Run, Nigger, Run

DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "Run, nigger, run, The (calaboose/patter-roller) will get you. Run, nigger run...." Various verses on the life of the slave, usually pertaining to punishment and perhaps the run to freedom
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1851 (Serenader's Song Book)
KEYWORDS: slave freedom escape nonballad
REFERENCES (14 citations):
Allen/Ware/Garrison-SlaveSongsUnitedStates, p. 89, "Run, Nigger, Run" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 457, "Run, Nigger, Run" (4 texts plus an excerpt and mention of 2 more, all short and with hints of mixture but with this chorus)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 457, "Run, Nigger, Run" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Randolph 264, "Run, Nigger, Run" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 225-226, "Run, Nigger, Run" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 264)
Arnold-FolkSongsofAlabama, p. 121, "Run, Nigger, Run" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 248, "Run, Nigger, Run" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-OnTheTrailOfNegroFolkSongs, p. 12, "Run, Nigger, Run" (1 text, 1 tune; it appears that this has mixed with something else, but the version isn't long enough to be sure what); also p. 24, "Run, Nigger, Run" (2 texts, 1 tune, both short); also p. 25, "Most Done Ling'rin Here" (1 text, 1 tune, with a verse from this plus the "If you get there before I do" floating verse and a chorus that might be "Rough, Rocky Road")
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #6, "Run, Nigger, Run" (2 texts, 2 tunes; the first appears very mixed but has this chorus; the second might well be a different song but, with only two verses, or a verse and a chorus, it is not possible to definitively split it)
Roberts-SangBranchSettlers, #91, "Do Johnny Booger" (1 text, 1 tune, an incredible mess with the chorus and some words from "Johnny Booker (Mister Booger)," an ending which is from "Run, Nigger, Run," and a number of verses perhaps from "Old Dan Tucker")
Lomax/Lomax-AmericanBalladsAndFolkSongs, pp. 228-231, "Run, Nigger, Run" (1+ texts, 1 tune)
Botkin-TreasuryOfAmericanFolklore, p. 906, "Run, Nigger, Run" (1 text, 1 tune)
Coleman/Bregman-SongsOfAmericanFolks, pp. 106-108, "Run, Nigger, Run" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #2047, p. 137, "Run, Nigger, Run! Or the M.P.'ll Catch You" (1 reference, probably rewritten)

Roud #3660
Dr. Humphrey Bate & His Possum Hunters, "Run Nigger, Run" (Brunswick 275, 1928)
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Run Nigger, Run" (OKeh 40230, 1924)
Sid Harkreader & Grady Moore, "Run Nigger Run" (Paramount 3054, 1927)
Uncle Dave Macon, "Run, Nigger, Run" (Vocalion 15032, 1925)
Mose "Clear Rock" Platt, "Run, Nigger, Run" (AFS 196 A1, 1933; on LC04)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "Run Nigger Run" (Columbia 15158-D, 1927)
Clint Howard, Gaither Carlton, Fred Price & Doc Watson, "Run, Jimmie, Run" (on WatsonAshley01)

cf. "Shortenin' Bread" (tune)
cf. "Some Folks Say that a Preacher Won't Steal" (lyrics)
Pateroller Song
Run, Boy, Run
Run, Johnny, Run
Run, Slave, Run
NOTES [74 words]: In Lomax we find the following explanation (quoted at several hands' remove):
"Just after the Nat Turner Insurrection in 1832 the Negroes were put under special restrictions to home quarters, and patrolmen appointed to keep them in, and if caught without a written pass from owner they were dealt with severely then and there; hence the injunction to 'Run, Nigger, Run, the Patter-roller Git You' to the tune of 'Fire in the Mountain....'" - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: R264

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