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Lyr Add: Sun Lights Up All de Big Blue Skies

Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jun 10 - 10:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Jun 10 - 02:59 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Jun 10 - 12:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jun 10 - 01:41 PM
wysiwyg 13 Jun 10 - 05:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jun 10 - 06:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jun 10 - 07:43 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: SUN LIGHTS UP ALL DE BIG BLUE SKIES
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 10:46 PM

Lyr. Add: Sun Lights Up All de Big Blue Skies

Sun lights up all de big blue skies,
Shines all de live-long day:
Silvah moon and de star's bright eyes
Drives all de darkness away.
But what is dat in de light that gleams
In dis merry heart of mine?
I luv her true an' my luv jis beams.
Beats all de sun dat shine.
2
Mockin' bird, oh! he sings so fine,
Wa'bles his surrenade;
Lark, he sing in de bright sunshine;
Catbird sing in de shade.
But whut is dat to de pretty song
Dat rings in my heart all day?
My luv is true as my life is long,
An' it's goin' to stay dat way.
3
Rose, it bloom, oh! it bloom so sweet,
Fills all de summer air;
Vi'let blue underneaf my feet,
Sen's sweetness ev'rywhere.
But whut is dat to de flowers dat bloom
In my heart as on I go,
An' fills all my life wid sweet perfume?
Beats all de flowers I know.
4
Light may shine, it may shine so bright,
Flowers perfume de air;
Birds may sing all de day an' night,
Sen' music evertwhere;
But de brightest light an' de sweetest flower
An' de prettiest song I know
Jis' fills my heart every live-long hour,
Jis' case I luv her so.

John Wesley Work gives this as an example of American Negro song; I have not found the source and it is not mentioned by Work.

J. W. Work,1915, reprint 1969, Folk Song of the American Negro, Negro Universities Press, New York.

Anyone?

It is mentioned in E. I. Southern and Josephine Wright, 1990, African American Traditions in Song, Sermon, Tale, and Dance, 1600s-1920: An annotated bibliography...., The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Black Music, Greenwood Press.
The price on this book is $140-160. Some larger or university libraries may have a copy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sun Lights Up All de Big Blue Skies
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 02:59 PM

Source?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sun Lights Up All de Big Blue Skies
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Jun 10 - 12:15 PM

Google Books shows the text:

Folk Song of the American Negro by John Wesley Work (Nashville: Fisk University, 1915), page 11.

Frankly, the song doesn't sound like a true "folk" song to me. Despite the dialect, it feels a little too genteel. The imagery, the sentiment, and especially the carefully constructed parallelism of the 4 stanzas, make me think this was written by someone who had read and admired a lot of published poetry.

--Which is not to say it couldn't have been written and sung by an African-American. I only mean, it didn't pass through many hands from poet to publisher, and wasn't much affected by oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sun Lights Up All de Big Blue Skies
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jun 10 - 01:41 PM

My feeling was that Langston Hughes or another African-American wrote it, in the period before dialect became politically incorrect.
Or, not known as a writer, J. Rosamund Johnson.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sun Lights Up All de Big Blue Skies
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 05:08 PM

Shoot me for saying so, but it looks like minstrelsy to me.

BUT as we all know, African Americans wrote a lot of THAT, and as I have said before, some of that was "coded" too, and may have had a host of significances in its time.... and the "worst" of minstrelsy can be done in our time with great redemptive power.

It is what it is-- whatever it is. For me, it's enough to have more material, no matter its original source or intent, from the mosaic of a time I wish we all knew better.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sun Lights Up All de Big Blue Skies
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 06:11 PM

The reason I suggested Langston Hughes- I remembered this poem from a long time ago-

Po' Boy Blues

When I was home de
Sunshine seemed like gold
When I was home de
Sunshine seemed like gold.
Since I come up North de
Whole damn world's turned cold.

I was a good boy,
Nevr done no wrong.
Yes, I was a good boy,
Never done no wrong.
But this world is weary
An' de road is hard an' long.
-----------
Weary, weary,
Weary early in de morn.
Weary, weary,
Early, early in de morn.
I's so weary
I wish I'd never been born.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sun Lights Up All de Big Blue Skies
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 07:43 PM

I only remembered the last verse, the rest is from the net, forgotten which of several sites with his poems.


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