The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #112352 Message #3789702
Posted By: Joe Offer
11-May-16 - 02:12 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Times Are Getting Hard Boys
Subject: ADD Version: Times Gettin' Hard, Boys
There's a version on Page 242 of Carl Sandburg's American Songbag (1927), but there's not much to it:
TIMES GETTIN' HARD, BOYS
Times gettin' hard, boys, money gettin' scarce;
If times don't be no better hyar, boun' to leave dis place.
Take my true love by de han' lead her roun' de town;
When she see dat yellow boy she almos' faint away.
Sandburg's notes: When Rebecca Taylor sang her spirituals for us in Columbia, South Carolina, she was asked if she knew other songs, not spirituals. "When you were a girl wasn't there something that boys and girls would sing at each other for fun, for mischief?" Her eyes lighted, and she gave a soprano chuckle, and she sang this verse out of the years when she was young. The "yellow boy" amid the black girls made an impression: it started a song.