The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #39304   Message #557413
Posted By: raredance
23-Sep-01 - 11:00 PM
Thread Name: Slavery-Era Song, 'Run, ======, Run'
Subject: RE: Slavery-Era Song, 'Run, ======, Run'
Since I am responsible for posting the set of lyrics that supposedly gives "spriritual" connotations to this song, I will at least offer and explantion of what I think may have happened. I have rexamined the Scarborough book and have a theory. Parts of both RNR and Lingerin' are found in two different places in the Scarborough book, p 12 and p 24-25. I think it is a type-setting error in the book. A title "Most Done Lingerin' Here" and four line tune with words are found at the top of p 25 right in the middle of a discussion of RNR with no explanation at all. On p 12 there is a title "Run, Nigger, Run" and four lines of music and words which is followed by text of the Lingerin' song. The two tunes are quite different and neither set of lyrics scans to the other tune. Both blocks of music are the same height and I believe they were transposed by the typesetter, i.e. the RNR music block should be on p 25 and the Lingern' music block should be on p 12. In that format the two songs are no longer even remotely connected. The key, I think, is Scarborough's lead-in text on p 12 which I will quote to support my thesis.

"Sometimes I have chanced upon songs unexpectedly, as in Louisville, Kentucky, several years ago, when I was waiting for a belated train. An old. old colored man, in ragged felt hat and clothes scarcely more than a collection of tattered patches, came along, followed by a flea-infested yellow dog. (I did not see the fleas, but the dog gestured of their presence) In spite of his garb, the old man had a quaint, antique dignity, which seemed to say that clothes were of small moment; I am sure he had a soul above patches. As he walked along, singing to himself, I followed him to hear and take down his song. His voice was cracked and quavery, and with the peculiar catch that aged Negroes have in their singing, but it was pathetically sweet."

I would argue that this description does not fit RNR at all but would fit with Lingerin'. I don't think RNR would be described as sweet. I believe there is no credible evidence that these two songs ever existed as a medley and therefore I propose that RNR and "Most Done Lingerin' Here" be completely separated. To me that eliminates any hint of a "spiritual" in RNR, although other list makers and linkers are free to make their own judgements. I hope this makes sense and I apologize for not recognizing the problem sooner.

rich r