The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4743   Message #2685314
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
22-Jul-09 - 11:52 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Hogseye Man
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hogseye Man
I never know quite which "hogeye" thread to add to, so I hope this hasn't been done already.

Anyway, an interesting connection to, I think, "Hogeye Man" is this song I stumbled on in a book AMERICAN NEGRO FOLK-SONGS (1928) by Newman Ivey White. He is giving versions of a song, "Little David, Play Yo Harp" (which I've not yet familiarized myself with -- is it well-known?).

He collected it in North Carolina, but I am unclear from the text (I guess I don't get his format) whether he is saying he heard it sung by "the mountain whites" or "Negroes" or both. He says that, "That this version is descended from an old secular song sung by slavesin the early eighteen-fifties is strongly indicated by Solomon Northup's song, given in the Appendix" (I cannot see the appendix on Google Preview).

Who's been here since I been gone?
A big black nigger wid a derby on

Little David, play on yo' harp, Hallelu
Hallelu,Little David, play on yo' harp, Hallelu

Never see the like since I been born
The people keep comin' an' de train done gone

Away up yonder beyond the sun
A big black nigger wid a derby on

He cites some other, similar lyrics, from other places in NC and Alabama in the 1910s. The verses are the floating lyrics of many songs. However, I am fascinated by how the chorus sounds like it could fit to "Hogeye Man".   No melody is given, unfortunately.