Guinea Negro Song
DESCRIPTION: A slave's complaint of his capture: (lines from various versions): "The Englie man he [s]teal me, And carry me to Birgimy [Virginee]. The American man he [s]teal me, And give me pretty red coatee, And make me fence rail toatee."
EARLIEST DATE: 1922 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: slave work commerce theft clothes
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
BrownIII 472, "Guinea Negro Song" (2 short texts, probably from the same informant)
BrownSchinhanV 472, "Guinea Negro Song" (2 tunes plus text excerpts)
NOTES: Brown's notes indicate that this came from an ex-slave to whom this originally happened. White objected that this was chronologically impossible. It isn't, quite -- while the English banned the slave trade in the early nineteenth century, and even the Americans eventually stopped it, an Englishman with no morals might have taken a slave and slipped him through American customs.
But I think White is right and the informant didn't suffer this fate. The dialect is just a little too cutesy. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.