The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81179   Message #1500322
Posted By: GUEST,Q
04-Jun-05 - 08:47 PM
Thread Name: African American Secular Folk Songs
Subject: RE: African American Secular Folk Songs
Lafcadio Hearn, in *letters to Krehbiel, spoke of the difficulty of obtaining the songs of the 'coloured' in Louisiana.
*E. Bisland, ed., 1906, "The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn," Vol. 1, p. 232, (written 1881), Houghton Mifflin Co.
"Nearly all of the Creoles here- white- know English, French and Spanish ... in addition to the patois employed only in speaking to children or servants. When a child becomes about ten years old, it is usually forbidden to speak Creole under any other circumstances. The French coloured population are ashamed to speak their patois before whites. They will address you in French ... and sing French songs; but there must be extraordinary inducements to make them sing or talk in Creole."
Of the three collectors, only Henry Krehbiel had much musical ability, George Cable was probably best at translation, and Hearn was a superb observer and inquirer. Their interaction on a Criole Candjo perhaps is one of the more successful of their efforts. Mudcat is balky now; I will wait until it gets better to render their versions.