So Early in the Morning (I)
DESCRIPTION: In "South Carolina's sultry clime" "massa 'neath de shade would lay While we poor niggers toil all day." The singer used to wait on massa and "brush away de blue tail'd fly." Massa's dead now; he was the best of massa's; "miss him now, him dead and gone"
EARLIEST DATE: before 1863 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(3562))
KEYWORDS: death slavery bug servant Black(s)
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Williams-Thames, p. 178, "So Early in the Morning" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 82)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(3562), "So Early in de Morning" ("South Carolina's a sultry clime"), H. Such (London), 1849-1862; also Firth b.25(282), Harding B 15(295a), Firth c.26(240), Harding B 11(1298), "So Early in the Morning"
cf. "The Blue-Tail Fly" (one verse) and references there
NOTES [70 words]: Don't confuse this with such play-party songs as "Going to Boston" which have a one-line tag on each verse: "So early in the morning." The chorus here is "So early in the morning, (x3) Before the break of day."
Williams-Thames and the Bodleian broadsides include the blue-tailed fly verse: "When I was young, I used to wait, On massa's table -- lay de plate; Pass de bottle when him dry, Brush away de blue-tail'd fly." - BS
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