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

Waverley Turner Carmichael, "From the Heart of a Folk" (Full Text) (1918)










When Waverley Carmichael, as a student in 
my summer class at Harvard, brought me one 
day a modest sheaf of his poems, I felt that in 
him a race had become or at least was becoming 
articulate. We have had, it is true, sympa 
thetic portrayals of Negro life and feeling from 
without; we have had also the poems of Dun- 
bar, significant of the high capabilities of the 
Negro as he advances far along the way of 
civilization and culture. The note which is 
sounded in this little volume is of another sort. 
These humble and often imperfect utterances 
have sprung up spontaneously from the soul of a 
primitive and untutored folk. The rich emo 
tion, the individual humor, the simple wisdom, 
the naive faith which are its birthright, have 
here for the first time found voice. It is suffi 
cient to say of Waverley Carmichael that he is 
a full blooded southern negro, that until last 
summer he has never been away from his 
native Alabama, that he has had but the most 
limited advantages of education, and that he 
has shared the portion of his race in hardship, 
poverty, and toil. He does not know why he 
wrote these poems. It is an amazing thing 
that he should have done so a freak, we may 
call it, of the wind of genius, which bloweth 
where it listeth and singles out one in ten thou 
sand to find a fitting speech for the dumb 
thought and feeling of the rest. 

But we need not base the claim of Carmichael 
to the attention of the public merely on con- 

siderations of this sort. His work speaks for 
itself. It is original and sincere. It follows 
no traditions and suffers no affectation. It is 
artless, yet it reaches the goal of art. The 
rhythms, especially of some of the religious 
pieces, are of a kind which is beyond the reach 
of effort. He has rightly called them melodies. 
Occasionally there is, it seems to me, a touch of 
something higher, as in the haunting refrain of 
the lyric " Winter is Coming." 

De yaller leafs are falling fas 
Fur summer days is been and pas ; 
The air is blowin mighty cold, 
Like it done in days of old. 

But this is rare. Oftenest the characteristic 
note is humor, or tender melancholy relieved 
by a philosophy of cheer and courage, and the 
poetic virtue is that of simple truth. We are 
reminded of no poet so strongly as of Burns. 

What Waverley Carmichael may accomplish 
in the future I do not know. But certainly 
in this volume he has entitled himself to the 
gratitude of his own race and to the sympathetic 
appreciation of all who have its interests and 
those of true poetry at heart. 


viii ] 



Mammy's Baby Scared 3 

Taint No Need o Women Worrin 4 

I Ain t Turn Sussie Out 6 

De Signs o Spring 8 

The Old Mill 9 

It's All Through Life 10 

Eligia, the Bad Boy 11 

Scolding Baby Boy 12 

The Escort 13 

The Night I Went to Church 14 

Sleep On Ye Happy Sons 16 

The Day of Freedom 17 

My Little Cabin Home . 18 

The Lover s Spat 19 

Snow Hill 21 

The Invitation 22 

A Word to Ethiopia 23 

Booker T. Washington 24 

Paul Lawrence Dunbar 25 

I Am Ma an Papa Baby 26 

The Flower 27 

When the Different Churches Meet 28 

I Use ter Ores 29 

Where Hearts Are Gay 30 

Home Instruction 31 

The New Year's Resolve 32 

Labor On 33 

Forget Me Not 34 

Annoyance 35 

Der Fiddle Is My Comfort 36 

The Favorite Diet 37 

Good After Ill 38 

The Prayer of the Faithful 39 

A Daily Prayer 40 

Keep Me, Jesus, Keep Me 41 

Run on Home 42 

Sing on to Jesus 43 

Seek the Lost 44 

"You'll Reap What You Sow " 45 



Move On 46 

The Departure . . 47 

Twas Mother . . 49 

The Mother s Farewell to Her Son . 50 

Take Me Home .51 

The Day of Repentance 52 

What Have I Done .53 

When the Way Seems Dark .... ... 54 

In the Hour of Death 55 

Eventide 56 

Winter Is Coming 57 

The Combat 58 

Red, White, and Blue 59 

Sing Out for Peace 60 



Hush now, mammy s baby scaid, 
Don it cry, eat yo bread; 
Nothin aint goin bother you, 
Does , it bothers mammy too. 

Mammy aint goin left it lone 
Wile de chulen all are gone; 
Hush, now, don it cry no mo e, 
Aint goin lay it on de flo . 

Hush now, finish out yo nap, 
Wile I make yo luttle cap; 
Blessid luttle sugar-pie, 
Hush now, baby, don it cry. 

Mammy s goin to make its dres , 
Go to sleep an take yo res ; 
Hush now, don it cry no mo e, 
Aint goin lay you on de flo . 



Taint no need o women worrin bout dese 

sorry men, 

Dey just lack a paper bag w en it s full o win ; 
Dey will call us sugar-pie an will treat us nice 
Till dey git us horn wid dem, fur to be dere 


T ings will go long very well, fur a week er two, 
Den you ll see em sittin roun frownin atter 

Taint a bit o need o worrin bout dese sorry 

Dey just lack a paper bag w en it s full o win . 

W en dey walk erlong wid you holdin ter yo 

Don t you mind em, dats a stunt, dey are full 

o harm; 
Dey kin tell de biggest lies mos you ever 

An kin pet an honey you lack you wus a 

One caught up wid me las night strutin wid a 

Rais d is hat an gine a bow, " How d do Mis 

Lizer Jane "; 
I didn axe him how he done, dat was a hint to 

Dat I pufur d a paper bag w en it s full o 

win . 


Tis best to keep yo yes one dem dey ll fool you 

if dey kin, 
Den go eroun an make dere brag to all de other 

Dey ll come eroun an talk sweet talk an wont 

let you res , 
But let em git you fur a wife dey ll beat you 

outer bre th 
Wen you see dat dey aint no good just let em 

pas on by, 
C ase sho as you fool long wid dem, dem fools 

11 make you cry, 
Taint no use o women worrin bout dese sorry 

Fur dey just lack a paper bag w en it s full o 

win . 

If I eber marry one, he sho s got to work, 
Fo I ain t goin kill myself w le he sit an shirk; 
Many women are today almos in dere graves 
C ase dey work demselves to de th lack dey 

wus all slaves; 
Say, w at you t ink of Jaboc Quinn, he is 

mighty nice 
An you kno I s promis d him I would be is 


Let me Stop my crazy talk, I kno I love de men, 
If dey are lack a paper bag, w en it s full o win . 


" Hoi on, what you mean 
By walkin wid a man? 
Bet I ll knock you to de groun , 
An roll you in de san . 
Wat you look like tryin ter court, 
I aint yet turn you out; 
Look out Miss you er mighty fas , 
Mind what you erbout. 

" Young man you better go on horn 
Befo e you make me mad, 
Cause I ll git ter fightin hyeah, 
An sayin somethin bad; 
Dis gal aint ole ernough ter court, 
No, I aint turn her out; 
You s mighty high, I likes you nerve, 
Mine what yo s erbout. 

" I want it stric ly understood, 
Dat you can t court my daughter, 
If I kech you wid hur ergain 
You ll move off like an auter; 
Dis Bama Jones you foolin wid, 
I aint no scrubby nigger, 
My mammy sho sent me ter school, 
An I kin read an figger. 


" Wat you rec on I look like, 
Lettin setch a thing as you 
Walk long side a gal o mine 
An especi lly little Sue? 
Take dat road an go on horn , 
Fo e yo* nigger make me mad, 
Else I ll git to fightin hyeah, 
An sayin somethin bad." 



Wen de thrushes in de tree 
Gins to sing a merry song, 
Its a putty good ole sign 
Dat de winter days aint long. 

Wen de trees begin to bud 
In de meadow far an near; 
You kin put yo foot erpoun it 
Dat spring time is comin hyeah. 

All de flowers in de woods 
Gins to look so sweet an dear; 
An de darkies all are singin 
Cause dey kno dat spring is hyeah. 

Wen de days are growin warm, 
You kin hyeah de voices clear 
O er de meadow far an wide, 
Gladly savin " spring is hyeah." 



Near de margin of de stream 

Neath a towerin hill, 

In the field s shadow and gleam, 

Stands de dear ole mill; 

Ye re have come an pass d erway 

Since she took her stand, 

Near de stream dat slowly glides 

O er the gleamin sand. 

Rain has fall n an win has bio 
Gainst her mossy walls; 
An she tosses to an fro 
As the win about her falls; 
Tossin frum de early morn 
Till de eventide 
Near the margin of de stream 
Were de shinin water glide. 

Dear to one an true to all 
As she lifts her ole wo n head, 
Toilin ebery day but one 
Makin daily bread; 
An she toils and murmurs not 
In de wea ther that betides, 
Neath de shadow of de hill 
Were de ole stream glides. 


A day of joy, a week of pain, 

A sunny day, a week of rain; 

A day of peace, a year of strife; 

But cling to Him, it s all through life. 

An hour of joy, a day of fears, 
An hour of smiles, a day of tears; 
An hour of gain, a day of strife, 
Press on, press on, it s all through life. 



" Jest look at em e got on my dres 

" Sister Fannie is e got on yo dres ? " 

" Yes! an e got my shoes." 

" Well cetch de little devil an beat em good, 

If I jest could see em I ould beat em ter 

de th." 

" Well Isac e got on my hat." 
" Doggon it; is e got yo hat? " 
" Yes! an e got on my dres . " 
" Well cetch de little scamp an gea yo bes ; 

If I jest could see em I ould beat em ter 

de th." 

" Confound d e got on my specks." 
" Don tell me e got on yo specks! " 
" Yes! an e got on my hat." 
" Well cetch de little scamp an beat im good 

If I jest could see em I ould beat em to 
de th." 


Wats de matter wid you boy, 
Hush an eat dat bread, 
Fo e I take dis firer stick 
Crack you side de head. 

Act like you aint got no sense, 
Bawlin like a fool; 
Wallowin doun dere on de flo , 
Like you was a mule. 

I s goin tell you now in time 
You can have your way; 
Runnin all ercross de house, 
Hollerin all de day. 

Bet not have me spank you boy, 
Hush sar, stop dat cryin ; 
Set doun dere sar on dat chest, 
Scrape dat melPyon rine. 



I went horn wid me gal las night 

Dat darlin little mis , 

An time we start off frum de church 

I ask d hur fur a Ids ; 

She drapp d hur head an kind o blush 

Den say, " I recon so "; 

I kis d hur bout a dozen times 

An den she ask d fur mo . 

I felt like I wus Vanderbuilt 

Gwine walkin long so calm, 

W ie Anges Lee dat darlin maid 

Wus leanin on my arm. 

Erbout two miles frum church she live, 

I didn t mind de walk; 

I wus over glad to go wid hur 

So we could laugh an talk. 

We walk long veary slo you kno 

As lovers generally does, 

She promis d dat she would be mine 

I promis d to be hurs; 

W en we go to hur mammy s gate 

Dat darlin little mis , 

Jest throw hur arms eroun my neck 

An greet me wid a kis . 



I went to church de other night, 
Dat preacher sho did preach, 
Till ebery body in de church 
Wus standin on dere feet; 
Aunt Susan went an caught is han 
An bow d an jump an bio ; 
Atter w ile she gine a jerk, 
An snatch d im to de flo . 

Aunt Susan said, " scuse me, 
De spirit s wid me now, 
I wants to git ole Satin out 
An chaise im fur a roun "; 
De preacher look d eroun an said, 
" Dat spirit sho am strong; 
Next time you keep it in yo han 
Ca se dat s where it belong." 

Aunt Lottie stood right by my side 

An holler d, " Aint dat so "; 

Dan she gine one dem holy jumps 

An land doun on my toe; 

I jump d an fell ercross a bench, 

Amen, amen, dey cry; 

Den some one jump d erpon dat bench, 

An struck me in de eye. 

Wen meetin broke I started horn , 
Religin on my min ; 
I looks back down de lonesome road 
A shape wus right behin 


Dat s jest bout twice as tall as me, 
An seem as w ite as sno ; 
Wen he got right long by my side, 
He say " good evenin Joe." 

Den boy, I hit a lickin pace 

An run wid all my might; 

I quit de road an took de trail 

Dat leads off to de right 

Fur bout a mile I burn de win , 

Den I wus veary tir d; 

I sot doun on a log to res , 

He eased doun by my side. 

Up oft dat log I gine a leap, 

An tried my bes to fly; 

He reach d an caught me by de hair, 

Hit look lak I would die; 

I leap ercross de fishin creek 

An I gine a whoop an squall; 

I us comin through dem piney woods 

Jes lak a rifle ball. 



Sleep on ye happy sons 
Beneath the trodden soil; 
Sleep on in Paradise, 
Tis there ye have no toil. 

Ye served your country well, 
When she was most in need; 
And planted in her bowers, 
A pure and worthy seed. 

Ye gave to us the right 
To live as others live; 
For this we do adore, 
And to ye honor give. 

Sleep on ye happy sons 
Within your silent grave; 
Sleep on in Paradise 
Among the good and brave 



It wus one day bout one erclock, 

I nuver will forgit it; 

De niggers all wus jumpin roun, 

Jest like a drove o crickits. 

" We done got free at las " dey cried, 

An dey wus jest a singin ; 

Could hyeah the soun o niggers voice, 

All through de woods a ringin . 

I cut de ole time " pigion wing " 

Den start on " twistfurcation " 

Fur twas de only way I kno 

To have my celerb ration. 

Sis Juddie jine me in the dance 

An den we went to swingin , 

Wile people pat dere hands an sung 

Like bells in heaben ringin . 

It was a grand an mighty day 
Wen all dat host of menses, 
Came ridin to ole masser yard 
An toe doun all de fenceses; 
Den dey begin to bio dem horns 
An horses wus a prancin , 
I threw dat child doun out my lap 
An man I went to dancin . 



Not a place on earth I kno 
Dat I love as well 
As my little cabin horn* 
Where I use ter dwell; 
Through de woods I use ter go 
Huntin fur de coon; 
Walkin by oh greamin light 
Of de silver moon. 

Many days I play d erbout 

Neath de shady trees; 

Where I hear d de hummin sound 

Of de buisy bees: 

Dearest little cabin home, 

Yes, I love you still; 

I kin see you in my dreams 

Sittin on de hill. 



My darlin I sho love you 

But you don treat me right; 
W a make you let dat guy go 

Back horn* wid you las night? 
You kno dat thing got way wid me 

Wen you did me excuse; 
I want to be wid you so bad 

To hyeah de lattes news. 

You sho did build some bridge las night, 

Yer built it cross my nose; 

You said you thought a lot of me 

To tute me I supose: 

I kno ole Dick done been eround 

An make is gread big brag; 

Cause all de boys dat lives eround 

Is got me fur a gag. 

Why don you be a lady true 

An love one at a time, 

Dis flirtin am a dangerous thing, 

An too it is a crime; 

It make me sick doun in my heart 

Wen I think how you done, 

If I ketch Dick wid you ergain 

Somebody sho goin run. 

He goes to be a mighty " tush " 
But I s not scared o him; 
If ever I lay hands on Dick 
I ll beat him out er win ; 


Hush! don you say a thing to me 
You s almos made me sick 
You play setch trick wid me ergain 
I ll gea you nough o Dick. 

Come hyeah honey to yo love, 

Hush now baby, don it cry; 

Aint goin hurt my choc late drop, 

Blessid little sugar pie. 

I don kno w at I would do 

Dout my little Miss; 

Let me hug you one more time 

An gea you a kiss. 



A mother true, a mother wise 

This is the name she bears; 

She s sowing truth throughout the land, 

To serve in coming years. 

Upon the hearts of earnest youths 

Who march to her bright dawn, 

She is writing there a precious theme; 

Sing, pray and labor on. 

A mother who is walking down 

The narrow rugged lane, 

To reach the goal which stands afar 

In everlasting fame. 

Though trials come on every side, 

Her aim is bright and true; 

Through storms our mother will endure 

And make our lives anew. 

A mother dear, a mother true 

This mother is Snow Hill; 

Whose lesson is to labor on 

And do our Sovereign s will. 

And well thou knowest mother mine 

That life is not all ease 

Thus there may st suffer many pain 

While bringing in the sheaves. 



A week ergo, las Wednesday night 
I got an invitation; 
To visit Parson Davis home 
Wile off on my vacation. 

I started two days in advance 
To make all preparation; 
So when I walked into de house 
Dey ould see my decoration. 

I look my black suit through an through 
An gine to it a cleanin ; 
Dat almos hurt dem people s eyes, 
Cause it had setch a gleamin . 

De night came on for me to fill 
Dat most distinct engagement; 
You kno dose envious Johnson boys 
Tried to break up my rangement. 

Dey told er many different things 
Which all prov d to be fakers; 
Cause every body know dem boys 
To be good faker makers. 

I gine myself an early start 
To take a good neat dressin ; 
So when I face dem putty maids 
I ould make a good impressin . 

I made a good impressin too 
I won de heart o Mammie; 
An jest had been a luttle mo 
I ould stole de heart o Channie. 



No race has had such chilly days 

As thou, O Mother race; 

Nor had the veil of darkness drawn 

Before its lonely face; 

What pains and sorrows thou hast had 

Through these lamenting years; 

What burdens given thee to bear, 

What griefs and bitter tears. 

No race could bear this heavy load 

As thou, and not have died; 

Fate cast thee on a mighty sea, 

Swept by a raging tide. 

Thy sons have known but toil and woe 

O noble Mother race; 

Suffering snares on every side, 

And insults to the face. 

Tis better that thou struggle on, 

O ravished Mother race; 

For neath the skies where others dwell 

Thou lt win a worthy place. 

Though it is dark, go on and on 

O Mother race of mine; 

For ere thy distant goal is won 

Glory will on thee shine. 



Washington, true noble son 

Of Ethiopia s pride; 

Over the land thy deeds have flown 

On fame s rising tide. 

What a shelter your hands built 
In the land of flowers 
That the lowly may enjoy 
Bright and happy hours. 

How faithful was your toil for us, 
O Ethiopia s star; 

What struggles you have had for us 
In life s great war. 

Your life was all of care and toil, 
Each hour, each night and day; 
You cleared the forest of life for us 
And made an open way. 

Sleep on, O hero, and find rest 
In that bright home above; 
Rest from your labors and your toil, 
And know your people s love. 



O Dunbar! the son of everlasting fame, 

Thou served st thy race, thy country-men, but 

not in vain; 

The everlasting lessons thou hast taught 
Are lights by which our fortunes may be 


Thy songs we sing o er rugged hill and plains, 
Dost soothe our daily heartaches and our pains. 

Thou marched into the world among the brave, 
And all the way was forward to thy early grave; 
Toiling each day for those that never knew; 
Inspiring them to live serene and true; 
Thou wast the guide on pathways we must go, 
The mighty teacher who taught us dreams to 

Oh, Dunbar, the son of Ethiopian blood, 
Thou soarest above life s raging tides and flood; 
Rest in thy peace beyond the distant sky, 
Thy memory is in our hearts never to die. 
Dunbar, Dunbar! of everlasting fame, 
Thy service we honor and thy genius claim! 



Go way from me an le me lone, 

You worry me to death; 

If you jest pull my year ergain 

I ll beat you out er breath; 

I want you kno jest who I am; 

I aint nobody crazy ; 

Go way frum me an le me lone, 

I am ma an papa baby. 

You come eround an play wid me 

So you kin eat my bread; 

An ebery time you git a chance 

You bump me gain de head. 

I is tired puttin up wid you, 

You say dat I is crazy; 

You must be fool, you little brat, 

I am ma an papa baby. 

You wan be still, look at you now, 

Jes grinnin like a cat; 

Confoun yo little crazy time, 

Don set right on my hat. 

I is goin horn erway frum you, 

You ack lack you is crazy; 

I don want you ter play wid me, 

I am ma an papa baby. 



A pretty little flower 
Stood smiling on the way; 
And welcomed every traveler, 
On a bright sunny day. 

It seemed to smile and whisper 
To those who passed it by, 
And say, " My little children 
Why do you weep and cry." 

" Come take me as thy comfort, 
For tis my mission here 
To cheer the weak and weary 
And help their burden bear. 

" We all may be a flower 
Along life s path of night, 
And scatter there bright sunshine, 
That men may walk in light." 



You talkin bout a time in toun, 
It was in las September; 
Wen all de different churches roun 
Came hyeah wid ebery member. 

Sis Fannie frum de Hard shell church 
Wus pointed by de men; 
To sing dat good ole song of deres, 
Dey call dere fav rite hymn. 

Sis Bettie frum de Meth dist church 
Was pointed by de quir 
To sing dat good ole Meth dist hymn, 
Till she had made em cry. 

But Ned from Shiloah Baptis church, 
Wus pointed by de board, 
To sing dat good ole Baptis song, 
Dat glorify de Lord 

An man, dey done some singin to, 
I want to tell you dat; 
It made Sis Hannah Bonner shout 
Till she tored up her hat. 



Wen I wus a courtin man 
My, I used to dres ; 
I wouldn t go to see a gal 
Unless I wore a ves*. 

I wore dem locus bussom shirts 
An had em w ite as sno ; 
I have had four o dem putty studs 
All strung doun in a ro . 

I had a long Prince Albert coat 
Dat cam down ter me knee, 
An w en I got ter dancin roun 
It hum jes like a bee. 

I member once I had a hat 
Dat temp d gals passin by, 
An w en I put dat rascal on 
It made de fellers cry. 

I see youal wear yo English suit. 
Done quit lox lack an peg; 
Yo britchins fit you like yo skin, 
An come half way you leg. 

You s got to many styles fur me 
An none don worth a cent; 
You d better kept dat money, boy, 
To spen for pork an rent. 



Way doun South where de wild rose grows 
By de stream as de water flows, 
Gently through de ca m bright night 
Neath de twinklin starry light; 
Tripple, tripple, night an day, 
Dats where hearts are gay. 

Way doun South where de robins sing 
Through de fair bright days of spring, 
Mong de growin lilies fair, 
Where de fragrance fills de air, 
W ile de sunbeams dance an play, 
Dats where hearts are gay. 

Way doun South where de ruslin cane 
Makes a joyful, sweet refrain, 
As de coolin breezes bio 
Through de meadow to an fro; 
Way doun horn , in de South I say, 
Dats where hearts are gay. 

Way doun South in de silent grave 
Sleep de noble an de brave; 
From dere labor an dere toil, 
Restin safe in de homeland soil; 
Where de sunbeams dance an play, 
Dats where hearts are gay. 



Wen a lady gea you bread 
You say, " Thank you mam "; 
She may gea you something mo , 
Ha s a slice of ham. 

Wen you meet em in de road 
Gea yo hat a raise; 
Make a bow an speech to dem 
But don stop an gaize. 

Wen you see a door is shut 
Gea a rap or two; 
Something like dis, rap, rap, rap! 
Dats de way to do. 

If dey vite you in to eat, 
Don eat wid yo han ; 
Use yo knife, yo fork an spoon, 
Like a little man. 

You mus try to be perlite 
Every way you go; 
Dats de kind o seed to choose, 
An de kind to so . 



Another year has passed away, 
The New Year comes, but not to stay; 
I will put my cares on Jesus Christ, 
When the Old with the New Year makes 

Within all evil thoughts shall die, 
And holy ones yearn toward the sky; 
Then all my griefs shall pass away, 
And every day be a holy day. 

I have blundered Lord along the road, 
But now I walk with lightened load; 
Help me to keep that which is right 
Beginning on this New Year s night. 



Labor w ile the sun is bright, 

Pray an labor on; 

Labor on wid earnest hearts 

Till de day is gone; 

Labor dough de clouds be lo , 

Labor dough de work be hard, 

Pray an labor on. 

Labor w ile de day is fair; 
Sing an labor on; 
Labor fur a wurthy cause, 
March an labor on; 
Labor not fur self alone, 
Labor fur yo brother too, 
Sing an labor on. 

Labor dough de win may bio , 

Labor all de day; 

He will sho you w at to do 

An prepare de way; 

Labor fo de sun is down, 

Labor fur a righteous crown, 

Pray an labor on. 

Labor dough de day be long, 

Fight an labor on; 

Labor fur a happy horn , 

Pray an labor on ; 

Labor dough de way be dark, 

Pray to Him wid earnest heart, 

Sing an labor on. 



Will you think of me my dear, 
Wile I am erway? 
I am goin fur frum you, 
But I cannot stay. 

Wen I think of leavin you, 
I sit doun an cry; 
Thinkin w at I m goin to do, 
Wen I say goodbye. 

Love is treasured in my heart, 
An its all fur you; 
I will ever think of you, 
An I will be true. 

Wen I have return to you, 
I don t want to tarry; 
If you really care fur me, 
We will go an marry. 

Will you truly promise me 
Wen I cease to roam, 
That you ll come and live wid me 
In a lovin home? 

Think of me my little dear 
Wile I am erway; 
An set de erpointed time 
Fur de weddin day. 



Hush! I hyeah a mighty singin 
Over on de hill, 

Goodness, wish you stop yo fuss, 
An learn to be still. 

Singin soundin mighty good, 
Wish I could be dere, 
Sit doun dere an hush yo mouth, 
An plat up yo hair. 

You can t hyeah me w en I talk 
Can t you keep still som ? 
W en I git through wid you Mis , 
You will go frum horn. 

I can t hyeah a single thing, 
Dat goes on eroun , 
Fur you makin all yo noise, 
You are out er boun . 

Ebery night you sit eroun , 
Hollerin like a fool; 
I s goin buy a book fur you, 
An send you to school. 

I don want yer growin up 
So much like a nigger; 
You must le rn to read an write, 
Cypher, add, an figger. 

Dere are nuff o peoples now, 
Who can t read an write; 
You mus stop yo nigger ways, 
An act like you white. 



Wen I wake up in der morn 

Feelin kind o tir d an sad, 

I begin to sing a song 

Dat will make me kind o glad; 

Dis ole fiddle is my comfort, 

In de mornin an at noon, 

You kin hyeah de strings a singin, 

In a high an lodious tune. 

Wen I stop my work at twelve, 
Wet wid sweat an hungry too, 
I jest play till Milly come 
An say Silas, dat will do. 
Dis s a good ole piece to play, 
Twas my daddy s-daddy s song, 
An tis as good an sweet 
As de honey in de corn. 

Ebery night befo e I sleep 
You kin hyeah de fiddle strin , 
Playin out so loud an sweet 
On de current of de win . 
Milly, she jest sit an listen 
Wid de children on hur knee; 
To de fiddle as it whistle 
Lack a luttle chicakadee. 



I don ker bout yo cake an pie, 
An ne ther bout yo chicken; 
I wouldn t give a dime fur all 
Dat you have in yo kitchen; 
Wen I come doun to visit you, 
I ll eat what please the masses; 
Make t ings as common as you kin, 
An gea me bread an lasses. 

Folks talk erbout dere po k an ham, 
An dat bolognial sausage; 
But I purfer dat sweeten t ing 
Dat pou s out through ah fausage; 
Wen I sit doun to eat a meal, 
No matter tis what passes, 
Dere s nothin dat will suit my taste, 
Lack good ole bread an lasses. 

I sho enjoy d my supper here, 

It wus so nice an fine; 
A luttle cake an cream will do 

To suit this taste of mine. 
In spite of all de cake an cream, 

Upon your table passes, 
I wish dat you had brought to me 

A plate of bread an lasses. 



Win s are blowin on ahaid us, 
Rain is fallin fas ; 
Never mind it, keep er goin , 
Soon it all will pas . 

We may git a little tirid 
Fo e we reach de end; 
But jest take a little courage, 
Ebery now and den. 

We may have a many ackin 
An a many pain; 
But remember dat ole sayin 
" Sunshine after rain." 

We may see a many days 
Dat we think are night; 
But we kno dat after darkness 
Dere will be a light. 

[38 : 


Jesus my King in Thee I trust 
With all my soul and heart; 

Within Thy footsteps I will walk 
And never will depart. 

Jesus the source of all my strength, 

The light by which I see; 
Help me to praise Thy Holy name 

Till I am home with Thee. 



Help me O Lord, to face the coming foes, 
Help me I pray to win; 
Teach me the wisdom of the age, 
And keep me free from sin. 

When darkness dwells along my rugged path, 

Help me to fight and pray; 

And sing Thy psalms, though Thee I may not 

Until the dawn of day. 

Keep me O Lord, within Thy shepherd s fold, 
Keep me beneath Thy wing; 
Guide me until I reach the blissful shore, 
Where I will see my King. 



Keep me neath Thy mighty wing, 

Keep me, Jesus keep me; 

Help me praise Thy Holy name, 

Keep me, Jesus keep me. 

O my Lamb, come my Lamb, 

O my good Lamb, 

Save me, Jesus, save me. 

Hear me as I cry to Thee; 
Keep me, Jesus keep me; 
May I that bright glory see; 
Keep me, Jesus, keep me. 
O my Lamb, my good Lamb, 
O my good Lamb, 
Keep me, Jesus, keep me. 



Don t you hyeah de masser callin , 

Come on children, come on horn ; 

Run ca se yonder s mount is fallin , 

Run on children, run on horn ; 

Come on to yo Jesus, run on to yo horn 1 , 

Lay yo heavy burden doun, 

Run on, run on horn . 

He is waitin to receive yo , 

Come on children, come on horn ; 

All he say to yo is true, 

Run on children, run on horn . 

Run on to yo Jesus, run on to yo horn , 

Run bef oe ole Satin come, 

Come on, come on horn . 

Hyeah Him He is softly callin , 
Come on children, come on horn ; 
Run ca se yonder s mount is fallin , 
Run on children, run on horn ; 
Run on to yo Jesus, run on to yo hom\ 
Run ca se yonder s rocks will fall, 
Run on, run on horn . 



Come on children, sing a song of praise; 
Sing on, sing on to Jesus. 
He is risen from the lonely grave; 
Sing on, sing on to Jesus. 

Sing on, pray on, Jesus still lives; 
Sing on, pray on, Jesus still lives; 
Fight on, march on, till the dawn of day; 
Fight on, march on, don t forget to pray. 

Sing on children, he is gone above; 

Sing on, sing on, to Jesus; 
Walk and live in His abiding love; 

Sing on, sing on, to Jesus. 

Come on children, march around the walls; 

Sing on, sing on, to Jesus; 
Yonder walls soon will rock and fall; 

Sing on, sing on, to Jesus. 

Sing on, pray on, Jesus still lives; 
Sing on, pray on, Jesus still lives; 
Fight on, march on, till the dawn of day; 
Fight on, march on, don t forget to pray. 



Hush! tis a voice I hear afar, 
Hear ye the doleful cries! 
Some one is suffering in the storm, 
Go seek him ere he dies. 

I pity him in his distress; 
He cries under Heaven s dome; 
Let s seek until we find the lost, 
And bring him safely home. 

At last here lies the dying lad, 
Come, now, we ll kneel and pray; 
Oh! see it is our darling son, 
Who long since went astray. 

What pain, what grief I suffer now, 
As I embrace my son; 
Breathing his last and fainting breath 
My life, it seems, is done. 

There are many sons today are lost 
On life s stormy ocean foam; 
Let s seek them while they wander lost, 
And bring them safely home. 



If you plant a row of corn 
You can t reap no wheat; 
If you plant a row o beans 
Don t expect a beet. 

W en you plant yo sweet pertater 
You don look fur beans; 
If you plant a row of peas, 
You don look fur greens. 

If you steal frum any body 
Some will steal frum you; 
You kin try it if you wan er, 
You will find it true. 

If we sow a seed o kindes 
We will reap de same; 
Let us sow dem every day 
In our Savior s name. 



Wen yo life is full o trouble, 

Don complain; 

We mus have our daily toil, 

An* our pain; 

Take it as it goes an comes, 

Ebery day; 

Keep a fightin an a marchin 

On de way. 

Wen yo load is gettin heavy, 

Don give up; 

Soon de bitter drugs will go 

Frum yo cup; 

Don keer how de sun is shinin , 

Walk right on, 

Till you take de load you carry, 

To yo horn . 

Wen de clouds are hangin heavy, 

Hurry on; 

Try yo best to make it over 

To yo horn ; 

Never stop to fool erlong, 

On de way; 

Keep a marchin an a fightin , 

All de day. 



I am feelin kind o sad 

Bout my mother dear, 

Though she died an left me hyeah, 

Soon will be a year; 

It is putty hard an sad 

Wen yo mother s cross de foam; 

An you cannot hyeah her voice 

Nowhere in de horn . 

Wen I come in from work 

I sit doun an sigh 

O er de words she spoke to me 

Jes befo she die; 

She is gone to heaven s land 

Never to return 

An she caution d me to live 

Ever true an firm. 

Who will take me in dere care 
Wen I am in trouble; 
An will come to cherish me 
Wen de mourns are double? 
Wen yo mother pass erway 
You will have it tough; 
As you walk erlong de roads 
You will find em rough. 

I remember d good an plain 
How she use to toil, 
Rangin t ings erbout de house 
Fur us to enjoy; 


Who will speak a word o cheer 
Wen Fs feeling sad, 
Cannot say, mother s gone 
She wus all I had. 

If you stan eroun de bed 
Wen yo mother is dyin , 
You can t help frum feelin sad, 
An can t keep frum cryin ; 
One thing gea me consulation 
We will meet ergin, 
In de land of joy an res , 
Dat is free from sin. 



Who rock d me w en I wus a babe, 
My mother to be sure; 
Who loved me dough I act d rude, 
Mother sweet and pure. 

Who toil d wid me both night and day, 
Mother kind an dear; 
Who sought me w en I went estray, 
Mother, mother dear. 

Who shar d my sorrows every day, 
Mother, mother mine; 
What taught me how to sing an pray? 
Twas Mother s love divine. 

Oh mother dear has passed away, 
Mother, mother mine; 
An bade me come to res wid her, 
In Paradise divine! 



My loving son, my message is 
As I bid you goodbye, 
That you must ever put your trust 
In God until you die. 

Here is a jewel I ll give to you, 
Retain it through your life 
Twill help you when all helpers fail 
In overcoming strife. 

Take then my son this precious jewel, 
It s dear, it s real and pure; 
This jewel is these precious words, 
Be honest, kind and true. 

Your foes may come on every side, 
And tempter s powers assail you, 
But keep in mind this precious jewel - 
Be honest, kind and true. 



Take me to my horn in Dixie fur erway 

Where my mother an de children all are gay, 

Take me dere an let me die, 

At my mother s side to He. 

Wile the good ole preacher come eroun to pray. 

Take me to my horn in Dixie bright an fair, 
Where de purfum frum de flowers fill de air, 
Take me dere to res w en bre th 
Weakens to its song of de th, 
An dey ring de bell of peace slow and clear. 

Take me to my horn in Dixie where I ll res 

Till de angles come an call me to de tes ; 

Take me dere an let me see 

De ole shady hic ry tree, 

Where de robin an de sparrow make dere nes . 

Take me to my horn in Dixie on de farm 
Whar my childhood days were free frum care 

and harm; 

Take me dere an let me look 
At my horn beside de brook, 
Where the days went passin free of life s alarm. 

Take me to my horn in Dixie where I ll res 
Till de angels come an call me to de tes ; 

Make fur me a lowly grave 

On de hill ermong de brave, 
W en dey fold my arms in de th on my bres . 

[51 ] 


Doun in de valley I went one day 
Wid head hung low w ile on my way, 
I heard a voice but I could not see, 
An it seem d to say dat " God loves me." 

Doun in de valley I went one day 

Wid a heavy heart w ile on my way, 

I heard a song but I could not see, 

An it seem d to say, dat " God loves me." 

Doun in de valley I knelt an pray, 
Askin fur a brighter day; 
Wen I raise up I could plainly see 
A shinin light, sayin " Come to me." 



What good deed have I done today 
To cheer a weary soul, 
That he might feel a touch of love 
While struggling toward the goal. 

What seed of cheer have I sown today, 
To lift the fainting head; 
Of a soul that crept along the way 
In need of drink and bread? 

What psalm of praise have I sung today 
To hearts sad of grief and pain, 
As they went troubled down the path 
In life s merciless rain? 



W en through life the way seems dark, 
Look to God an do yo best; 
Work wid willin han an heart; 
He will give you ceaseless rest. 

W en your path is long an rough, 
Pressin let yo zeal be shown, 
Till you see the King above, 
Settin on de golden throne. 

Never murmur or complain, 
But be thankful fur yo share; 
Life is naught without a pain, 
Useless without toil and care. 



In de hour of death when all am still, 
An de night am dark an col 
Wat faintin word can den be heard, 
To save our dyin soul? 

In de hour of death w en de end am near 
An de heart am beatin slo 
Wat psalm of praise can de mourner raise 
As death raps at de do . 

In de hour of death w en de debt am paid 
An we breathe de las goodbye 
In dat sad day w at can we say 
As death un loose de tie. 



Softly the shades of evening fall 
O er the cheerful hills and vales, 
Whispering to the weary eyes 
Saying, " lay your burden by; 
You have labored at your best, 
Go now, take your rest." 

Softly the shades of evening fall 
O er the heads of every one, 
Smiling as they dance and play 
O er the merry and the gay; 
Saying as they softly creep, 
" Go now, take your sleep." 

Softly the shades of evening dwell 
Till the dawning of the morn, 
Smiling as they dance away 
From the merry and the gay; 
Saying as they softly creep, 
" Wake now from your sleep." 



De winter days are drawin nigh 
An by the fire I sets an sigh; 
De nothe n win is blowin cold, 
Like it done in days of old. 

De yaller leafs are fallin fas , 
Fur summer days is been an pas ; 
The air is blowin mighty cold, 
Like it done in days of old. 

De frost is fallin on de gras , 
An seem to say " Dis is yo las 
De air is blowin mighty cold 
Like it done in days of old. 



Wile doun de narrow path o life 
I march wid hope to reach de goal 
As I attempts to do de thing dats right 
Evil gits within my weary soul. 

Each day I struggle on through life 
As bes I kin to reach de goal, 
But when I stops de struggle fo to res* 
Evil gits within my weary soul. 



Red, white an blue 
Gleamin in the air; 
Kind, dear an true, 
Is de name dey bear. 

Red, white an blue, 
Flag of mother mine; 
Teach us w at to do, 
Till de end of time. 

Flag of our home 
In a foreign air; 
Fightin gainst de wrong, 
Is yo mission dere. 

Flag wid twinklin stars, 
May you ever wave, 
On yo staff above 
All dats good an brave. 



Sing out, sing clear, the true and brave, 
That peace may o er the land prevail; 
Sing on in joy with every land, 
That peace may come to man. 

Sing out, sing loud, the old and young, 
Sing all beneath the gleaming sun; 
Sing as thou walk st, sing as thou stand st, 
That peace may come to man. 

Sing out, sing glad, the great and small, 
That peace may flourish over all; 
Let echoes ring o er every land, 
That peace may come to all. 

Sing out, sing true, the high and low, 
Sing as we on to glory go; 
Sing on in joy with every strand, 
That peace may come to man. 


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