African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Walter E. Seward, "Negroes Call to the Colors and Soldiers Camp-Life" (1919)

Negroes Call to the Colors and Soldiers Camp-life


Published, 1919, by
J.H. Pinckney, Manager.
Athens, Ga.

All rights reserved.



This book was written by an ex-soldier who served several months in the camp, after our country was forced into the great world's war. The  rmy poems, a soldier can readily see were, written from actual observation, gleaned from time to time in the every day walks of military life. Many of us will ever remember the days spent in the army, while others of us will let the many little things said and done there pass as only a dream. The object of this camp-life poetry is to make the days spent in the camps for this great government of ours an everlasting relic of memory. You will find also in this little publication other poems aimed at the high patriotism of the colored people which they have shown in other wars of the country, especially so though in this its last conflict, where the Negro's patriotism was shown clearer than ever before in the entire history of his existence in America.

They were compelled along with others to lay aside the luxuries and necessities of life to help win the war from the imposing nations on the other side. This they did unhesitatingly and willingly. In the Liberty Loan drives there were found no slackers among us. They rallied to the Red Cross work tirelessly, and in the War Savings Stamp campaign they readily helped to put it over successfully. While those in civilian life rallied to the many auxiliaries of the war, their many sons, brothers, husbands and kindreds rallied joyously to the colors and followed the deadly paths of war to a decided victory.

The object of making a showing for the black man in poetry is because poetry and music go hand in hand. Music is always welcome to come into our weary hearts and bring us cheer. The army poetry changes the frown of yesterday to a smile of today, and also instills in the soldier the fact that the army was a place of many laughable events.

Boys keep the same old army count as you walk again thru the streets of civilian life and wind your way to a point prominent so that the people who suffered and did so much for you can see and rejoice over the effects of your good works. Boys keep in touch with the old regulations, don't lose that sanitary training as you leave the service. All these little things are inclined to make you better men both mentally and physically. Be a soldier just the same, although you have your honorable discharges from the service. Deport yourselves manly and stand firm for the right and freedom.

This war has given the black man a chance, it has opened the door to American privileges and rights that have so long been barred—but  without manly deportment and legal contentions this great war in which we sacrificed tịme, money and lives will mean nothing. I say boys, step off, pick np the step, step off from those things that have in the past stood on every progressive corner to retard our progress and márch valiantly on to 'those good places in life, that now awaït you.

We have now made an impression on every nation that inbabits the globe as fighters. The Spaniard's found that we were not the trifle that they, no doubt, heard we were, but the kind of soldier instead that would gladly give their lives for their country. The Germans had us estimated as inferior specimens of American soldiers, but before that bloody conflict was over they offered attractive shrines for capture of just one of us. They often asked, “Who are those fellows and where are, their land of nativity?” I want to cheer you who, thru the power of God, came thru unharmed and mourn over the unfortunate who fell fighting for our rights as American citizens. Allow me to insist upon you to glide along the road of success. Let us make as progressive a run as we have in the past fifty years.

Truly yours,


A Soldier's Dream

Last night I was a sleeping
   On my little army bunk,
And I went right off to dreaming
   Of that old civilian junk.
I dreamed that I was leaving here
   And going to my home,
Again across the meadows
   And the cotton fields to roam.

I went into a dancing hall,
   And there was spread a feast;
I thought I wore a swell dress suit
   That had a dandy crease.
And all the girls were lively,
   And were pulling over me,
Just like I was a major
   There invited out to tea.

Give me just a little time
   To sit down here and rest,
And with my line of army stuff
   I'll entertain the guest.
Then they started with the music,
And 'twas sounding sweet, you see;
I'woke, and 'twas the bugler,
Just a blowing “revillee”.

My Orders Are

Take charge of this post
   Is what I am to do,
And all the government property
   That lies within my view.

To walk this post in a military manner,
   And soldierly appearing,
Observing everything that takes place
   Within my sight or hearing.

Report all violations of orders
   I'm instructed to enforce,
Regardless who 'tis violates
   While I'm walking on my post.

To repeat all calls more distant
   From the guard house than my own;
If I am 7 and 6 calls out,
   I leave that call alone.

If you are kinder sick and worried,
   No matter how you're grieved,
You quit your post only
   When you're properly relieved.

Receive, obey and pass on,
   To the sentinel who relieves me,
All orders from my official guard;
   This I'll do, believe me.

For fear someone will get too close,
   And rob me of my booty;
That's why I talk to no one,
   Except in line of duty.

In case of fire or disorder,
   Or anything that's harm,
The 8" gen'l order tells you,
   Be sure and give alarm.

Allow no one to commit a nuisance---
   A hostess or a host;
Especially if this nuisance
   Is on or near my post.

In any case not covered by instructions,
   It may seem kinder hard;
But this thing you have got to do,
   Call the Corporal of the Guard.

Salute all officers and colors
   That you meet face to face;
Also salute the standards,
   And these three are not cased.

Be specially watchful at night
   And let nobody by;
And during the time of challenge,
   Challenge all that do come nigh,

And not to let any one go by
   Without authority to pass;
And this I guess is all the twelve,
   And also is the last.

When You were a Sargeant

Say Joe, do you remember,
In that dear old soldiers' camp,
When everything was damp,
You yelled, double time, you scamp!?
You were the sargeant, and you knew
I had to then get out;
But my time is coming, don't you doubt.
You wore the three stripes on your coat,
And that put hell in you;
You always tried to get my goat;
You surely put me thru.

When you were a sergeant--
A big burley sergeant,
And then the rear rank was mine,
And I never will forget it,
I walked off the pivot
And you made "double time”.
But you went to town, Joe,
When you ought not have had to;
And you see they knocked you down.
Now I am the sergeant-
The big burley sergeant,
So you stand in the ranks and frown. .

Bound to Give Them Hell

Save the food and stop the wastage
   While our country is like it is,
And we'll show you just how quickly
   We will jam the Germans' biz.
This is our determination,
   “Lick 'em all and lick 'em well."
In other words, in plain old english,
   We intend “to give them hell.”

We will take our gun and bayonet,
   And we'll do the stunt, you bet,
When we've sailed across the ocean
   To the land of Lafayette.
Aint no stopping 'till we've finished,
   When the job is done we'll yell;
And the Germans must acknowledge
   The Americans are hell.

Are we glad to go? Why, yes sir!
   All the millions say, I AM;
For to keep Old Glory waving,
   And to fight for Uncle Sam.
Now the conflict all is over,
   No more thunder from the shell;
You can bet your boots the Sammies
   Surely gave the Germans hell.


There are beans to eat for supper,
   There are beans to eat at noon;
There are beans for you to eat for breakfast,
   As the bugle pipes away so soon.
There are beans without the soupy soup,
   There are beans with soupy soup too.
There are beans for you to eat for luncheon.
   That's the menu prepared for you.

S. O. L.

When you just can't find your blanket,
  And you raise a lot of sand, --
Talking 'bout some one has stole 'em,
   And you cannot find the man!
You had better find it brother,
   If you don't I'm here to tell
You, yourself, is sho' done bought it;
   In other words, you are S. O. L.

When you want to see your lady,
   And she is living out of town,
And the officer gets stubborn,
   Just wont pass to passes around.
If you go without permission,
   In the M. P.'s arms you have fell;
And when they all do get thru with you,
   You'll admit you're S. O. L.

S.O.L. is just the meaning
   Of a “soldier out of luck;"
And whenever you hit it brother,
   Aint no use then for to buck.
Bucking is the thing that allus
   Gets you into a lot of h--l;
And whenever you do recover,
   You will say I. S. O. L.

Blanket Time

Weather's looking kinder funny,
   Aint exactly suiting me;
Things begin to favor autumn,
   Then the winter comes you see.
I honest the question,
   Mornings now just make me sore;
And I need another blanket,
   One, at least, or maybe more.

Soon you'll see Jack Frost a shining
   In his coat of brilliant white;
You can see him in the morning
   Where he stayed and spent the night.
Then you hear the wind a blowing,
   Moaning aroun' the house you know;
Then I've got to get some blankets,
   Three, at least, or probably more.

When you wake up in the morning,
   And the place is white with snow,
I just ease back under
   And wont look out anymore.
And I'm going to ask the captain
   What he means for me to do;
If he's got a few spare blankets,
   Will he let me have a few. 

Am I a Soldier

Am I a soldier in this war,
   A follower of the band?
And shall I fail to "double time"
   Or blush at a command?

Must I be carried o'er to France,
   On ships that sail the seas;
While other soldiers stay.right here
  And get these army peas?

Are there no Huns for me to face?
   Must I not do my best?
Is this great war a soldier's friend,
   Are we the Germans guest?

Sure I must fight if I would reign,
   Increase my courage, Lord;
Increase the 'mount of army beans,
   And I will wield the sword.

Gwine A. W. O. L.

Daihs sumpt'n kinder funny,
   Er it's jess hard luck, I 'spose;
How eber I'se gwine to tell you
   Jess zackly how it goes.
Ebry time I hab er date
   Ter see my gal in town,
Daihs allus sumpt'n happens
   Dat da gotta turn me down.

I had er date fer Chuesday,
   An' I went an' shined my shoes
An' pressed my suit up decent,
   Den de Sargun broke de news.
Dat man jess simply shoked me,
   'Twus jess es slick es lard;
De gal I lub, he lubs her too,
   He put me on the guard.
I nebber kin git off ter town,
   l'se allus gotta wait
Until the nex' time, den you see
   I'se busted up my date.
Now, I'se dun decided,
   But ob cose you needn't tell;
I'se gwine ter town nex' Saddy,
   Er l'se gwine A. W.O. L.

Sleeping out of Doors

Now what next is coming?
   I sure would like to know;
There're more things now to happen
   That've never been before.
That Spanish Influenza
   Has got us by the nose,
Its got the camp all quarantined,
   And we've got to sleep out doors.
And too, the nights are chilly,
   In fact, they're really cold;
And its bound to get some harder
   As the fall-time grows more old.
So we've simply got to stand it,
   How long, nobody knows,
But they've got the camp all quarantined,
   And we've got to sleep out doors.
So get your bunk and blankets,
   And on your bed of hay,
You do your best for comfort
   And try to snooze 'till day.
And you get up in the morning
   With the frost upon your nose,
Since they've got the camp all quarantined
   And we've got to sleep out doors.

Write a Letter Home

When you've wandered far away,
And you've seen a many a day,
Your heart was simply broken, yes, gone.
But you must then be cheery,
And you make your sad heart merry, 
If you'll stop a bit and write a letter home.

You may never wear the khaki pants,
In the furrowed fields of France,
O'er the trenches, o'er No Man's Land to roam.
You would be a happier man,
Take your pencil in your hand,
And sit down a bit and write a letter home.

The ones at home, of course,
They would enjoy the most,
To find out what had really been your doom.
Write them how you are getting on,
That you are well and strong.
Yes, sit down a bit and write a letter home!

You Sure Done Drop Your Candy

You pressed the other countries
   With your mean and dirty tricks;
And you just kept on meddling
   Till you got into a fix. 
You thought your little submarines
   Were simply something dandy,
But when you stirred up Uncle Sam,
   Right then you dropped your candy.

You sunk our ships and lost some lives,
   I hate to tell the story;
You knew they sailed with our flag,
   You didn't regard Old Glory.
And we are going to make you wish
  That you had never wronged us,
Although the miles are three thousand,
   And the ocean rolls between us.

We are going to make you wish, Bill,
   That you had let us be;
But then you couldn't have imagined
   How we could cross the sea.
Depending on your submarines,
   For they you thought were dandy;
But when you stirred up Uncle Sam,
   You simply dropped your candy.


Raisin pie, raisin pie,
   And sweet potatoes too;
O'er the weary drilling field
   I'll hike it back to you.
Army beans, cabbage greens,
   I know you're waiting there;
I'll sho go to France
   And make Germans dance,
Of this beautiful bill of fare.

Walking Post

When the days are wet and rainy,
   And the nights are dark and cold,
And you're wishing that for drafting
   You had been a year too old.
Then the wind gets cold and colder
   Than an iceberg off the coast,
And you've got to go on duty
   And get busy walking posts.

That's a jolter then I tell you,
   But, of course, you've got to go;
Get your mess-kit and your blankets,
   Get the count, one-two-three-four,
And beat it to your place of duty
   Feeling mighty blue, of course,
'Cause the night is dark and dreary;
   But you've got to walk your post.

About Face and Go

When you are feeling kinder jolly,
  And you want a pass to town,
And you go on to the captain,
   And he looks us with a frown.
Do you know general orders,
   And you stand and stutter so;
Aint time to stand and stutter,
   Do an “about face", then go.

When you learn the general orders,
   And you try him then again,
Just so sure you're going to get it
   Till you can't help but grin;
Then he hollers, “show your mess-kit”,
   And its dirty, that you know;
Aint no need to try to argue,
   “Salute, about face" and then you go.

Take the mess-kit then and scrub it,
   Till it shines just like the moon;
Clean your knife and cup up decent,
   Also scrub your folk and spoon;
Then again you go and try him.
   Rifle dirty!, yes, for sure;
Get some oil and rod and beat it,
   Just salute, "about face and go".

Standin' Tenshun

Stop dat wigglin' in de line,
   De sargun yelled ter day;
Hed an' eyes strait to de frunt,
   An' stan' strait up, I say.
An' er hole lot mo dat srgun sed,
   Dat here l' se not gwi mentun.
Put yer hands down ter yer sides,
   Dis company's “standin' tenshun".

Raise yer chess jess slitely up,
   Pull in yer chin er little;
Don't you see yer stummuck, man,
   Sticks out daih lack er kittle?
Git yer heels tergether, too,
   In er angle lack persishun;
Yer toes et forty-five digrees,
   And den you “standin' tenshun”.

Army Shoes

Lives of great men all remind us,
   We make life what we choose;
And departing leave behind us,
   Foot prints made by army shoes.

Foot prints that perhaps some other
   Made this war to gain;
A hike-worn or a dreary soldier
   Seeing, may brace up again.

Let us then be up and doing,
   With our never tiring might;
Always hiking, never piking,
   Learn to labor and to fight.

Army Beans

Army beans, my loving army beans,
Every day I'll hike, you see,
If my army beans are waiting for me.
Yes, you have won your fame
In the mess-kit game.
You may take 'way all macaroni and tea,
But army beans are sufficient for me.
Just like the bright moon beams,
So shines my loving army beans.

Double Time

When you wont do “squads right” snappy,
And you're just a dragging around,
You just wont stay on the pivot,
And you wear a sulky frown.
I'm going to tell you what's a coming,
Right here in this little rhyme;
The captain sure is going to call you,
And make you "double time”.
When "right front in line" is given,
And the back squads right oblique,
Then you move across as lazy
As if you'd been off on a hike.
Brace up now and make it snappy,
As I tell you in this little rhyme,
If you don't they sure will get you,
And they'll make you “double time".

When You are Marked "Quarters"

When you get a cinch and know it,
On the fellows in the line,
And you sit around and blow it,
While the others double time.
Why don't you come out?, they ask you,
Then you look up with a frown,
And you say, they've marked me quarters,
And I'm just a “hanging 'round".
You feel so bad you can't do drilling,
While the company is on the spot;
But when they all get out and busy,
Then you are bound to leave your cot.
And if some one does'nt get to you,
You will beat it off to town.
Yet you claim they've marked you quarters,
And you're just a “hanging 'round".

The Army Blues

When those army blues come get you,
When you are feeling on the bum;
All the Non-coms in behind you,
And they have you going some.
Then's the time to spur up, comrade,
Excuses then aint worth a dime;
Simply grin and you endure it,
Some day there'll come a time.
When you were a kid, remember
How the old folks used to say,
Every man must have his sorrows,
Every dog must have his day.
So if today is the other fellow's
Listen to this little rhyme,
Tomorrow he may then be busted,
Yes, some day there'll come a time.

My Mess-kit 'Tis of Thee

My mess-kit 'tis of thee,
Little pan how I love thee;
   For thee I pine.
I hunt thee night and noon,
After reveille's solemn tune;
   It's thee I find.

I take thee like a man,
And scrub thee in the sand,
   To keep thee bright.
My knife and folk and spoon
Shine like the silvery moon;
The whole outfit alone,
   My dreams at night.

My mess-kit seems to know
Whenever the whistle blows;
   I'll fill it full
With scrambled eggs and ham,
Ice tea, pork and jam;
All treats from Uncle Sam,
   And that's no sham.

Done Met Pay Day

l'se jess es happy es kin be,
And yer don't know what about;
Jess lisun, I'll tell yer,
Er watch en you'll find out.
So open ranks en tenshun,
And quit yer hanging 'round,
Case I done met a pay day
And Ise gwine ter go ter town.

I knose my gal's er waiting,
And town is jess twelve miles;
And when she finds deys paid me,
She's bound ter be all smiles. -
I'll go down an' ring. 'er number,
En say, hunny, less us go,
Case Uncle Sam done paid me,
Bleve me, I got der doah!

Ise gwine ter leave on Friday,
En I'll be back Monday morn;
You kin bleve me when I tell yer,
Dat I'm bound to put it on.
I know mer wife en chillun
Is waiting home fer me;
En ef my fair brown breaks me,
Whut will become ov me.

Phaw! I'll tell mer wife en chillun,
As Ise often done before,
Dat Uncle Sam jess wont pay off,
Did I'd sen' yer sum, yer know.
So open ranks en tenshun,
En quit yer hanging 'round,
Case Ise done made er pay day
En Ise gwine ter go ter town.

Standing Reveille

When you are feeling kinder worried
When you wake up in the morn,
And you rub your eyes and gap, sir,
And you just aint worth a darn;
Then you turn and spread your blankets
In a careless way you see;
And you beat it to the company
For to stand the Reveille.

And you stand there and you listen
While the sergeant calls the roll,
And you stretch and say, Oh, Lordy,
Please have mercy on' my soul!
'Cause there's one thing in the army
That seems to get the best of me;
That's to leave my bunk so early
For to stand the Reveille.

After that you then get brighter,
Then you seem to just get 'woke,
When the whistle blows for breakfast
For to get your jam and pork.
Then you see a shine a strutting,
Man, you ought to look at me;
Wide awake to get my breakfast,
Nearly slept at Reveille.

The Soldier's Song

This song is always ringing,
You can hear it everywhere;
Every moment of the day
It's a ringing in the air.
Its left, right, three, four,
And dress your squad a mite;
Its close up, keep step,
Because the guide is right.

When you wake up in the morning,
And we jump right into our clothes,
And just time we eat our breakfast,
Then away that music goes.
Its left, right, three, four,
And dress your squad a mite;
Its close up, keep step,
Because the guide is right.

Quiet the Orient

Coarse the shots were fast falling
In the the region Over There;
The Germans' efforts was not worth a cent,
For the Stars and Stripes were calling;
And the soldiers they declare,
They sure would quiet down the Orient.

All the airships that were sailing,
And their sneaking submarines,
Soon could no more make the Germans feel content,
When our shots commenced to hailing,
Like the Germans had never seen;
When they went to quiet down the Orient.

When they got them driven
Cross the waters of the Rhine,
For their many haughty deeds they did repent,
And to us the honors given;
And the armistice they did sign,
When the Sammies quieted down the Orient.

A Letter to His Girl

My dearest little Mary,
I write you just to say,
That I am here and doing well,
And how are you today?

The only thing that worries me,
My darling Mary Jane,
I think that when I'm gone you see,
You stroll down lover's lane.

With some other sparkling chap you see,
While I am here in camp
Where bugles sound all thru the day,
And soldiers always tramp.

You asked me how I like it
Up here, and I must tell;
I fell out hiking yesterday,
But now I am doing well.

Oh! its nice here in the army,
And the country you can roam;
But don't forget, the song says,
There is no place like home.

I dreamed about you last night,
And I'm going to see you soon;
And if the dream is coming true,
We'll take a honey moon.

I guess now I will close, dear,
With nothing more to say;
Keep this letter 'cause its from
Your own kid, Johnny Day.

I said I was a coming soon
To see you, don't you know;
That's if the captain doesn't get mean
And just wont let me go.

It was a warm day in August when the boys “fell out” after a tiresome day's work which consisted of Double Timing and Hiking. While they were resting quietly someone in the bunch suggested that they have a little game, commonly known in the army as "skin". The arrangements were made by putting two cots together, purchasing a deck of Hoyl's Special and appointing a watchman to keep off all comers, in fact to speedily notify the bunch when he sees any trouble near.

Everything being ready the watchman was put on his post of duty, after being paid in advance for his work. The sun was declining fastly, and the balın of a summer breeze put him in a little while fast asleep. While he was sleeping calmly, no doubt, dreaming of a pass to town or the mess call, the sergeant passed right by him and rushed in on the bunch and caught them, skinning: “Caught? yes caught, but jist lemme git mer hans on dat watchiun”, said one of the bunch. The writer was lying on a cot near the scene and had watched the whole thing from the beginning, therefore he writes this little poem for the boys as he sees that there's trouble in the camp.

There's Trouble in the Camp

I heard a mighty. racket,
And the guards, they hollowed, halt!
And I heard the watchman pleading,
Boys, it sho was not my fault.
So I investigated,
Midst the sound of frightened tramp;
The sergeant caught them skinning
And there's trouble in the camp.

I heard them say the watchman
Needed plugging on the nob,
'Cause they paid him cuts for watching
And he slept right on the job.
As the watchman was explaining,
His eyes shined like a lamp,
For the sergeant then had caught them
And there's trouble in the camp.

You had better halt, I tell you,
There is no need for to run,
For the guards are waiting outside
With a bayonet on their guns,
And they sure are bound to stop you;
You are as guilty as a tramp;
And they is done caught you
And there's trouble in the camp.

Dodging 'Round

Some are soldierly a drilling
When the weather is mighty hot,
Some are off and doing detail,
Some are guarding around the lot.
And you see some in the kitchen,
Some on passes over town;
Yet there are some but you can't find them,
They are somewhere dodging 'round.

You may look into the barracks, ,
Not a soul there to be seen;
And you think that you can find them
Somewhere down in the latrine.
You may go and look and listen,
You neither see nor hear a sound;
As I tell you, you can't find them,
They are somewhere dodging 'round.

When the work is all completed,
And the boys “fall out" to rest,
Tired from working all the morning,
And they wait their call to mess.
Then these fellows all are present,
Dinners quickly swallowed down;
But when the sergeant blows the whistle
They get busy dodging 'round.

Pushing in the Mess Formation

Today when mess-call was sounded,
A burly man pushed in the door;
The Mess Sergeant yelled at him loudly,
“I have told you 'bout pushing before."
You know when you came to the army
You looked awful thin, slim and tough;
But now you are fat and you are saucy,
But you sure have got to cut out that stuff.
If you don't like your new Mess Sergeant,

Just because he put you way behind;
While the other soldiers passed,
He made you be the last
All because you pushed in the line.
If you don't like your cheese and macaroni,
If you kick on your peas and taters too,
You mustn't act like a young Texas pony,
Don't kick the man that's feeding you.


The Negro's Fighting Spirit

You can talk about the Negroes,
And about how they will fight;
How they left this shore a singing
There will be a hot time there tonight.
I must say that was a trifle
To this grand and noble chance,
For they didn't fight in Cuba
Like they fought in far off France.

Course they helped to beat the Spaniards,
And they did their duty well;
They made them think as Sherman said,
That war was simply hell.
They broke in at the block house,
And they simply made them dance;
Yet they didn't fight in Cuba
Like they fought in far off France.

A many a life lost, of course,
There at San Juan Hill;
And was that fighting spirit lost,
No, they have that spirit still.
And so they are glad to tell you
That they are glad they had the chance;
For they didn't fight in Cuba
Like they fought in far off France.

Bringing Home the Bacon

When war stretched its cruel hand
And grasped every nation,
And gnashed its teeth so angrily
In four long years' duration.

How long this cruel war would last
Before peace would overtake them;
If they had not brought this country in,
Who went and brought the bacon.

The call for men did loudly sound,
To the colors they did hurry;
And did the black man hear the call,
Ah! yes, and don't you worry.

They went with hearts of hope to win,
Regardless what it cost them;
Rallied along with hearts that were strong,
And helped bring home the bacon.

Many a one was taken there
As captive or as slave;
Those little mounds do indicate
That these are heroes' graves.

None were braver at the front
In this great war's duration,
For they rallied along with hearts that were strong,
And helped bring home the bacon.

The Loved Ones Over There
The tears will come and settle
In your ever longing eyes;
The mocking bird's sweet notes are in the air,
And the Spring says don't you worry.
But you just can't help but sigh,
When you're thinking of your loved ones Over There. 

Course its nice to have a soldier
In that conflict there to fight,
And to represent this country everywhere.
But there are times there comes a yearning
That abandons all delight,
When you're thinking of your loved ones Over There.

Now continue watch and wait 
As you have in days that are gone;
When you will be rid of your care.
'Cause they have beaten the Hun,
And they are homeward bound;
And your loved ones coming home from Over There.

The Negro No Slacker

The French and German people,
And other nations too,
They had some mighty battles
That four years did endure.
And all the time of fighting,
'Tis all without a doubt,
The Germans were a winning,
And the others losing out.

Men and women suffered
For assistance, and they cried;
And then this country spoke aloud.
And many little babies,
Although helpless, there have died.
America's ships were sailing there
As they always did, with ease,
Because American people knew
They would go wherever they please.

But there came a large torpedo,
And struck this vessel's shell,
And after all that could be done,
It to the bottom fell.
Its awful sad to think about it,
How they their pleasures gave;
So innocently at the Germans hand,
They filled a watery, grave.

We are full now to the brim;
And the people also said,
We are with you Uncle Sam.
And so they went across the sea
To do their very best;
The Black and White were anxious
For to give the Huns a test.

And this test they could not stand,
It was too great a force;
They often thought the Negro was
A natural fighting ghost.
They said whenever they gassed them
They would just get black and blacker;
So you can judge here for yourself
The Negro was no slacker.

Who's Who?

The Germans had a high ambition
Once, to rule the universe;
And for four years were progressing
In their mean and haughty course.
And they sailed the air to conquer
Anything that they could find;
And they sneaked into the water,
There they planted deadly mines.

And they thought that soon the world would
Bow to them at their command;
They would reign supreme on water,
In the air, also on land.
But this idea was diminished
When our boys came marching thru,
For they abolished their intentions,
And showed them Who was Who.

The Negro hearing the call
Rushed to help in the fight;
And he had his weary days there,
Also many a sleepless night.
And that heart of theirs so gallant,
Gave them courage to endure.
Gave them grit to cross the water,
And helped to show them Who was Who.

Bravely on the ships they landed,
And across they bravely went;
Bravely to the front they hurried,
In that blazing Orient.
And they proved to be good soldiers,
Just, loyal, brave and true;
They were right with the colors,
Helping to show them Who was Who.

Real Democracy

In France the shell-shocked country,
Across the rolling waters,
Three thousand miles away,
Our boys sailed with Old Glory
To fight for the U. S. A.
And to give Old Glory honor
On land and on the sea.
Fought for a land where a man's a man,
And real democracy.

To us they gave the praises,
The allied force gave thanks;
And Ah! the colored soldiers,
They fought there for the Yanks.
In France the shell-shocked country,
There death bugs always blundered;
And fumes of poison gas did float,
And large artillery thundered.

But all the efforts that were made
To beat us in the fight,
And take from us our equal share
Of freedom and of right,
Were not enough to stop our boys.
The Negro, there was he,
He fought for a land where a man's man,
And real democracy.

Right There On The Job

The Negro from the very first,
Was there among the rest;
When signs were nailed up, Liberty Loans,
They, as usual, did their best.
They went and bought as others did,
They dug down in their fob;
Whenever they called the Negro,
He was right there on the job.

All the while their boys were going,
Right steady to the camps;
And this did not complete the job,
They bought war savings stamps.
And so I write them on a page
Like this forget-me-not;
For whenever they called the Negro,
He was right there on the spot.

And every draft that left the place,
The Red Cross they would knit,
Some sweaters and some little bags,
They called them comfort kits.
They never have been left behind,
On their record there is no blot;
For whenever they called the Negro,
He was right there on the spot.

Since Ephun Went Away

My heart is full uv sarrer,
En um feelin on der bum,
Case I'se seen dat life wuz trubble,
An mer rainy day is cum.
I didn't think I'd worry,
Befo dat partin day,
But things aroun here look gloomy
Since my Ephun went er way.

I tell yer now I miss dat boy,
Yet he jes had ter leave,
Ter help ter win dis cruel war,
En make dem Huns behave.
I say now dat um awful glad
Ter have er son so brave,
Ter sail ercross der water dere,
Democracy to save.

I miss him en er thousan ways,
Dat boy uv mine, I say;
Whut used ter slip off frum der fiel,
En hustle off to play.
I used ter take him dere ter work,
We wuz er happy pair;
But Uncle Sam he sent for him,
En took him Over Dere.

Now I'm left ter only pray
Der Lord ter gide his feet;
En ef he dies 'fore he returns,
I pray his soul to keep
I hope ter meet him ergin
Sum whar en sum ol day;
For things aroun here look gloomy
Since my Ephun went erway.

Who Went Over The Top?

Course our color is some darker
Than some other races' are,
And our hair is also lacking,
But our hearts were in this war.
Its not the color that did winning
'Fore this war was forced to stop,
And it was not curly hair
That only went over the top.

Bullets have no special people,
No one specially they hate;
And the Germans large artillery
Sure did not discriminate.
When they sent the bullets whizzing
At the Khaki everywhere,
Colored boys they wore khaki,
And they stopped bullets Over There.

When the stiffling gas was raging,
And things were hot in the land,
It didn't inspect any hair or color,
It did not have any special man.
When the air birds were a Aying,
Here and there a death bug dropped,
In face of all these deadly dangers
Black with white went over the top.

Lead, Oh, Kindly Lead!

I can hike it over Gordon
With that military grace,
That will make a lazy soldier
Get ashamed and turn his face.
If you lead, Oh, kindly lead me!
When my hike is to an end,
To another little formation
Where with mess-kits they fall in.

I will do "squads left” to order,
Know exactly how to go;
One, two and three, go across obliquely,
Pivots held by number four.
If you lead, Oh, kindly lead me!
To that room delicious rare,
Where the mess-kits are a ringing,
Ise allus longing to be there.

You Have Proved to be a Man

Colored man, you should be happy
O'er the many things you have done;
How you proved yourself up loyal,
And for traitors, there are none.
Uncle Sam relies upon you,
He knows you will, he knows you can;
And he knows in every case you have
Proved yourself to be a man.

Not these battles here in Cuba,
That's not all that you have done;
That's not first where you proved heroes,
That's not your first victory won.
You have rallied to your country
'Cause you seem to think 'twas grand;
In every case they've ever tried you,
You have proved to be a man.

Even in the days of slavery,
When the times were blazing hot;
They are gone, but Lord have mercy,
They never will be forgot.
Yet you bore your burdens freely,
You and trouble, hand in hand;
Yet through all your tribulations
You have proved to be a man.

You would beat it to the corn field,
And right there you'd work all day;
And you cleaned the wooded acres,
Never thinking of your pay.
But you've passed that day's oppression,
There's none better in the land;
And when the Huns woke up the Negroes,
That's the time they woke up a man.

No Man's Hand

The good Lord made the sun and stars
That illuminates the earth;
And he made a million other things
For comfort and for mirth.
He made the rolling waters,
And he also made the land;
And all this was completed
Without a human hand.

Well, why then do some people say
That Africa is our home?
God de this country same as that;
And he made man to roam
To any part that he may choose.
And he never set any time
For him to seek a better place
Or more congenial clime.

Of course Africa is the old home
Of all our fore-fathers,
But whether we live here or there,
I'm sure we have our rathers.
And we had rather stay right here,
As we have been here quite a spell;
And here's where our boys have fought,
And for this country fell.

This country is the white man's
We have always been taught;
But he just owns the portion
Of this country that he bought.
God made this whirling sphere you know,
And left it up to man
To get his share of what is here;
'Twas made by no Man's Hand.

Your Daddy was a Slave

Colored man just stop and wait
And listen here to me,
Because I must congratulate
You since you have been free.

You've reached a high point in this life,
Your way you had to pave;
You came up through a lot of strife,
For your daddy was a slave.

But all those days have vanished,
I now am proud to say;
And your life you sure have garnished,
Through struggles made your way.

Whenever your country calls you
To help out in a fight,
Regardless what befalls you,
It seems its your delight.

To go out brave and eager,
And do your very best;
I frankly say the Negro
Has surely stood the test.

And you have made a noble mark,
You have been brave and bold;
And you have passed the days so dark,
Now you have reached the goal.

You here like a little child,
Three hundred years ago;
And scattered like the oats that are wild,
And left here for to grow.

And so you grew up rapidly
On every side of life;
So now you sing so happily,
You have defeated strife.

You went across the ocean,
And there your all you gave; 
Yet from some a frown will come,
Because your daddy was a slave.

John McGinty

I've just received a letter, ma,
That makes me feel quite funny;
Its from a young man out of town,
Whose name he says is Johnnie.

He wants me to become his bride,
He says he loves me truly;
And happy will we ever be,
When we are married surely.

And so I tell you, mother dear,
I know you will be happy,
To see me marry and do well,
To a man who is young and snappy.

A young man who lives far away
Off in the busy city;
His house is number eighty-four,
His name is John McGinty,

Why daughter you are surprising me,
I thought you were more witty,
Than to think of marrying a man
Who lives off in the city.

This fellow too, I think he is
A most disgraceful loafer,
Who lives in city slums also,
His job I think is chauffeur.

But mamma dear I'll tell you more
About this little chappie;
His mother died three years ago,
Last month he lost his pappy.

His father owned a lot of land,
He has sister neither brother;
And so the wealth all fell to him
As there wasn't any other.

My darling daughter, let me say
I think that you are witty;
As there is no one left but him,
He then deserves your pity.

And so you go and marry him,
And try to make him happy;
And try to soothe him all you can,
For he has just lost his pappy.

Yes, I agree for you to wed
The young man in the city,
Whose house is number eighty-four,
Whose name is John McGinty.


Our doors are widely open,
And our tables they are set;
Our hearts extend a welcome,
For we feel we are in your debt.
So walk right in now soldier
Who across the pond did roam;
And rest from all your labors,
And make yourself at home.

We are daily waiting for you
To land here on your shore,
And walk America's streets again,
And meet your friends once more.
Some are crippled, some are blind,
Yet you have done your task;
Some affected in the lungs,
From Germans poison gas.

But come right on now into our homes,
We are glad to have you here;
And hear you tell some thrilling tales
That happened Over There.
We are proud of you, remember,
Our doors are alway open;
And this just simply means to you,
A hearty sincere welcome.

Finger In The Pie

The battles are fought across the sea,
And the world's great victory is won;
There's many a brother lost there,
And many a loving son.
And many a heart was left to grieve
For those who had to die;
And those who suffered there to keep
The Huns from breaking by.

We are proud of all those fighting men
Who fought for world-wide peace,
Who answered to their country's call,
And set sail for the East.
And Over There they freely went,
All fitted and clad for war;
They knew the noble cause that they
Were manly fighting for.

And the Negro he went bravely doing,
And the Germans had to hurry;
They helped to put them on the run
At famous Chateau Thierry.
But it is all finished now;
And as the years roll by,
We will not forget the Negro
Had a finger in the pie.

Freedom Everywhere

Freedom everywhere.
We have rallied to our country,
In the wars of long ago;
And we have always done our duty
When the orders came to go.
And we always went a winning,
For this mighty country here;
And for equal rights as Lincoln said,
And freedom everywhere.

When we had to fight the Germans,
Our boys were quickly sent;
For to whip that bunch of mad men,
In the far off Orient.
This the greatest of all conflicts
That the world has ever known;
You can't conceive an idea
Of the hardships that were borne.

You simply can't imagine
All the things we underwent,
For to make the German people
For their haughty deeds repent.
But all the hardships that we had
In that conflict over there,
Was for equal rights as Lincoln said,
And freedom everywhere.

They Are Soldiers

The Germans once decided
That they would rule the world;
Also control the waters,
And no other flag unfurl.
They were winning sure and certain
From the country thereabout;
But when they pulled us into the fight,
We made them cut it out.

Oh yes, the colored soldiers
As they always did before,
Rallied to their country,
And their hardships freely bore.
They helped to win the battles,
Patriotism said they should;
They are soldiers, not drawers of water
And hewers of the wood.

They left their homes, they left their friends,
As other soldiers did,
To help in those great battles,
And to share their manly aid.
They went to stop the sinking
Of our ships, because they could;
They are soldiers, noi drawers of water
And hewers of the wood.

They sailed across the ocean,
When they landed don't you doubt,
Then they got up to business,
And soon they cut it out.
The Germans couldn't beat them,
But they did the best they could;
For they are soldiers, not drawers of water
And hewers of the wood.

They Called Him to the Colors

Three hundred years ago, I think,
The Negro just had landed
Here on America's sun-lit shore,
Where slavery then was branded.
They were a few in number then,
Those poor and helpless fellows;
They brought them here to till the land,
And not go to the colors.

The twenty Negroes then it was,
By great men's own direction,
Were sold as horses or as mules
I'm told, at public auction.
The highest bidder got them then
To plow the corn and cotton;
No doubt they sold them by the pound
As butchers sell their mutton.

And all their hardships they endured,
Their hearts were filled with sorrow;
They seemed to know, though dark today,
The sun would shine tomorrow.
Tomorrow's sun didn't ever rise,
'Twas always dark and dreary;
'Till Abram Lincoln came and said,
I will relieve the weary.

And so he broke the mighty tie
That for years had tightly bound them;
Tore away the shadow and the shame,
Unlocked the chains from around them.
Then this impartial Lincoln, though,
In fact an ex-rail splitter,
He told the slaves that they could go,
And make their records glitter.

The Negro took him at his word,
Through life he went a winding,
Until the dark clouds turned about
And showed to him their lining.
And lighted his path with brilliant light,
That he might never error;
And their way to a blissful height,
They soon were drawing nearer.

On and on they traveled,
'Twas like climbing up a mountain;
But Ah! he reached the summit,
And is drinking from the fountain.
Seeing now the record made
By these never tiring fellows,
The country seemed to need the help,
And called him to the colors.

And when the country called they heard,
And they never hesitated,
But bravely went on to the front
Where death and suffering waited.
And there they found the enemy
In battles were engaging;
And Forward was the Negro's word,
And forward they were marching.

The Negro proved he was a man
In work and burden bearing,
And fighting on the firing line
His deeds were brave and daring.
And now we write him on the book
With heroes and with others;
They found that he was brave and true,
And called him to the colors.

Aint No Hard Times Here!

Some folks allus talking,
'Bout de hard times dat dey hab;
I could take my fist and smack 'em
Squarely in dere fetched glab.
Aint no hard times folks I tell you,
If you'll come here where I am;
I mean come into de army,
Fer ter board wid Uncle Sam.

Taters here and taters plenty,
Peas and plenty cabbage too;
Dis is whut um tryner tell yer,
Dat is here in sto fer you.
Now if you don't wake up and get it,
Um sorry fer yer, yes I am;
Yer better beat it ter der army,
Fer ter board wid Uncle Sam.

There Wasn't Any Color Line There

Those boys who held the banner,
Old Glory, in the air,
While the mauser balls were flying
In that region everywhere.
Yet they stood there brave and valiant
With that bright case-hardened will,
Because there wasn't any color line
At old San Juan Hill.

Yes they staggered toward the Spaniards,
In the hottest of the fight;
There they showed that they were soldiers,
There they showed their country's might;
And they made the Spaniards scatter,
And their blood did freely spill
But there wasn't any color hine
At old San Juan Hill.

War, of course, is no reception
To entertain a guest at night;
Often when I think about it,
I think Sherman sure was right.
But the colored boys did love it,
And I am sure they love it still;
But there wasn't any color line
At old San Juan Hill.

The Home Fires Yet are Burning

The home fires yet are burning
With a bright and brilliant glare,
And they are waiting for to welcome
Home, the boys from Over There.
They are sparkling bright and joyous
In that dear old happy way;
For the boys who waved Old Glory
For the dear old U. S. A.

They have fought the battles bravely,
And they seemed to like their job;
And they seemed to be determined
For to plug the Kaiser's nob.
When they got across the ocean,
Billie no more was content;
Because he knew the fighting fellows
Had landed in the Orient.

Now just lay down the gun and bayonet
Somewhere and take your rest,
For you are too much for the Kaiser,
And this fact he has confessed.
So beat it back to your own country,
Where freedom's sun shines bright and fair;
Come home boys you've done your duty,
For its over Over There.

Trouble On The Way

Hark! They heard the eager trample
Of an army brave and bold,
Coming for to set example
In Berlin, the sought for goal.
When the boys in khaki started
On their trip across the bay,
Germans in their boots did tremble,
They saw trouble on the way.

Leave the large artillery standing
Alone there on the battle field;
And the army be disbanding,
Your determined heart must yield.
Send a message to the Kaiser,
Tell him that you want him to stop;
For the khaki boys are coming
With the best that's in the shop.

You may use the winding trenches
For the graves there for the dead,
For the Sammies have the inches,
And there is nothing then to dread.
Clear the way for youth and talent,
Clear the way for brain and brawn;
Clear the way, the boys are coming
For to put the East in mourn.

Go and stack your army rifles,
Bid the dugouts long good bye;
All of these now is a trifle,
For your fountains are running dry.
Send a message to the Kaiser,
Have the armistice signed today;
For across the pond they're coming,
That means trouble on the way.



What the Duce is Alin You?
Hello Isum, whar you gwine
On dis bright sunshiny day?
Walkin roun here lack er parsun,
In yer high en dicty way.
All dressed up broad cloff,
An yer silk hat shinin too;
Shoes jess natuly lack er mirror,
What de duce is alin you?

Crops air grassy dan de paster,
Needin plowin ebry day;
Labor short en you er actin,
In dat high en dicty way.
Man, you mus be gwine looney?
You air actin mighty queer;
Call yerseff er spreadin sunshine
In dis 'portant time er year.

I jess want to kno de objick,
Ob you actin dat er way;
Gib sum scuse fer not er workin,
Loafin sho ain gwine ter pay.
Jess a walkin roun here fronted,
Lack you had ter go en preach;
Dressed up better dan de parsun
When he's gwine ter make er speech.

Better git right down ter bisnis,
Go en put dem close erway;
Hang dat hat up in de wardrobe,
Dem duds air made fer meeting day.
Dem close ain made jess fer ter frolick
Roun de gals here lack you do;
Dey air made ter wear on Sundy;
What de duce is alin you?

I Sho Got the Blues

Dere's sump'n nother ails me,
En I doan no whut it is;
Mer heart feels lack its heavy,
Er swelled up lack its riz.

Fer der lass too weeks its been so,
It keeps me allus whining;
For sump'n en I doan no whut,
But still I keep er pining.

En dad he's allus watching me,
It's nat'ul that he should:
But I jess can't be cherry,
I sho wish dat I could.

Dad sed ter me the udder day,
“Um watching uv yer Mose;
Ebry since dat Esau married Nell
You seemed ter hab had der blues."

Dere aint no use ter worry,
Der milk is dun been spilled;
So you jess cou't ole Josh's Sue,
En Nell's place 'll be filled.

En so I tuk him at his word,
En went ter call on Sue,
Ter ease dat broken heart er mine,
En drive erway my blues.

En Sue I tell yer is der stuff,
Er swell un pal yer bet;
En when it cums ter dancin,
She aint found no ekul yet.

I tuk her ter er dance lass week,
Down dere et Unkle Tom's;
Bless me! I looked en seed her
In old Joe Spivin's arms.

En now I feel jess lack I did
When Nell fust went erway;
My heart es jess es heavy
Es er bale uv daddy's hay.

I went back ter my daddy,
En I broke ter him der news;
And axed him fer sum more advice,
Ter cure me uv der blues.

Whistl'n Dixie Lan

You kin hear et ebry day,
Ef et work or ef et play,
Its er chune dat you kin easily understan".
You hab herd et often too,
An ets nuthin new ter you;
Its jess Esau comin whistlin Dixie Lan'.

Why, ets allright ter be gay,
Fer ter pass de time erway;
But er man shud sometime try ter change his chune;
Not jess whistle one ole song,
Do et sho ain gwine be long
Till et will git jess es common es de moon.

Herd 'im cummin todder nite,
Whistlin den wid all his mite,
On dat same ole chune Ise tellin you erbout;
You cud he'rd 'im for a mile,
Yes, he is er whistlin chile;
An his lips, he natu'ly turns dem rong side out.

An he got dat chune down pat,
You kin tell whar he is at,
Case he's natul born er whistler in de lan'.
So you need ner jump eroun',
Think you herd de trumpet soun';
Its jess Esau cummin whistlin Dixie Lan'.

When de Ban' Played Home, Sweet Home

Ise dun wundered 'cross dis country
From the East out ter de Wess,
An I jess foun' out de portion
Ob dis country I lub bess.
Ebry place wus deah ter me,
Whar ebber I ud roam;
Till I herd de ban' de uther week
Playing Home, Sweet Home.

I stood dar an I listuned,
While dem féllers played dat chune;
And my heart, et 'menced ter pinin
Fer dat deah ole cabin home.
I seed the ole folks walkin'
'Roun' de place lack I wus daih,
Es de music ob dem fellers
Died erway up in de air.

I cud see de ole plantation,
Seems ter me es plain as day;
An de same ole farm bell ringin'
Lack befo I went erway.
Now Ise back ter dis ole lub spot,
Whar de honey's in de combe;
But dat music drobe me back here
When de ban' play'd Home, Sweet Home.

I Drobe de Daple Gray

Ise gwine erlong wid Lucy,
An dat I guess you kno;
I had ter best ole Sambo,
As he was Lucy's boa.

An he thought he had me bested,
But he wusn't in my way,
Case I had er bran new buggy,
An I drove er daple gray.

Ole Sambo thought he wus de stuff,
But I jess let him kno,
Dat I wus in dese quarters,
An by no means wus I slo.

I took right out et Lucy,
An I made ole Sambo shame,
Case he foun out dat in court'n
He'd nebber learned de game.

Case Ise on ter my bisnis
When et cums ter gallin roun,
An et takes mo dan dat, Sambo,
Fer ter natu'ly keep me down.

I tell you how I won her
Frum Sambo, anyway;
I had er bran new buggy,
An I drobe er daple gray.

When I dribe up, ole Sambo,
He jess caint hardly talk,
Case I cum fer ter ride her,
Wid him she had ter walk.

I stop en hitch de daple,
Et Lucy's hitchin poss,
En Sambo gins ter tremble
Jess lack he seed er ghoss.

I den walk in en meet em,
An tell em howdy do;
An Sambo sez, "Hey, Efun,
How's ebrything wid you?"

En soon he tells Miss Lucy,
Dat he thank her fer his hat;
En she sez whut's de hurry?
You er runnin off lack dat.

I tell you all de trouble
Dat's in ole Sambo's way,
He jess aint got no buggy,
An no hansum daple gray.

Ise Sprised et You Miss Lindy!

I called ter see you Sundy nite,
When de moon wus shinin' bright;
Ise sprised et you Miss Lindy!
You tole me you didn't hab any date.
Tale tellin' gals I sho du hate,
Et allus makes brake
Ise sprised et you Miss Lindy!

But don't you think you got my gote,
Pshaw! yon aint nebber struck de note
Whut rings me off Miss Lindy;
Case I got er gal er two,
Ise jess gwine erlong wid you,
See, en dats de way you du;
Ise sprised et you Miss Lindy!

Tryin' ter take er man lack me,
En jess put him right up er tree,
You missed de man Miss Lindy;
Case Ise er guy dats awful smart,
Keeps de ox erhead de cart,
On ter ebry thing you start;
Ise sprised et you Miss Lindy!

I cum en looked in et de do,
En seed you entertainin' Jo;
Dat wus alright Miss Lindy,
Case dis here guy es awful stout,
En allus kno's whut he's erbout;
You didn't hab ter tie me out;
Ise dun wid you Miss Lindy!

Tell you zackly how it is,
Ise de chap whut kno's his biz;
You tickle me Miss Lindy.
Why I don't hab ter go wid you,
I kin go erlong wid Sue;
Jess tried ter se whut you wood do;
Ise sprised et you Miss Lindy!

Fer mos' any high tone gal
Is willin' fer ter be my pal,
Did you kno dat Miss Lindy?
Ise not de kind ob guy you think,
Ise welded solid ebry link;
Seed you when you gib de wink;
Ise foun' you out Miss Lindy!

You sed you nebber had no boa,
I knowed right den you was gwine wid Jo
Fer a long time, Miss Lindy.
You nebber had ter tell me dat,
Case I knowed whar you wus at;
Tell you, dis here guy's er cat;
Ise dun wid you Miss Lindy!

Jess er Piddlin' Roun' de Lot

Yes, Ise dun got ole en feeble,
An I ain no good no mo,
Fer ter keep de ax er ringin
Er ter use de grubbin ho.
But Ise right here roun do ole home
Whut I call er lubbin spot,
Ain no good ter go out plowin,
I jess piddle roun de let.

But I useter be de furst un
In de mornin bright en soon,
For ter gear de mules en hosses,
Long befo de risin sun.
An frum den till nite l'ud hustle
In de fiel wid all de ress,
Singin, hollin, habbin fun,
En plowin at my lebel bess.

But dem dear ole folks air gone now,
Fo er juss en righ'ous God;
Fo de same one dat gib Moses
Power in de mighty rod.
Soon I guess he'll cum en git me,
Frum dis grief en sorrer spot;
When he cums I guess he'll find me
Here er piddlin roun de lot.

In de Year ob Fifty-two

I jess 'gin ter thinkin'
Ob de days dats passed en gon',
An de folks dat useter work here
In de cotton an de cone.
An Ise leff here oui de number,
An dere's only left er few,
Whut frolicked aroun' dese quarters
Back in eighteen fifty-two.

En dere's been er lot ob changes
In de peopul now I see;
Dey ain lack de other peopul
Dat wus raised up here wid me.
In dem days de folks wus frenly, -
For er instunce, you got sick,
Dey wood cum en du de washin',
Tote dair water frum de creek.

Probbly you'd stay down ter zero,
In yer he'lth, er year er so,
Dey wood stick right close on ter you,
En du all dat dey cud du
Fer ter sho dat dey wus true.
Dats de way de peopul acted
In de year ob fifty-two.

But now de folks dun got so dicty,
Holes daih haid up in de air;
One wood think dey seed er object
Half er mile erway somewhar.
Pass yer lack dey nebber seed yer,
En dey nebber lock eroun';
Tu high-tone ter tell you howdy,
Allus wares er sco'nful frown.

Ise been here er long time brudder,
Wood you bleve me ef I tell,
I wus here when earfquakes quivvered,
An de stars dey natchly fell.
An Ise nebber seed sich peopul
In my life ack lack dese do;
Dey jess oter hab de sperret
Dat we had in fifty-two.

Knockin' Roun de Gals

Say, Ise been er watchinc
Ob you er week er so,
En ef you don't be kerful
Ise gwine ter ketch you sho.
I seed you tuther ebenin,
You and yo little pals,
A making ob erraingments
To go knockin roun de gals.

Now Ise gwine ter tell you
Lack er daddy shud er son,
I ain gwine hab no courtin
Tell you air twenty-one.
So you can stop your slippin
An courtin on de sly,
Case dis ole daddy here ob yours
Is got er eagle's eye.

An Ise boun sho fer ter see you
When you start ter sparkl’n roun,
An Ise gwine cum up ter you
Fore de gals, en call you down.
So you needn't make no raingments,
You en yo little pals,
Ter try ter foll your daddy
En go knockin roun de gals.

Go Erlong wid Brudder

Why, ma she allus keeps us here
Frum one day to de udder,
We nebber kin go huntin
Ob de berries long wid brudder.

I dunno why she keeps us,
An wont let us out no whar;
Way ober cross de mill seat,
Dare's lot ob berries daih.

We hab ter stay here all de time,
She nebber lets us out,
So we kin chunk de neighbor's dog
Whut rambles here erbout.

It's allus, stay here in de yard
An play, wid one another;
We nebber kin go huntin
Ob de berries along wid brudder.

Ise tired stai’n in so much,
An I guess you're tied too;
Now less jess go right up to ma,
And tell 'er that we're thru.

Ob stai'n home here all de time,
Frum one day to de udder;
An tell 'er we're gwine huntin
Ob de berries "long wid brudder.

Go Erlong wid You

Miss Sallie, Ise gwine ax you
Er thing er too ternite,
Scuse me, don't let et vex you,
You seem ter take er fright.

But et ain nothin' hardly,
And ets er whole lot too;
'Twould make me feel so proudly
Ter go erlong wid you.

Case Ise been watchin' ob you,
You suit me to er “T”;
I tell you chile, I lub you,
Now, how do you lack me?

Got er gal, you ax me?
Why, no, I reckon not!
I nebber go out sparklin
Er roun' dat courtin' lot.

An too you air de only
Gal I think ud do;
Fer I nebber would git lonely
Ef Ise gwine erlong wid you.

And I bleve we cud make et
An be de best of frens,
Ef ycu jess don't object et,
Den here's whar we begin.

Call ter see you Sundy,
Why, yes, I reckon so!
En bring erlong some candy,
Er box p'haps er more.

You look fer me Miss Sallie,
An fer de candy too,
Case Ise dun jess got fairly
Er looney ober you.

En we will go out walking
Ercross de orchard too;
No danger me er balkin'
When Ise gwine erlong wid you.

You Shuck a Feed of Cone

Et allus seems ter vex me
In the mornin bright en soon,
When de ole man comes en shakes me
Fo de sun is ebber shone.
Gid up Ned, mer boy, I tell you,
En less us go out in de barn;
Ise gwine grease up all de waggins,
While you shuck er feed ob cone.

Tother nite et wus er rainin
Hard, jess lack er very flood,
En I laid en dreamed that workin
On de nex' day wus no good.
Roads so bad we can't go haulin,
Fiel's's so wet we couldn't plow;
So I jess had done decided,
I wood sleep ter my desiah.

But erly on dat rainy mornin,
Dad, he calls me, "Wake up Ned!"
Fer de hogs dun broke de fence down,
And de chickens mus be fed.
Den I jess gits all ter pieces,
But soon I git up en es gone;
Ketch de hogs en feed de chickens,
Den I shuck er feed ob corn.

Aint No One to Prove It By

Unkle Joe is allus talkin
Bout de young folks ain no good,
Bout when he wus young he useter
Beat dem all er cuttin wood.
How he useter go out pullin
Down de men in log fields too;
En he sed, he wus de master,
En his ekuls were er few.

Probly Unkle Joe was rankin
All aroun de neighborhood,
As de bes man in de quarters
When it cums ter cuttin wood.
But de witnesses hab vanished,
Gone ter God beyond the sky,
An dat leabs us hab ter bleve et,
Aint no one ter prove et by.

Well, I guess when I am ole,
I'll go eroun er talkin too;
Tellin folks dat dey air sorry,
En bout de stunts I useter do.
How I useter run ole Sampson,
Pull his ears en make him cry;
An de younsters hab ter bleve et
Case dey's no one here ter prove et by.

Go er Bathin' in de Creek

Oftun now when memories take me,
Back ter blissful chilehood days,
I kin almost see de brooklet
An de barn fires all erblaze;
But de thing I most enjoy
When us all would pleasure seek,
Wus ter slip erway frum mammy,
En go bathin en de creek.

Wonder whar es all de chillun
Dat wood meet down et de stowe,
At dat one big comisary
Whar I allus useter go;
Fer to meet de udder chillun,
En to hab sum jolly fun;
Havin battles on de road,
En hollin, Johnny git yer gun!

But all dem days I long fer,
En all de chaps I useter kno;
Dey air gone I guess ter heabun,
Case ets been seventy years ergo.
But de days cum back so clearly,
Makes de tears roll down my cheek,
When I useter slip frum mammy,
En go bathin in de creek.

Tote de Water frum de Spring

Ise jess sittin here er thinkin,
An jess feelin awful blue,
Case Ise pinein fer de homestead,
An Ise ready fer to go.
Back ter whar de air es fragrant,
Whar de birds so sweetly sing,
Whar my mammy useter make me
Tote de water frum de spring.

De city is fine fer sights, en also
Busy crowds go hurrin by,
En dere's allus sumpin happnin
Fer ter keep my pockets dry.
Dere's too much stile en stuff ter suit me,
Jess don't lack de movin throng;
Think erbout de street so crowded
Till er man can't walk erlong.

Ise gwine back ter my ole homestead,
Whar de quiet seems to be,
Mo' dan all de hummin city,
En all de sights dat I could see.
Is I gwine? Yes, fer certain,
Whar de souns from fiddles ring,
Whar my mammy useter make me
Tote de water frum de spring.

Everything Is Gloomy

Weather mighty cole and dreary,
Nite air disagreable too;
Kivver aint too much, I tell yer,
Fer ter lass de winter thru.
Wood es gettin scace, en also
Smoke house aint no packin plant;
Ebry thing es lookin gloomy
In dis lan' ob need en want.

Cotton didn't sell fer nuthin
Case de war wus on, dey say,
I don't kno jess how ter take et,
Why dey didn't want ter pay
No mo fer de peas en taters,
En de wheat en cone en stuff;
But when yer go ter buy de dry goods,
You can't hardly bring ernuff.

Ef de war brought down de cotton
En de peas also do cone,
Why et didn't bring down de dry goods,
Dats de pint Ise hangin on.
But I hope some day dat dis will
Git tergether, yes, en stay;
Ef de war brings down de cotton,
Bring de dry goods down dat way.

Home Scenes

I jess been off er takin
Uv er pleasur trip, you see,
Jess er lookin roun de homestead,
Case et allus 'peals to me.

En man you bet I 'joyed hit
Ter de highes, en you kno,
Fer dey all jess made et merry,
En jess took on o'er me so.

Yes dey made de thing quite libely,
Jess ter think, hit made me laff,
Case dey broke right in de smoke-house,
En dey kilt de fatted caff.

En dey dug de taters also
Frum de hill ter make de pie;
Den de chickens was foun gilty
En wus sentenced fur ter die.

En ole Mose, I guess you kno him,
Libs down dere by Jones' stowe,
'Vited me ter er possum dinner,
En I wus right on hand you kno.

So much fun down dere I tell you,
Made me feel lack I was young;
Think erbout, jess gwine aroun eatin
En er dancin all night long.

En ter leab down dere wus harder,
Den you think hit wus, you see,
Case de scenes ob dat ole homestead
Allus do appeal ter me.

Take Your Ease

Brer Sam, now you jess lisen,
En I want you ter explain
Why you air older lots dan me,
But always I complain.

Dere's allus sumpt'n ails me,
Ets one thing or de udder;
Um jess all shot to pieces,
I tell yer brudder.

Mer joints air allus aching,
Mer bones air 'bout to brake;
Der rheumatiz is got me tu,
En chills jess make me shake.

I jess want you ter tell me,
Jess how et cums erbout,
Dat I am younger lots dan you,
En you air twice es stout.

Brer Ben, Ise gwine ter tell yer
Jess how dis bizness is,
En whut got you wrapped up in pain
Wid dat dere rheumatiz.

You allus worked en worried
Ober things here in dis life,
Yer allus had ambition
Fer ter stay above der strife.

But me, I went on gently,
En dun jess like I please;
So you jess jine dat order
Whut name is “Take Yer Ease.”

Dragging Across the Floor

Folks air allus talkin,
En er puttin on dere airs,
About de time dey hab a dancin,
Et de so-called swell erfairs.
I jess 'cided l'ud visit
One fer jess ter stan and look,
Fer ter see um do de tango,
En ter see dem eagle rock.

So I went down ter er party
Et er neighbor's house lass nite,
Case l'uz feelin kinder merry,
Fact, I'uz feelin awful bright.
But dat nite et sho convinced me,
En I wont go back no me,
Case dey jess locked up tergether
En go dragging 'cross de flo.

Pshaw! when I wus like dem youngsters,
In dem days de folks cud dance,
Not lack dem I saw down yonder,
Jess git up en 'gin ter prance.
Den de boys jess grab dair pardners,
En dey dance like fightin fiah;
You cud dance on haids, en also
On der foot ef you desiah.

Den dey ud holler fer der musick,
En 'twood make yer cullers fade
When de gals git wid dair pardners,
When dey holler promanade.
Dens de time we usester hab dat
Good time en er lot uv fun,
Startin early in der ebenin,
Quitin by de risin sun.

Dats whut I call folks enjoyin,
Dat's whut I call soothin cares;
Not jess allus roun er bragging,
En er puttin on der airs.
Needn't ter 'vite me ter ernother,
Fur I jess aint gwine ter go,
Case dey jess lock up tergether,
En go dragging 'cross de flo.

Rev. Brother Green's Sermon on Fashion.

Rev. Brother Green was pastor of Mt. Evergreen, a little country church, and the third Sunday in the month was his regular meeting day. He was one of the old-fashioned preachers that liked things in the old-fashioned way. He always worried about how the sisters and brothers dressed, and he did abhor the new-fashioned dresses the sisters wore, especially. So he decided that on one of his pastoral days he would take a shot at
this evil and try to knock it out of the box. I don't know what success he had, but, of course, we all wished him well in his efforts to whip this extreme evil. His text was Fashion.

Now people, you jess lis'en,
Ter whut um bout ter say,
Ise gwine to spress mer feelin,
On Fashion, here today.

Der way der folks es dressin
Dese days, is all in vain;
Dis es my subject fer terday,
En now Ise gwine to splain.

Dere's too much pride en stile now,
Dere's too much powder too,
Dere's too much hair straightnin,
En Christuns, dey air few.

Now jess look et dat Sally,
She's almost dressed ter deat;
She's girdled down so tightly,
Can't hardly ketch er breaf.

Now long ergo when I was young,
Dere wusn't much uv dat;
Dere dresses wuz made longer,
En der heels uv shoes wuz flat.

Den folks ud cum on out ter church
En ack jess lack dey ought;
Dey wusn't girded down so tight
Dey couldn't git up en shout.

But bless me do, dem days air gone
When folks did hab God's grace;
En cum ter church jess lack dey ought,
Dout powder on der face.

Now, I hab been er preachin
Fer forty years, I guess,
When gals ud wear der short uns,
En der women wore long dress.

You better change, I tell you all,
Jess take de gospel plow,
En leave dat paint en powder off
En serve God anyhow.

Case de debil, he is busy,
En he is boun ter git you too,
Ef you don't leave dis fashion off
En give God whut he is due.

Now wiff dese scatterin 'marks I close,
Ets fer you ter decide;
Ef you don't quit, der debil
Will sure take you ter ride.

You may git to de Ribber, but You

Sho Won't git Ercross
You may think Ise jess a talkin
Jess because Ise gittin ole,
An you think deys gittin neaher
Ob my name daih on de role.
But Ise erness bout dis matter,
Dat Ise allus tellin you,
Bout dis heah fox-fire ligun,
Case I kno et ain gwine to do.

You kin grin now ef you want ter,
You jess don't kno de haff;
Case et takes de pure in heart ter
Stan de great day ob his wraff.
You kin keep yer fox-fire erligun,
But its boun ter git you loss;
It may take you ter de Jurdun,
But et sho wont take you across.

Now erbout dis fox-fire erligun,
Guess I'll hab ter try ter splain;
Take dat Rosco fer er zample,
Now Ise gwine ter make et plain.
Lass yeah when he got his erligun,
He jess walked eroun de place,
Tellin all de other fellers,
Go ter God en git de grace.

Ebry time he go to meetin
De parsun leads er word ob prayer,
He jess ups en 'mence ter shoutin,
Hab ter hole him ober dair.
But de tuther day I seed him,
Es ole Jerri played er chune
On dat banger ob his daddy's,
Had ter gib dat Rosco room.

I jess went right up en tell him,
Dat Ise simply sprised et you;
Call yerseff dun 'fessed erligun,
Den er dancin. lack you do.
He jess low'd now Decun Jo'nsun,
When dat banger 'menced ter ring;
Don't you kno de scriptur tells you
Dars er time ter ebrything?

Dats whut I call fox-fire 'ligun,
Ef et aint I'd lack ter kno;
Jess er foolin ob de people,
Makin ob er outside sho.
Goes ter church on ebry Sundy,
Time de services begin,
Who you hear but dat dar Rosco,
First man holler out, Amen!

But you think dat Ise jess talkin,
Es I sed case I es ole,
An you think dat dey air nearin
Ob my name daih on de role.
But you drop dat fox-fire erligun,
Ef you don't you sho is loss;
It will take you to de ribber,
But et sho wont take you 'cross.

In de Sweet Daih By ain By

I jess feel lack allus shoutin
An er praisin ob de Lord,
Since he put me on de outfit,
Gospul helment, shiel en sword.
When I'gin ter think erbout ei,
Tears jess settle in my eye,
How some day Ise gwine ter 'joy et
In de Sweet Daih By ain By.

Feller, you jess can't ermagine,
Jess how sweet erligun is;
Unkle Tom sed he wouldn't natu'ly
Take er house en lot fer his.
Case et makes er feller happy,
Makes de whole worl' look bran new;
Dats de 'fect dat good erligun
Sho es boun ter hab on you.

Tell you whut et dun, my brudder,
Maid me leab de dancin flo;
Dun quit singin Swanee River
An dat scng bout ole black Jo.
Dun quit playin dat ole banjo,
Gwine ter libe rite 'til I die,
Case Ise sho er gwine to 'joy et
In de Sweet Daih By ain By.

An de same thing dat et dun fer me,
Et sho will do fer you;
Ef you jess go seek erligun,
De Lord is boun ter pull you thru.
Dats de time you will be happy,
An you jess can't help frum cry,
Thinkin bout how you gwine 'joy et
In de Sweet Daih By ain By.

Parsun, parsun, spare dat fowl,
Take not ernuther bite,
Case Ise es hongry es kin be,
An mad ernuff ter fight.

De Pleasuh Sho Is Mine

Ise er hangin aroun de church daih
Lack we fellers allus do,
Atter singin praise to de God frum
Whom all ob de blessin's flo.
An I went an axed de parsun,
Come go home wid me en dine;
He jess grinned an den he anserd,
Yeah, de pleasuh sho is mine.

Den we tole de other fellers
Dat wus standin dair erbout,
Scuse us, we wood see 'em later,
Dat we is gwine ter walk erbout.
An we walked down ter my quarters,
Daih we stopped an took er seat
Ter talk erwhile, es my ole lady
'Pared us sumpt'in fer ter eat.

Soon she cums and sezs, “Ise ready!"
At de word the parsun riz;
Made er dash den fer de kitchun,
As de pleasuh all wus his.
Den he sed, “De gracious Lord, we
Thank dee fer dese nurshmints here
Dat we 'ceivin fer de body,
Fer ter gib us life cheer.”

Nebber seed er man er eatin
Lack dat preacher wus dat day;
Chickin had ter jess git fudder,
Biskits wusn't in de way.
When he reach ercross de table,
He wood say, "O! Bless de Lam',"
Bless de cook, en pass de taters,
Thank you fer er piece ob ham.

Atter while I guess he finished,
Else he jess got shame an quit;
Den he lows, "Er better dinner
Nebber will I lib ter git."
"Well”, sezs he, “Less go ter meetin,
Ets time we shud be gwine;
I jess lows, Ise wiff you parsun,
Dis time de pleasuh sho is mine.

I Don't Really Think It Is

Es I wus walkin down der street,
Erlone de udder day,
Ole preacher Jones, he hailed me,
En sed Ise gwine yo way.

En so I stopped en waited,
Fer der preacher to ketch up,
En he cum ercross en jined me,
En we went on wid de step.

But I tell yer I wuz worried,
Case I knowed jess whut I had
Crammed erway down in mer pocket,
Dat wus good en pure en red.

En he heerd dat stuff er guglin,
En he sed “Whuts dat, mer boy?"
Aw ets nothin 'tall I tol him,
Jess er little juice uv joy.

Es we walked on out de quarters,
Do Nearly ter der branch's brink,
Me bein tiered out en worried
Made me want ter take er drink.

So I sed now, look here parsun,
yer think ter drink és sin?
Didn't de good Lawd make de cider,
An bottles fer ter tote et in?

Yes, de good Lawd made de apples,
Man made cider wiff his han;
Now 'bout de sin es fur drinking,
I don't zactly understan.

Case you kno dat I'm a preacher,
En I can't fall in de dirt;
But when et cums ter cider,
Sho, er little wouldn't hurt.

Let me sample, "Fine", I tell yer,
Best I had; go on, gee whiz;
En fer sin I'm here ter tell yer,
I don't really think et is.

Den Jesus do de Ress

Some folks say erligun
Is the only thing dey need,
Fer ter soothe dem in daih sorrers,
An ter check daih sinful speed.

An Ise wiff dem on de question,
Dey air right in whut dey say;
Case er man mus' hab erligun
Fer ter stan de jegment day.

When you git to de Jurdun,
You sho mus hab it daih;
Its de only thing dats 'cepted
Frum er feller fer de faih.

Now all de time you libbin,
Ise gwine splain now whut I mean;
Jess git sum pure erligun,
An sum money in your jeans.

Tell you whut I bleve in,
But, of course, erligun's fine;
But I lub de combernashun,
You kin mix 'em up fer mine.

Some Jesus an sụm nickles
I think is allus best;
De change go to de Jurdun,
Den Jesus do de ress.

You see, erligun stirs you
When you air feelin bum;
De change, et gibs you cumfut
When rainy days air cum.

I tell you all erbout it,
You need 'em both, mer brudder;
I's haff er duzun in dis han',
An six daih in de udder.

So first you git sum Jesus,
Den feather up your ness;
Fer de change et goes ter Jurdun stream,
Den Jesus do de ress.

Dese Here Quarters Sho Is Lonely

I can't hardly reckernize et
Since de few yeahs Ise been gone,
Things dey look so natu’ly gloomy,
Lack de 'hole thing is in moan.

Whar's de other ole-time darkeys
Whut useter lib roun here?
Dey seem ter all be vanished
Frum dis sectshun ob de sphere.

Whar's de bunch ob little chillun
Dat wus playin in de san'?
An I useter cum an skeer 'em,
Tellin bout de booger man.

I'd jess lack ter see Ain Hanna,
But I guess de ole soul
Dun gone cross de ribber ob Jurdun,
Walkin streets whuts made ob gol'.

Daihs Ole Dock, de banger picker,
Whar is he? I'd lack ter kno;
Guess he's gone on wid de others,
Walkin on de golden sho.

Dese quarters sho is lonely,
Nuthin lack dey useter be;
An Ise here erlone an longin
Fer de ones dats daih ter me.

If dey all dun gone ter glory,
Leff dese quarters here belo',
Fer de sake ob ole erquaintunce,
I, merseff, 'ould lack ter go.

Jess es quiet here es midnite,
Things jess natu'ly still es deaf;
Makes me sad ter 'mence ter thinkin
Dat Ise de only one dats leff.

Guess de good Lord knose his bisnis,
But I'd luff fer him ter kno,
Dat he's dun took my ole erquaintunce
An I'd natu’ly luff ter go.

Things Aint De Same

Ise jess here an lookin
At de scenes ob long ergo,
An it almos gits me weepin
Fer de things air changed up so.

I see de ox cart standin
Out daih near de apple tree,
An er few mo erthur relicks
Dat wus leff here, yet, I see.

Dey all dun got de fashun,
An dey dun fergot de pass;
An dey call me ole an fogie,
An dey say Ise green es, grass.

Jess because I lack de ole way
Dat de people useter do,
Go ter town er dribin oxen,
Go ter meetin wid 'em too.

Dat ole spring down in de bottum
Whar de chullern useter play,
Jess es dry now es de desert,
Dey air plowin dare terday.

An de plow dat dey air usin,
Beat all I ebber seen;
Dey lay erside de hosses
And dey plow wid gaserline.

New fashun now, dey tell me,
Whut's brung erbout de change;
I don't kno whut 'twus made 'em,
But things sho aint de same.

Chune My Heart ter Sing Dhy Prase

Ise 'tendin 'vival reglar,
An I tell you whut es so,
Dem daih folks air sho deturmined
Fer ter make de debbil go.
Case you see Ise jess er sinner,
But Ise bout ter make er change,
Case dey shootin gospul 'tillery
At de sinners in daih range.

Man, deys preachin an er prayin,
Dat de Sun ob God cum down,
Fer dey claim de Holy Sperrit
Makes de debbil git eroun.
An de sisters dey jess holler
Dat deys in de Gospul race,
Den dey sing ter commun meeter,
Chune my heart ter sing Dhy Prase.

Den de Anjuls frum de hebbuns
Seem to cum da en jine in,
Wid de little ban ob soljers,
Helpin battle wid de sin.
Den de Parsun rise en tell 'um,
Now's de time ter make er start;
Cum an gib ter me yer han,
An gib de Mastah den yer heart.

Well, Ise prayin now ter Jesus,
Fer ter please look down on me,
Wid er eye ob tender pity,
Frum my sins jess set me free.
An dey call den fer de seekers,
Cose Ise boun ter rise en go;
An dey tell me keep on prayin,
Tell He wash me white es snow.

When He cums, dey say er feller,
Natu'ly jess can't help hisseff;
Jess git up an 'mence ter shoutin,
Till he's nearly out ob breff.
Den fol' his arms ercross his busum,
An stan, an up ter hebbun gaze,
As dey sing, De streams ob murcy
Chune my heart ter sing Dhy Prase.

You Little Tootsy Woo!

What is dat,
Tryin ter pat?
Baby, is et you?
Tryin ter dance,
'Mence ter prance,
You little Tootsy Woo.

Daddy's man,
Goodness lan,
Whars you bin, mer chile,
All de day?
Run erway?
Stay wid Dad erwhile.

Dare you go,
Out de do.
Cum back heah, mer deah,
Case ets col,
Bless your soul;
Rong time ob de year.

Fer you ter play
Dat er way,
Now run erlong ter Sue.
Don't you cry,
Wave good by,
You little Tootsy Woo.

Gabul Blode Revielle

Ise er makin ob errangmints
Ebry day now dat I lib,
Ise er libbin fer my Jesus,
An my all ter Him I gib.
Case my days down heah ain many,
Cose now as dey useter be;
I'll be waitin soon for Gabul
Fer ter blo de revielle.

He gwine blo et in de mornin
Bright an soon, dey allus say,
At de stilles' hour, I reckon,
Jess befo de brake ob day.
An de dead in Christ will hear et,
Dem dare note so soff en sweet;
An dey rise en go ter glory
Whar de anjuls stan retreat.

An Ise gwine ter be de first un
Ob de number den ter rise,
Ter meet de great formashun
In de cumpuny in de skies.
Dats de time we'll shout de preises,
Jine de anjuls' chire an sing,
Praise de Mastah ter de Highes,
Hosanner to de Mity King.

I jess git sumtime so happy,
Till I go an tell mer wife,
Meet me cross de ribber ob Jurdun,
Meet me at de tree ob life.
Den she lows, by help ob Jesus,
Cose Ise gwine ter meet you daih,
On de erther side ob Jurdun
Whar de tree ob life es fair,

An we jess keep on er talkin
Till boff jess 'mence ter shout,
An de nabers in de quarters
Cun an see whut we's erbout.
An we tell 'em we's jess happy
Case we's ben frum sin set free;
Now jess waitin on ole Gabul
Fer ter blo' de reveille.

When et Litnin in de Wess

Aint no use ob you er talkin
About it aint er gwine ter rain,
Case Ise watching ob de weather,
An Ise sho dun seed de sine.

Don't you heah me daih, Miss Lishy?
Jess pull off dat puty dress;
Fer de rain is sho a comin,
Case ets litnin in de Wess.

Cose you caint go ter de party
On no sich er nite es diss;
So jess tell yer little feller
Dat you sced ter take de ris'.

Isum, whar you think you gwine?
Of er courtin too, I guess;
Don't you heah me tellin Lishy,
Dat ets litnin in de Wess?

So cum en shet de winders,
An lock de do up tite,
An stay an read de Scriptur
Fer yer mammy heah ternite.

Listun at de rain er fallin!
Why, ets stormin now, you see!
Win' roin lack a lion;
Chillun, git down on yer knee!

While de stom is mad en ragin,
Trees er fallin ebrywhar,
Ise gwi 'peal now ter de Mastah,
Ise gwi lead er word er prayer.

Now I guess et all es ober,
Blessed souls jess take yo ress;
Allus 'member whur tol you,
When ets litnin in de Wess.

When dey sing De Rocks ob Ages

Seein now how fols, air doin
Since de good Lord set dem free,
Makes me think ole-time erligun
Sho is good ernuff for me.
Went ter church dę other Sundy,
An de parsun lined de hymn;
Folks too high-tone fer to sing et,
I jess sot en looked et dem.

An I thought erbout right atter freedom,
When every meetin day wood cum,
Folks wood, open daih moufs an holler,
Not jess-set up dare en hum.
Dats de good ole-time erligun,
Whut is good ernuff for me;
Den, dey sung De Rocks ob Ages,
Lemmie jhide merseff in Dee.

I rember Unkle Isack
And ole lady Josy Brown,
When dey 'gin ter feel de Sperrit,
Tare de amen corner down.
An ole Unkle Samu'l Jonsun
An Aint Sue en Unkle Jo
Useter git so natu'l happy,
Jess git up en walk de flo.

Ebrything wood git ter stirrin,
Ebrybody sed, Amen!
As de parsun red de Scriptur,
Tellin 'bout de harm ob sin.
An when dey call up de mourners
Ter git demselves frum sin șet free,
Den dey sung De Rocks ob Ages,
Lemmie hide merseft in Dee.

When dat song begins ter ringin,
Tell you whut dem folks wood do,
Jess git up an 'mence ter holler,
Praise de Lord, en hallilu!
First, dey sing et loud en clearly,
Den dey hum et low en soff;
Claim dat God dun shook de dungun,
An de chains dey dun fell off.

Dats when I got erligun,
In de mornin way 'fore day,
When de Lord sed, "Go on Enoch,
Ise dun washed yer sins erway."
Now less all jess git tergether,
An git things lack dey useter be,
When dey sung De Rocks ob Ages,
Lemmie hide merseff in Dee.

De Soothin' Sort

You kin play yer hi-tone musick
On yer fanci instrumint,
You kin sin de notes er flyin
All up in de elemint.
But dat musick dat you playin,
Natu'ly aint de stuff you see;
I lub musick ob de banger,
Dats de soothin sort ter me.

Its alrite ter hab er orgin,
An peanner too en sich,
Fer ter do lack erthur people,
An ter ack lack you air rich.
But de rail ole-time musick
Is de sort I lack ter heah,
When de chune jess makes you feel
Dat de anjuls drawin neah.

You kin play dat big peanner,
Jess es much now es yer please;
You kin play till you ain able
Fer ter reach en tech de keys.
You kin sing, I guess you call it,
When you 'mence ter holler so;
But you nebber cud intice me
Ter let dat ole banger go.

You kin blo de hone, en hammer
Hard er poundin on de drum;
You kin also beat de simbul
Till yer fingers all air num;
You kin play Hawaïin musick
On de little ukalee;
But de musick ob de banger
Is de soothin sort ter me.

Brer Possum Hit de Grit ах,

Josh, you git de splinters,
Jo, you git de
Case de dogs dey feel lack huntin,
I tell from how dey acks.

Dey all jess keep er barkin
Lack dey bout ter hab er fit;
So less go down en make dat
Brer possum hit de grit.

So blo de hone I tell you,
An turn dem dogs erloose;
Brer Possum! needn't hide suh,
Because et ain no use.

Case dese heah dogs'll find you,
No matter whar you go
You make er meal exzackly,
Fer me an Josh an Jo.

An de taters dey air plenty:
All out dar in de hill;
De carvin 'nife is layin
Rite dar on de winder sill.

So look out, we air comin,
An dat you don't fergit;
Its bess fer you Brer Possum
Jess ter natu'ly hit de grit.

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