African American Poetry (1870-1927): A Digital Anthology

Langston Hughes, "Song for a Banjo Dance" (1922)

Shake your brown feet, honey,
Shake your brown feet, chile,
Shake your brown feet, honey,
Shake 'em swift and wil'
   Get way back, honey,
   Do that low-down step.
   Walk on over, darling,
      Now! Come out
      With your left.
Shake your brown feet, honey,
Shake 'em, honey chile.

Sun's going down this evening--
Might never rise no mo'.
The sun's going down this very night
Might never rise no mo'--
So dance with swift feet, honey,
   (The banjo's sobbing low)
Dance with swift feet, honey--
   Might never dance no mo'.

Shake your brown feet, Liza,
Shake 'em, Liza, chile,
Shake your brown feet, Liza,
   (The music's soft and wil')
Shake your brown feet, Liza,
   (The banjo's sobbing low)
The sun's going down this very night
Might never rise no mo'.

Published in The Crisis, October 1922
Also published in The Weary Blues, 1925

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