a rippit an' gittin' things hot,
She built a big fier un' de dinner-pot;
She put in some dum perlin's, likewise some peas,
An' flung in a sheep-head on top er dese.

De water 'gun ter bubble, an' de vittles it fou't,
Twel de sheep-head butted de dumperlin's out,
An' de peas went flyin' all 'roun' an' about.
De 'oman, she strip off her homespun sack,
Wid" No matter what happen, dat pot I'll crack!"

She got de ax, but de pot see her comin',
An' it jump off de fier, an' des went a-hummin';
Man, inter de woods dat pot did sneak,
Beyan de branch an' way beyan de creek;
It run an' run twel de 'oman get weak,
An' when she got catch wid a bamboo brier,
Here come de pot wid a chunk er red fier;
An' den she yell, an' den she squall,
An' de pot wuz dar fer ter ketch her when she fall.

An' she never come back, and de pot des laugh,
A-hoppin' an' a-skippin' up de spring paff;

It come, it did, an' straddle de place
Whar it been settin' at; an' washed its face
An' scraped off de mud an' wiped off de grease-
An' de man eat his supper fer one time in peace.






Two Tales in One-One Tale in Two

Folksthink deyer smart, an' I speck it's so,
Kaze most anybody bleezeter know what dey know,
But when you dig down ter de trufe an' all,
You feel like creepin' thoo a hole in de wall,
An' you don't want de hole fer ter be too wide,
Kaze you want a place whar you kin hide-
Fer dat what you know mighty certain an' sho
Ain't mo' dan a thimbleful ter what you ain't know.

When you run yo' head in a hornets' nes'
You kin say what you please an' think de res',
But de ve'y fust thing dat you wanter do
Is ter git up fum dar, an' shuffle yo' shoe-

Man! I wish you'd hush! You wanter git away,
Dey ain't money nuff fer ter make you stay!
Well, what you dunno, is got claws an' wings,
It zoons in yo' year, it zoons an' stings!

What! Tell you a tale dat I dunno?
Is you ever hear de one 'bout Tippity- T oe?
You ain't! Well, dat's mighty funny ter me,
An' I speck I better tell 'bout Flee-ter-my-Knee-
One tale in two, an' two tales in one,
By de time deyer finish' deyer mighty nigh done;
You'll Iissen an' laugh, you'll lissen an' cry,
But yo' face will be straight an' yo' eye will be dry!

Dey wuz born in a well, an' dey wa'n't no doubt
Dat dey couldn't fall in, so dey had ter fall out,
An' de folks all say dat it sho wuz a sin

Fer ter be fallin' out when dey oughter fall in;
An' dey wonder'd an' wonder'd how dat kin be,
An' dey hunted an' hunted fer Flee-ter-my-Knee,
But he wa'n't ter be foun', ner Tippity- Toe,
An' dat's how come dey ain't nobody know.

An' down ter dis day, when folks settin' still,
An' lookin' 'way off 'cross de creek an' de hill,
An' frownin' up when dey shets der eyes,
Er puttin' on specks fer ter make um look wise,
Deyer wond'rin' (special ef dey rubs der chin)
How it feels ter fall out when you oughter fall in;
Deyer watchin' an' waitin' an' tryin' ter see
Little Tippity- Toe an' Flee-ter-my-Knee.

Sometimes in de night you'll hear a mouse squeal
Kaze Tippity- Toe done trod on his heel,

An' sometimes you'll wake an' hear de wall crack,
But it's Flee-ter-my-Knee a-drivin' a tack;
Dey gits in de kitchen an' makes de pans leak,
An' dey creeps in de closet, an' makes de shoes
An' dey stops de clock-but der purtiest trick
Is ter swing on de pennel-urn an' make it tick.

In de middle er de night, when you hear de dog
An' de bullfrog grumble like he talkin' ter de owl,
An' de killdee holler like he skeer'd ter death,
An' de win' do like she's a-hal' in' her breath,
And de moon slips along twel she fin's a cloud
Fer ter hide behime, an' de geeses all crowd
Close up tergedder, it's bekaze dey see
Little Tippity- Toe an' Flee-ter-my-Knee.

An' de katydids, wid der chatterin' song,
You'd think 'twouId take um all night long
Fer ter tell what dey ain't do, an' what dey done,
A-jawin' an' 'sputin' one dey one,
But, turnin' twelve, dey simmers down,
An' you can't hear one fer miles aroun'.
Deyer mo', dan willin' fer ter gi' de fio'
Ter Flee-ter-my-Knee an' Tippity- Toe.

An' chillun like you better keep der eyes skun
So dey'll know what's mischief fum dat what's fun,
Kaze Flee-ter-l11y-Knee an' Tippity- Toe
Deyer watchin' you close wharsomever you go-
Wharsomever you go, whatsomever you do,
Deyer wid you all dayan' de whole night thoo;
Dey'll raise up de kivver when youer in bed,
An' pull at yo' toes an' tousel yo' head,

An' you'll whimper an' groan, an' jump in yo' sleep
An' be slidin' down places dat's slick an' steep,
An' Rawhead-an'-Bloody-Bones 'II be drivin' his
Bofe' backerds an' forrerds thoo aller yo' dreams!
How you gwineter keep urn off? Why, honey,
whirl in
An' try ter be good-des ez good ez you kin'





Why the frog has no Tail

Now, honey, you lissen, an' keep right still,
An' I'll tell you 'bout de Frog what live nigh de mill:
He stayed in de pan' when he wa'n't on de bank,
An' hot days he stayed whar de grass wuz rank;
He liked eoI' water, an' he liked de sun;
He wuz marked like a clown, an' full er fun-
When he stood up he sot, an' he hopped when
he run.
Day in an' day out he wuz much de same-
Brer Bull-Frog dey named him, an' he answer ter
der name.

Pop-eyed he wuz, wid no ha'r on his head,
An' dey wa'n't no tellin' when he went ter bed,

Kaze he'd wateh all dayan' beller all night,
An' de ereeturs all say dat dat wa'n't right; An' mo' dan dat, dey say 'twuz a shame
Dat any kinder ereetur shill ruin his name.
Brer Bull-Frog say, "Come along! Oh, come!
I ain't got nothin' but a jug er rum-
Jug-er-rum! Jug-er-rum! I'll gi' you some!"

De ereeturs dey say, "It's wuss an' wuss,
An' de fust news you know, he'll up an' cuss,
Er he'll git so mad dat he'll swell up an' bus'."
Brer Rabbit he hear 'bout de jug er rum,
An' he smack his mouf wid a Nyum-nyum-nyum!
An' he study an' study how he'll git 'im a dram,
An' bimeby he went on de 01' mill-dam;
De water look so col' it make him shiver-
Bull-Frog say, "'Tain't col' ez de river."

De water lap-lap! - Brer Rabbit's skin creep-
Brer Bull-Frog beller, "Knee-deep! Knee-deep!"
Brer Rabbit jump in - ker-splish, ker-splash!
An' it like ter 'a' been de las' er his hash;
He fotch a snort, an' he fotch a sneeze,
It made 'im cough, an' it made 'im wheeze-
He allers strangle when it's deeper dan his knees.
Brer Rabbit put out, an' put out faster,
An' de 'Frog he laugh like a bull in de pastur'.

Atter dat, Brer Rabbit he watch an' wait,
He riz mighty soon, an' he went ter bed late;
He watch by de poplar, an' by de mill-gate.
Dar wuz times when he'd laugh, an' times when
he'd grin-
He wuz fixin' fer ter take dat Bull-Frog in.
Well, time flickered on, an' Brer Bull-Frog

'Gun ter think 'bout gwine fum de pan' ter de bog;
He wash his neck, an' wipe his feet,
So de gals would think he wuz mighty sweet.

An' when he come out - Man, he wuz drest !
A long green coat an' a white silk vest,
Britches fer ter match, an' shoes wid buckles,
An' a green umbrell' fer ter keep off de freckles,
An' a little cocked hat, full er green an' white
'Twuz a right smart piece fum de pan' ter de river,
So he done up his de umbrell' kivver-
Ah-yi! dat's sump'n dat don't seem ter strike you:
Well, laugh on, honey, an' make folks like you!

Brer Rabbit see 'im comin', an' des fer fun
Made like he skeered, an' broke an' run-

Brer Bull-Frog bellered, "Whar my gun?"
An' hopped on atter ez hard ez he kin,
An' Brer Rabbit try hard fer ter hide a grin;
He led Brer Frog ter a holler tree,
An' in he went wid" You can't git me!"
An' out he popped on de yuther side,
Whiles de Frog hop in wid his umbrell' wide.

De Frog holler out, "I dar' you ter come! "
An' he talk des like he wuz in a bass-drum;
Now, ol' smarty Rabbit had done brung his ax,
An' he hit de holler some right hard whacks-
I ain't tellin' nothin' but de natchul facts.
De Frog git skeered at so much maulin',
Kaze he thunk dat bimeby de tree'd be a-fallin';
Brer Rabbit wuz dar, an' when de Frog move
He chop his tail off smick-smack-smoove!

De Frog fotch a beller, an' make fer de river,
He lef' his tail an' de umbrelI' kivver-
He lef' urn dar,' right on de groun',
An' de tail it wiggle twel de sun went down!





Uncle Remus Captures a Dream

Outdar in de dark, when folks is asleep,
Dey's Things gwine on dat'll make you creep;
Dey's a crowd er Sump'n's out dar at play
Fum de middle er de night spang on twel day,
An' de mortal stillness dat falls on all
Is de noise dey makes when dey cry an' call-
It's over an' under an' 'roun' ag'in,
Dey flits wid de shadders an' flies wid de win'.

An' Dreams, long dremp, slip outer de swamp,
An' make der plans fer a mighty romp,
An' doors fly open widout a screak
When dey start ter play at hide-an'-seek;

An' dey rides der ponies, Wing an' Breeze,
Out over de fiel's an' thoo de trees-
It's over an' under an' 'roun' ag'in,
Dey flits wid de shadders an' flies wid de win'.

Der frocks is made er de new moonshine,
Kyarded an' rolled, an' spun mighty fine;
Dey spins um deyse'f, an' trims urn all
Wid de trailin' fog dat you see in de fall;
An' de time fer ter ketch dem Dreams an' Things
Is when dey er swingin' in spider-web swings-
It's over an' under an' 'roun' ag'in,
Dey flits wid de shadders an' flies wid de win'.

An' ef you er oJ' an' not too fat,
I speck you kin ketch um un'neat' yo' hat;
De fust un I catch I wuz past my prime,

But I've ketched urn sence, mo' an' many's de time;
An' when you ketch urn dey er yone fer good,
Kaze dey can't git away, an' dey wouldn't ef dey
It's over an' under an' 'roun' ag'in,
Dey flits wid de shadders an' flies wid de win'.

You'll hatter be ol' an' natchally tough,
Kaze de sights dey'll sho\:V you'll be mo' dan
An' you better be asleep ef you ketch a Dream,
Bekaze ef you ain't it'll. make things seem
Like dey did ter de man what fell fum de tree:
He struck a lim' an' he say, "Hee-hee!
I b'lieve in my soul "—ker-blamity-blum!"—
"Dat de whole wide worI' done got out er

De las' Dream I cotch I helt it ter my year,
An' I wish I could tell you all what I hear-
It wuz, "Oh, 'hol' me tight! oh, hol' me fas' !
I'm de breff what you see on de lookin' -glass;
I'm de silver bugle, I'm de weddin' -bell;
I'm dem what stumbled an' dem what fell;
I'm de ol' home spring, I'm de orchard path,
I'm de big back-log, I'm de kitchen h'ath.

"I'm de chap you toted when you wuz strong;
I'm de song you sung him all night long;
I'm de ol' red road an' de tryin' hill;
I'm de creek an' de pon' an' de ol' gris'-mill;
I'm de spinnin' -wheel an' de bangin' loom,
De long, wide hall an' de upstairs room;
I'm Mistiss an' Marster an' de Buckra man;
I'm kittle an' trivet, I'm skillet an' pan.

"I'm dem what go an' dem what come;
I'm dem what march ter de beat er de drum;
I'm dem what dance by de light er de moon;
I'm de dance itse'f, an' I'm de chune;
I'm dem what sung de midnight song;
I'm de way dey went when dey went along;
I'm de tlutterin' han's (like dey ringin' a bell) ;
I'm de 'So-long, honies!' an' de ' Far'-you-well!'

"I'm dem what fiddled twel de break er day;
I'm de torch dey drapped when dey went away;
I'm dem what rambled an' dem what run,
Dem what frolicked an' had der fun;
I'm dem what plowed an' hoed de corn;
I'm de plow an' de hoe an' de dinner-horn;
I'm dem what looked wid de seein' eye;
I'm de bended head an' de long' Good-by! '

"An' any warm night, ef you'll set right still,
You kin hear me callin' fum over de hill;
An' over de meadows, an' down de dreen,
You kin hear me whisper er what I seen;
An' de Willis-Whistlers dey'll jine in,
I An' tell whar I'm gwine an' whar I been!
An' it's over an' under an' 'roun' ag'in,
I flits wid de shadders an! flies wid de win'."





Why the Buzzard's head is Bald

T-u, Turkey, t-u, ti,
T-u, Turkey Buzzard's eye!
You kin see her a-sailin' way up in de sky!
Ef she wuz ter shet her wings an' fall
You'd see fer yo'se'f dat 'er head is bal';
P-o, Peter, P-o, pan!
Her head des ez bal' ez de pa'm er yo' han',
An' a mighty good reason-but dat's a tale,
Ez de 'possum said ter de slippery rail.

Brer Rabbit, in dem days, wuz monstus gay,
An' he had bofe a home an' a place fer ter stay
Ef he y'ever git cotch out night er day;

He fin' 'im a poplar wid two big rooms
Dat Miss Breezy keep clean wid 'er bran' -new
An' he grabbled a place whar he kin hide,
An' sleep wid bofe eyes open wide;
He lick his chops, an' he wash his face,
Wid, "Uv all de places dish yer's de place! "

Now, he been a-gwine dar fer some little time,
An' 'twuz all so quiet dat he liked it prime,
An' he feel like singin' a or-time hime:
But one day, whiles he pirootin' 'roun',
A-huntin' fer dat what never is foun',
Ol' Miss Buzzard come a-struttin' by,
An' view de holler fum de cornder er her eye;
She been a-huntin' a place fer 'er nes',
An' uv all de places she like dis de bes'.

She grinned a grin an' she clucked a cluck,
Wid, "Laws-a-massy! what luck! what luck! "
An' she laugh an' laugh twel her top-knot shuck;
Den in she went wid a swish an' a flop,
Wid a spraddlin' walk, an' a hippity-hop;
She look ter de eas', she look ter de wes',
An' wid 'lev'm little splinters she built her nes';
A han'fuI er trash an' a bunch er fuzz-
She whirl 'roun' twice, an' dar she wuz!
Bimeby Brer Rabbit come a-Iopin' in,
Ez smoove ez silk, an' slicker dan sin,
A-chawin' his terbacker wid a chuckle an' a grin;
'Twuz dark ez Flugens, an' yit 'twan't long
'Fo' Brer Rabbit know'd dat sump'n wuz wrong;
'Twuz, "Somebody been here, an' I ain't glad,
Kaze, whoever 'twuz, dey breff mighty bad!"

Miss Buzzard she kinder squirm on her nes',
Kaze she got de idee she's good ez de bes'.

Brer Rabbit he slap his foot on de flo,
Wid, "I dunner who 'twuz, but what I does know
Is, he better hunt de doctor wharsomever he go!"
"Oh, thanky, Brer Rabbit I'.' sez Miss Buzzard, se'
" De way you make frien's sholy 'stonishes me;
Ef you don't watch out you'll lose yo' meat! "
" Not whiles I kin wiggle all er my feet! "
Sez ol' Brer Rabbit, an' den he wheeze-
" I bet you a thrip I'm gwineter sneeze! "

He try ter hol' in, but he snoze an' he snoze,
An' he work his y'ear, an' he wiggle his nose,
Wid, "Dis gits wusser de furder it goes! "

Well, time loped on, an', when her aigs hatch,
Miss Buzzard she sho had to grub an' scratch,
Ez de sayin' is, but de grubbin' she done
Wuz de kinder grubbin' dat wa'n't much fun;
An' her chillun wuz greedy; ter hear der cries
You'd 'a' thunk dey wuz starvin' right 'fa' yo' eyes!

Miss Buzzard much'd urn up, an' talk mighty sweet,
An' promise urn a dinner er right fresh meat-
Brer Rabbit he chuckle, "Ez good ez wheat!"
But de j'inin' holler wiII des fit me,
An' I'll set in dar whar I kin see."
An' he sot so still, you'd 'a' thunk he wuz 'sleep,
An' he fool Miss Buzzard when she come ter
So she stop up de holler wid mud an' sticks-
But ol' Brer Rabbit know'd all er her tricks.

She named his name, but he lay back an' sno',
An' do like he ain't gwineter wake no mo',
'An' den she say, "You're my meat, sho!"
Brer Rabbit he 'low, "Oh, please, 'm, Ie' me out!
You say you won't? Well, I think you mought,
In 'membunce er aI' times, well ez de new;
Ef you won't you won't, so it's good-by ter you!"
An' den he went slippin' outer his back-do',
An he lef' Miss Buzzard a-walkin' er de flo'.

When Brer Rabbit runs he sho' is a flyer,
An' he put out ter whar Mr. Man had a fier
Fer ter burn off de new groun' brush an' brier,
Ari' he got 'im a pan er red-hot embers,
De sort what warms you in de col' Decembers;
An' den he run home ez hard ez he kin,
Wid, "Oh, Miss Buzz:lrd! Please, 'm, Ie' me in!"

She flew'd right at 'im, wid wing an' claw,
An' he plunked de embers on her jaw!

An' on her neck! an' on her head!
An' in her house! an' on her bed!
An' dey scorched her so dat her eye got red!
An' she flung a flutter, an' she fetched a squall,
"Laws-a-massy, Brer Rabbit! you bumin' me
An' fum dat day ter dis, bofe fur an' wide,
Whar de Buzzards had top-knots it's mos'Iy hide!





[illustration -
"Watermillions fresh fum de vine-
Anybody will say deyer fine."



De Ol' Stand-Bys

WATERMILLIONS fresh fum de vine-
Anybody will say deyer fine;
An' Rabbit in hash is nice,
Stirred up wid a han'ful er rice;
An' down in dis neighborhood
Dey say Brer Possum is good.

An' den dar's de big pole-beans,
An' ol'-time collard-greens,
Wid leaf blue-stemmed an' wide-
You kin have um biled or fried!
An' turnips, purple an' white-
I wish I had some dis night!

Yit 'miIlions, possums, rabbits,
Dey has der ways an' habits,
An' der seasons one an' all,
Summer an'. winter an' fall,
An' likewise collard greens,
An' turnips an' pole-beans.

An' some come twice a year,
An' some er deze last don't keer
Ef dey come er not; dat's why
Folks watch fer de clouds in de sky.
But dey all good 'nough in der place
Fer ter make a sinner say grace.

But den dar's de long-corne-shorts,
When you haf ter put up wid all sorts;
Den gimme de corn-bread pone,
An', please, 'm, make it full-grown;

[illustration -
"An' buttermilk fresh fum de churn,
Er sour 'nough fer ter burn."


An' a dish full er whipperwill peas
Biled up wid plenty er grease;

An' buttermilk fresh fu m de churn,
Er sour 'nough fer ter burn
An' tingle on yo' tongue an' creep
Twel it tas'e like yo' foot's asleep.
De ol' stand-bys is here;
Dey're wid us all de year.

You don't haf ter wait er hunt:
Dey 're right at han' eve'y mont';
Dey're wid you rain er drouf,
Ef de win' blow norf er souf-
Shucks! I done 'gun ter dribble at de mouf!






Brer Rabbit's Gigglin'-Place

TIME wuz when de creeturs had diffunt places
Fer ter eat dey snacks at an' wash dey faces-
A place fer ter talk at an' a place fer tusslin'
Whensomever dey happen fer ter git thoo dey
A place fer smokin' an' a place fer chawin',
A place fer jumpin' an' a place fer jawin',
A place fer kickin' an' a place fer pawin',
A place fer moanin' an' a place fer pinin',
A place fer howlin' an' a place fer whinin'.

Dey wuz gittin' 'long well an' Iivin' ker-scrumptious,
An' none but de camel wuz anyways bumptious;

You mought er fed um on corn-meal mushes,
Kaze dey ain't fin' out dey had claws er tushes;
Dey never wuz sorry, ner sollumcolic,
When dey laid by der craps dey wuz in fer a frolic;
Brer Fox know'd how fer ter tetch up de fiddle,
Wid tumty-tum-tum, an' tumty-iddle-tiddle,
An' "Gals cross over fum de side ter de middle!"

An' dem what worked in de heavy timber
Er done got so ol' dat dey legs ain't limber;
Dey sot off in a clump tergedder,
An' talk about craps an' de rainy wedder,
An' watch de dancers light ez a fedder,
An' shake der heads an' do some frownin'
When de fiddle wuz des a-singin' an' a-soun'in',
Ez much ez ter say, "Unc' Time will free us,
An' you'll soon be ez now you see us! "

Now a dance at de best is a kinder mix-up,
An' ol' Rab wuz skeer'd dat dey had some tricks up,
An' whiles Brer Fox wuz a-sawin' on de fiddle
Brer Rabbit wuz a-tellin' Brer B'ar a riddle
Dat make 'im laugh twel he shake in de middle.
Brer B'ar he laugh, but 01' Brer Rabbit
Do like he done got out'n de habit;
You'd 'a' thunk somebody had done hurt his feelin's
Wid dey shiffte-shuffte an' dey jig-um-a-reelin's.

Now, whar dey's any giggIin' de crowd boun' ter
go dar,
An' ter keep fum bein' squshed Brer Rabbit say,
"W'oa, dar!"
An' he call ter Brer Fox wid "Please play some
mo', dar! '
Brer Fox he say he bleeze ter men' his fiddle,

An' ol' Brer B'ar still shuck in de middle;
Miss Wolf up an' ax, "What you fin' dat's so
An' de answer wuz, "Mr. Beans swaller'd Bunny."
"Lawsy me! " sez Miss Wolf, an' she sot dar grin-
"Brer Rabbit, you sho does need a skinnin'!"

Brer Fox he say, "Des stop yo' chaffin',
You kin see fer yo'se'f Brer Rabbit ain't a-laughin';
Ef trouble wuz ter come he look like he'd nab it."
"Right you is, Brer Fox," says ol' Brer Rabbit;
"An' mo' dan dat, I'd retch out an' grab it,
Kaze I never did b'lieve in comp'ny-snigglin',
An' I done got a place whar I does my gigglin'."
An' dey all un um ax'd 'im, "Wharbouts is it?
Des show us de wayan' we'll pay it a visit!"

Brer Rabbit makes out he had money an' los' um,
An' he holp Brer Fox fer ter fin' his rozzum,
Hummin', "Yam spells tater, an' tater spells pos-
sum, "
An' den 'twan't long 'fa' de dance, it broke up;
Brer Fox stay behime, an', atter while, spoke up,
An' ax Brer Rabbit whar his gigglin'-place-
"It ain't so mighty fur fum de wigglin'-place,
An' you sholy is hear tell er dat, suh,
Kaze, once dar, you'll giggle twel you lose yo' hat,

"An' you may lose yo' hide-I've seed sech cases,
Whar dem what 'uz quare got los' in quare places.
But dis kinder talk wuz wuss dan no talk-
Ef he know'd he'd git scalloped by a knock-kneed
Mohawk, .

Brer Fox would 'a' went-dey wuz no needs fer
mo' talk.
So Brer Rabbit say he'd be glad fer ter take 'im,
Kaze he too perlite fer ter up an' shake 'im;
An' Brer Fox went, wid a gallop an' a wiggle,
Fer ter see de place whar Brer Rabbit giggle.

Atter so long dey got dar, an' Brer Rabbit show'd it,
An' Brer Fox 'low dat he never would 'a' know'd it;
Ol' Rab smale a smile, an' den he tal' 'im
How ter giggle an' giggle twel a hoss can't hol' 'im;
'Twuz "'Tain't ez you see it, but de way you do
Dat big bush yander, you mus' run right thoo it."
Ef it had 'a' been a track Brer Fox would 'a' flew it.
But he run thoo de bush an' den he holler'd-
He yapped an' he wapped an' den he waller'd.

An' de reason wuz plain why he make sech a racket:
He had run right over Mr. Yaller-Jacket,
An' de bush wuz de home er de bal'-headed Hornet-
Brer Fox he galloped right straight on it;
He run thoo gullies an' he jumped over ditches,
Kaze he had ten dozen in his britches.
Brer Rabbit hear sump'n 'bout "Dang-dong-ding
An' he loped off home kaze he skeer'd dey'd sting






Mr. Rabbit Run fur-Mr. Rabbit Run fas'

Mr. Rabbit run fur-Mr. Rabbit run fas',
Kaze dey scuzen'd him er givin' de gals some sass.
Wid der fingers in der years, dey stomped der feet,
Wid, "Des lis'n at dat! Is you ever hear de beat?"
Yit all in de war!' dat Brer Rabbit say,
Wuz "Howdy, my honies! Whichaway-which-
Youer gittin' too ol' fer ter be so gay-
I b'lieve in my soul youer turnin' gray!"
Mr. Owl, he seed a big star shoot,
An' he blow his horn wid a toot-to at-toot !

Mr. Fox come along wid a han' ter his year,
An' de gals, dey holler, "Brer Fox, run here!"
Mr. Fox, he grin an' show his tush-
"Please come an' make Brer Rabbit hush;
We wa'n't doin' nothin' but dancin' on de
An' here he come wid his mouf full er sass."
Mr. Owl, he seed a n'er star shoot,
An' he make his horn go toot-toot-toot!

Mr. Fox scratch hisse'f behime de year,
Wid a "Tut-tut-tut! What's dis I hear?"
An' de gals dey say, "You hears de trufe!"
An' den Mr. Fox, wid a wiff-waff-woof!
Try ter swaller Brer Rabbit, but he swaller'd
de a'r';
He snapped, he did, but he never totch a ha'r,

An' a mighty good reason-Brer Rabbit wa'n't dar!
One star, two stars, three stars shoot,
An' or Mr. Owl blow toot-toot-toot!

Mr. Rabbit, fum behime de mullein stalk,
Holler, "Ladies all, I'm gwine ter take a walk:
I wuz makin' fun, but I'm sorry I spoke,
Fer all I say wa'n't nothin' but a joke."
"La, Brer Rabbit! an' whyn't you tell us?
Kaze we likes you better dan de yuther fellers."
Mr. Rabbit, he laugh an' wiggle his smellers,
An' "De hoss-apple falls long 'fa' it mellers! "
Two stars, three stars, four stars shoot-
Mr. Owl, he laugh, an' toot-toot-toot!

Mr. Rabbit, he say, "Y ouer in yo' prime;
I'd 'a' tol you dat, but you ain't gi' me time."

Miss Meadows, she say, "Don't lose yo' chance,
Less go ter my house an' all have a dance."
Mr. Rabbit, he laugh an' shake his head,
" What mo' kin you say when all is said?
I'm de one dat's gray-BreI' Fox is red;
I kin be my own frien' when all is fled.
I'm gwine fer tel' git some calamus root,
An' lis' en ter de Whipperwill a-pIayin' on his flute-
Mr. Whipperwill-he won't stay still-
Mr. Whipperwill, a-playin' on his flute!




Before and during the war, and perhaps afterwards, the negroes on the Southern plantations had in use a complete system of inter¬communication by means of which all kinds of intelligence could be transmitted from point to point with amazing rapidity. When Sher¬man swung loose from Atlanta for his march across Georgia, the fact became known to all the negroes on a plantation in middle Georgia -and to one white person-within the course of twelve hours. In India, where the same system prevails, the results have been attrib¬uted to occult influences. It prevails also among the African tribes, and was introduced on the Southern plantations (as far as I can learn) by a negro named Qua, who died in Augusta, Ga., in the thirties at an extreme old age. Qua had a grandson who was nearly grown in 1800. The African name of this grandson was M'Bulu, pronounced M'Booloo, which was corrupted into Baylor. The system of inter¬communication was known among the older negroes as M'Bulu Irruwandu-Iiterally, Baylor's waist-cloth, or breech clout-the means by which a signal, or a series of signals, is given in Africa. But it may be made to mean the song, the holla, or any other method by means of which intelligence is transmitted. This information is as scanty as it is unimportant, but such as it is, it is the result of an investigation covering forty years.


Baylor's Mail

Run, little Brothers, run!
Yo' journey's des begun,
An' many a long mile stretches
Fum settin' ter risin' sun;
An it's whack! ef de patroller ketches,
An' it's whoop when yo' journey's done!
It's fun fer de one dat fetches.
Fer de one dat carries, none!

Oh, run in de bushes, Brothers!
Down de long corn-furrers run!
Run in de heat what smothers,
In de Frost what grips you, mon!

It's Way-o! fer de hills what beckon,
Wy-o! fer de low-groun's wide!
You er movin' now, I reckon,
When you rock fum side ter side!

Run, little Brothers, run!
'Twix' settin' an' risin' Sun;
Watch out fer dem what foller
Wid track-dogs an' wid gun;
Break thoo de swampy holler-
Yo' journey will soon be done!-
Pas' de place whar de wil' -hogs waller-
De race is mighty nigh won!

An' it's out whar de hills is rollin',
Whar de Road an' de Runner is one-
De time is come fer polin'-
Run, little Brothers, run!

Across de fur-Iyin' stretches
What hol' de breff er de Sun;
It's meat fer de man what fetches,
Fer de man what carries, none!

Run, little Brothers, run!
Time passes might'ly, mon;
No time fer cabin tattle
When de Wayan' de Wisher is one;
No time fer ter count de cattle,
Er ter see ef dey brindle er dun;
Des make de bushes rattle
When you break fum trot ter run!

No dodgin' de water what splashes-
It's a part er de frolic an' fun
When you skip thoo de slues an' slashes-
Run, little Brothers, run!

You'll wade de shoalin' river,
Kaze de road is de place ter shun,
An' you'll hear de squinch-owl shiver,
An' de bull-frog say, "Done-done!"

You'll hear de tied dog howlin'
Kaze he wanter warm by de Sun,
An' you'll see Mr. Weasel prowlin',
A-huntin' fer de wood-rat's run:
You'll see de tad-pole ketchers
A-passin' one by one-
But, toters all, an' fetchers,
Dey ain't much time fer fun!

Run, little Brothers, run!
Fer now is de time er none,
An' de san' is needin' siftin'
By de feet er yo' daddy's son!

An' de Milky-way is shiftin'
Ter whar it kin see de Sun,
An' de night is sholy liftin'-
Run, little Brothers, run!

De east is showin' yellow,
An' de stars go one by one;
But de hills will take yo' Hello
Whar de mornin' streamers is spun,
An' make it saft an' mellow
(Run, little Brothers. run!)
Time it gits ter de yuther fellow,
An' den yo' journey's done!






Revival hymn

Oh, whar shill we go w'en de great day comes,
Wid de blowin' er de trumpits en de bangin' er de
How many po' sinners'li be kotched out late
En fin' no latch ter de golden gate?
No use fer ter wait twel ter-morrer!
De sun musn't set on yo' sorrer,
Sin's ez sharp ez a bamboo-brier-
Oh, Lord! fete;h de mo'ners up higher!

W'en de nashuns er de earf is a stan'in' all aroun',
Who's a gwineter be choosen fer ter w'ar de glory-

Who's a gwine fer ter stan' stiff-kneed en bol',
En answer to der name at de callin' er de roIl?
You better come now ef you comin'-
Ole Satun is loose en a-bummin'-
De wheels er distruckshun is a-hummin'-
Oh, come 'long, sinner, ef you com in'!

De song er salvashun is a mighty sweet song,
En de Pairidise win' blow fur en blow strong,
En Aberham's bosom, hit's saft en hit's wide,
En right dar's de place whar de sinners oughter hide!
Oh, you nee'nter be a-stop pin' en a-lookin';
Ef you fool wid ole Satun you'll git took in;
You'll hang on de aidge en get shook in,
Ef you keep on a-stoppin' en a-Iookin'.

De time is right now, en dish yer's de place-
Let de sun er salvashun shine squar' in yo' face;

Fight de battles er de Lord, fight soon en fight late,
En you'll allers fin' a latch ter de golden gate.
No use fer ter wait twel ter-morrer,
De sun musn't set on yo' sorrer-
Sin's ez sharp ez a bamboo-brier,
Ax de Lord fer ter fetch you up 'higher!





In the days of slavery, the religious services held by the negroes who accompanied their owners to the camp-meetings were marvels of earnestness and devotion.


Camp-Meeting Song

Oh, de worril is roun' en de worril is wide-
Lord! 'member deze chillun in de mornin'-
Hit's a mighty long ways up de mountain side,
En dey ain't no place fer dem sinners fer ter hide,
En dey ain't no place whar sin kin abide,
W'en de Lord shill come in de mornin'!
Look up en look aroun',
Fling yo' burden on de groun',
Hit's a-gittin' mighty close on ter mornin'!
Smoove away sin's frown¬Retch up en git de crown,
W'at de Lord will fetch in de mornin'!

De han' er ridem'shun, hit's hilt out ter you-
Lord! 'member dem sinners in de mornin'!
Hit's a mighty pashent han', but de days is but
W'en Satun, he'll come a-demandin' un his due,
En de stiff-neck sinners 'll be smotin' all fru-
Oh, you better git ready fer de mornin'!
Look up en set yo' face
Todes de green hills er grace
'Fo' de sun rises up in de mornin'-
Oh, you better change yo' base,
Hit's yo' soul's las' race
Fer de glory dat's a-comin' in de mornin'!

De farmer gits ready w'en de lan's all plowed
Fer ter sow dem seeds in de mornin'-
De sperrit may be puny en de flesh may be proud,

But you better cut loose fum de scoffin' crowd,
En jine dese Christuns w'at's a cryin' out loud
Fer de Lord fer ter come in de mornin'!
Shout loud en shout long,
Let de ekkoes ans'er strong,
W'en de sun rises up in de mornin'!
Oh, you allers will be wrong
Twel you choose ter belong
Ter de Marster w'at's' a-com in' in de mornin'!






Corn-Shucking Song

Oh, de fus news you know de day'll be a-breakin'-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
An' de fier be a-bumin' en' de ash-cake a-bakin',
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
An' de hen'll be a-hollerin' en de boss'll be a-wakin',-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
Better git up, nigger, en give yo'se'f a-shakin'-
(Hi O, Miss Sindy Ann! )

Oh, honey! w'en you see dem ripe stars a-faIlin'-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
Oh, honey! w'en you year de rain-crow a-caIlin'-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)

Oh, honey! w'en you year dat red calf a-bawlin'-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
Den de day time's comin', a-creepin' en a-crawlin'-
(Hi 0, Miss Sindy Ann!)

Fer de los' ell en yard* is a-huntin' fer de mornin',
(Hi O! git 'long! go 'way!)
En she'll ketch up widdus 'fo' we ever git dis corn
(Oh, go 'way, Sindy Ann!)

Oh, honey! w'en you year dat tin horn a-tootin'-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
Oh, honey, w'en you year de squinch owl a-hoot-
(Hey O! HiO! Up'n down de Bango!)
*The sword and belt in the constellation of Orion.

Oh, honey! w'en you year dem little pigs a-root-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
Right den she's a-com in' a-skippin' en a-scootin'-
(Hi 0, Miss Sindy Ann!)

Oh, honey, w'en you year dat roan mule whicker-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
W'en you see Mister Moon turnin' pale en gittin'
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
Den hit's time fer ter handle dat corn a little quicker-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
Ef you wanter git a smell er old Marster's jug er
(Hi O, Miss Sindy Ann!)

Fer de los' ell en yard is a-huntin' fer de mornin'
(Hi O! git 'long! go 'way!)
En she'll ketch up widdus 'fo' we ever git dis corn
(Oh, go 'way, Sindy Ann!)
You niggers 'cross dar! you better stop yo' danc-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
No use fer ter come a-flingin' uv yo' II "sha'n'ts" in-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
No use fer ter come a-flingin' uv yo' "cant's" in-
(Hey O, Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
Kaze dey ain't no time fer yo' pattin' neryo' prancin'!
(Hi O, Miss Sindy Ann!)

Mr. Rabbit see de Fox, en he sass um en jaws um-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)

[illustration -
"Oh, work on, boys! give deze shucks a mighty wringin'-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)"


Mr. Fox ketch de Rabbit, en he scratch um en he
cIaws um-
(Hey O! Hi O! U p'n down de Bango!)
En he tar off de hide en he chaws um en he gnyaws
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
Same like gal chawin' sweet gum en rozzum-
(Hi 0, Miss Sindy Ann!)
Fer de los' ell en yard is a-huntin' fer de mornin'
(Hi O, git 'long! go 'way!)
En she'll ketch up widdus 'fo' we ever git dis corn
(Oh, go 'way, Sindy Ann!)

Oh, work on, boys! give deze shucks a mighty
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)

'Fo' de boss come aroun' a-dangin' en a-dingin'-
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)

Git up en move aroun' ! set dem big han's ter
(Hey O! Hi O! Up'n down de Bango!)
Git up'n shout loud 1 let de w'ite folks year you
singin' !
(Hi O, Miss Sindy Ann!)
Fer de los' ell en yard is a-huntin' fer de mornin'
(Hi O! git 'long! go 'way!)
En she'll ketch up widdus 'fo' we ever git dis corn
(Oh, go 'way, Sindy Ann!)








Christmas Play-Song
(Myrick Place, Putnam County-1858.)

Hi my rinktum! Black gal sweet,
Same like goodies w'at de w'ite folks eat;
Ho my Riley! don't you take'n tell 'er name,
En den ef sumpin' happen you won't ketch de
Hi my rinktum! better take'n hide yo' plum;
Joree do'n't hqller eve'y time he fin' a wum.
Den it's hi my rinktum!
Don't git no udder man;
En it's ho my Riley!
Fetch out Miss Dilsey Ann!

Ho my Riley! Yaller gal fine;
She may be yone but she oughter be mine!
Hi my rinktum! Lemme git by,
En see w'at she mean by de cut er dat eye!
Ho my Riley! better shet dat do'-
De w'ite folks 'Il'b'leeve we er t'arin' up de fio'.
Den it's ho my Riley!
Come a-siftin' up ter me!
En it's hi my rinktum!
Dis de way ter twis' yo' knee!

Hi my rinktum! Ain't de ens' gittin' red?
De squinch owl shiver like he wanter go ter bed;
Ho my Riley! but de gals en de boys,
Des now gittin' so dey kin sorter make a noise.
Hi my rinktum! let de yaller gal 'lone;
Niggers don't hanker arter sody in de pone.

Den it's hi my rinktum!
Better try an udder plan;
An' it's ho my Riley!
Trot out Miss Dilsey Ann!

Ho my Riley! In de happy Christmus time
De niggers shake der cloze a-huntin' fer a dime.
Hi my rinktum! En den dey shake der feet,
En greaze derse'f wid de good ham meat.
Ho my Riley! dey eat en dey cram,
En bimeby ole Miss 'll be a-sendin' out de dram.
Den it's ho my Riley!
You hear dat, Sam!
En it's hi my rinktum!
Be a-sendin' out de dram!



[illustration -
"Brer Rabbit, he butted ez hard ez he could,
An' his head it stuck, let 'im do what he would-"



Plantation Play-Song

Hit's a-gittin' mighty late w'en de Guinny-hins
En you better dance now, ef you gwineter dance
a tall,
Fer by dis time ter-morrer night you can't hardly
Kaze you'll hatter take de hoe ag'in en likewise de
Don't you hear dat bay colt a kickin' in his stall ?
Stop yo' humpin' up yo' sho'lders-
Dat'll never do!

Hop light, ladies,
Oh, Miss Loo!
Hit takes a heap er scrougin'
Fer ter git you thoo-
Hop light, ladies,
Oh, Miss Loo!

Ef you niggers don't watch, you'll sing anudder
Fer de sun'll rise'n ketch you ef you don't be
mighty soon;
En de stars is gittin' paler, en de ole gray coon
Is a-settin' in de grape-vine a-watch in' fer de moon.
W'en a feller comes a-knockin'
Des holler-Oh, shoo!
Hop light, ladies,
Oh, Miss Loa!

Oh, swing dat yaller gal!
Do, boys, do!
Hop light, ladies,
Oh, Miss Loo!

Oh, tu'n me loose! Lemme 'lone! Go 'way, now!
W'at you speck I come a-dancin' fer efl dunno how?
Deze de ve'y kinder footses w'at kicks up a row;
Can't you jum p inter de middle en make yo' gal a bow?
Look at dat merlatter man
A-follerin' up Sue;
Hop light, ladies,
Oh, Miss Loo!
De boys ain't a-gwine
W'en you cry boo hoo-
Hop light, ladies,
Oh, Miss Loo!







If these are adaptations from songs the negroes have caught from the whites their origin is very remote. I have transcribed them literally, and I regard them as in the highest degree characteristic.



1. A Plantation Chant

Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-fo',
Christ done open dat He'v'mly do'-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer;
Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-five,
Christ done made dat dead man aIive-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer.
You ax me ter run home,
Little childun-
Run home, dat sun done roIl-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer.

Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-six,
Christ is got us a place done fix-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer;
Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-sev'm
Christ done sot a table in He'v'm-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer.
You ax me ter run home,
Little childun-
Run home, dat sun done roll-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer.

Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-eight,
Christ done make dat crooked way straight-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer;
Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-nine,
Christ done tu'n dat water inter wine-
An'I don't wanter stay yer no longer.

You ax me ter run home,
Little childun-
Run home, dat sun done roIl-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer.

Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-ten,
Christ is de mo'ner's onliest frien'-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer;
Hit's eighteen hunder'd forty-en-'lev'm,
Christ'll be at de do' w'en we all git ter He'v'm-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer.
You ax me ter run home,
Little childun-
Run home, dat sun done roIl-
An' I don't wanter stay yer no longer.


2. A Plantation Serenade

De ole bee make de honey-comb,
De young bee make de honey,
De niggers make de cotton en co'n,
En de w'ite folks gits de money.

De raccoon he's a cu'us man,
He never walk twel dark,
En nuthin' never 'sturbs his min',
Twel he hear ole Bringer bark.

De raccoon totes a bushy tail,
De 'possum totes no ha'r,
Mr. Rabbit, he come skippin' by,
He ain't got none ter spar'.

Monday mornin' break er day,
W'ite folks got me gwine,
But Sat'd'y night, w'en de sun goes down,
Dat yaller gal's in my mine.

Fifteen poun' er meat a week,
W'isky fer ter sell,
Oh, how can a young man stay at home,
Dem gals dey look so well?

Met a 'possum in de road-
Brer 'Possum, whar you gwine?
I thank my stars, I bless my life,
I'm a-huntin' fer de muscadine.





De Big Bethel chu'ch! de Big Bethel chu'ch!
Done put ole Satun behin' um;
Ef a sinner git loose fum enny udder chu'ch,
De Big Bethel chu'ch will fin' um!

Hit's good ter be dere, en its sweet ter be dere,
Wid de sisterin all aroun' you-
A-shakin' dem shackles er mussy en love
Wharwid de Lord is boun' you.

Hit's sweet ter be dere en lissen ter de hymes,
En hear dem mo'ners a-shoutin'-

Dey done reach de place whar del' ain't no room
Fer enny mo' weepin' en doubtin'.

Hit's good tel' be dere w'en de sinners all jine
Wid de brudderin in dere singin',
En it look like Gaber! gwine tel' rack up en blow
En set dem heav'm bells ter ringin' !

Oh, de Big Bethel chu'ch! de Big Bethel chu'ch,
Done put ole Satun behin' um;
Ef a sinner git loose fum enny udder chu'ch
De Big Bethel chu'ch will fin' urn!





Time Goes by Turns

Dar's a pow'ful rassle 'twix de Good en de Bad,
En de Bad's got de all-under holt;
En w'en de wuss come, she come i'on-clad,
En you hatter hole yo' bref fer de jolt.

But des todes de las' Good gits de knee-lock,
En dey draps ter de groun' ker flop!
Good had de inturn, en he stan' like a'rock,
En he' bleedzd fer ter be on top

De dry wedder breaks wid a big thunder-clap,
Fer dey ain't no drout' w'at kin las',

But de seasons w'at whoops up de cotton crap,
Likewise dey freshens up de grass.

De rain fall so saf' in de long dark night,
Twel you hatter hol' yo' han' fer a sign,
But de drizzle w'at sets de tater-slips right
Is de makin' er de May-pop vine.

In de mellerest groun' de clay root'll ketch
En hole ter de to'ngue er de plow,
En a pine-pole gate at de gyardin-patch
Never'll keep out de ole brindle cow.

One en all on us knows who's a-pullin' at de bits
Like de lead-mule dat guides by de rein,
En yit, somehow er nudder, de bestest un us gits
Mighty sick er de tuggin' at de chain .

[illustration -
"Dar's a pow'ful rassle 'twix de Good en de Bad,
En de Bad's got de all-under holt."


Hump yo'se'f ter de load en fergit de distress,
En dem w'at stan's by ter scoff,
Fer de harder de pullin', de longer de res',
En de bigger de feed in de troff.






A howdy Song


Ef I could coax dat baby
Fer ter git upon my knee
I'd up an' sing my howdy song,
I'd sing it loud an' free:
I'm gittin' ol' an' po'ly,
But I ain't fergit de song,
Kaze I use ter shake de rafters
When de nights wuz gittin' long:
He'd do a sight er laughin'
An' den he'd kinder smile,
But 'fa' you counted twenty,
He'd be sleepin' by de mile!

I know I use ter sing it
Ter one little boy I know'd,
An' I seem ter see him comin'
When I look 'way down de road!
I'd take 'im an' I'd rock 'im
Twel his eyeleds settled down,
An' he'd soon be gwine off yander
On de stage ter Sleepy Town!
An' de dreams would be a-blowin'
Thoo his little curly head,
An' he'd try ter pull at de kivver
Des like he gone ter bed!

The Ssong

It's howdy, honey, when you laugh,
An' howdy, when you cry,

An' all-day long its howdy-
I never shill say good-bye!

I'm monst'us peart myse'f, suh,
An' hopin' de same fer you,
An' when I ketch my breff, suh,
I'll ax you howdy-do!

It's howdy, honey, when you sleep,
It's howdy, when you cry;
Keep up, keep up de howdyin'
Don't never say good-bye!

I'm middlin' well myse'f, suh,
Which de same I hope fer you;
Ef you'll Ie' me ketch my breff, suh,
I'll ax you howdy-do!


So Long!

I'm one er de wildest dreamers
Dat ever lookt up at de blue-
I dreams twel I has de tremers-
An' ef some er deze dreams comes true,
You kin 'pen' on yo' Uncle Remus
It'll be mighty nice fer you:
I'm one er de wust ol' schemers
Dat y' ever is patch a shoe,
An' ef seemin' is so ter de seemers,
I'll hunch you howdy-do!