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Lyr Add: Dearest Mae (minstrel)

Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Sep 13 - 09:56 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Sep 13 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Sep 13 - 10:34 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: DEAREST MAE (F Lynch/J Power)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 09:56 AM

DEAREST MAE
Words Francis Lynch, Music James Power, 1847

1
Now, niggers listen to me, a story I'll relate;
It happen'd in de valley, In de old Carlina state;
Way down in de meadow 'twas dare I mow'd de hay;
I always work de harder, when I think ob lubly Mae.

Chorus-
Oh! dearest Mae,
You'r lubly as de day;
Your eyes so bright
Dey shine at night
When the moon am gwane away!

2
Old Massa gib me a Holiday an' say he'd gib me more,
I tank'd him bery kindly an' shoved my boat from shore;
So down de river I glides along wid my heart so light and free,
To de cottage ob my lubly Mae I'd long'd so much to see.
Chorus-
3
On the banks of de river whar de trees dey hang so low,
De coon among thar branches play, while de mink he keeps below;
Oh! dar is de spot an' Mae she looks so neat,
Her eyes dey sparkle like de stars, her lips are red as beet.
Chorus
4
Benead de shady old oak tree, we sat for many an hour,
Happy as de Bussard bird dat flies about de flower;
But oh, dear Mae I leff her, she cried when boff we parted,
I bid sweet Mae a long farewell and back to Massa started.
Chorus-


Words above from the sheet music (a few differences in later printings);
Philadelphia, A. Fiot, 196 Chesnut St.

This song is mentioned in "Yellow Rose of Texas," (1853). The verses have a similar meter.

Music and words also printed in "The Most Popular Plantation Songs," 1911, Hinds, Noble & Eldredge, NYC., pp. 84-85.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dearest Mae (minstrel)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 10:12 AM

Correction: Verse 3, line 2-

De COON among thar branches play, while de mink he keeps below;

Dunno why I put cows, but that would be a sight!

Also printed by Andrews, NYC. Song sheet at American Memory. Title: "Dearest May," but "Mae" used in the verses.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dearest Mae (minstrel)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 10:34 AM

Yes, cows in the branches would be a sight. So would a buzzard (vulture) flying above a flower.

I imagine a snowy January day at 42nd and Broadway in New York City. Frank Lynch sets his cigar down on top of the upright piano and says to Jim Power, "It was a bird name with a u in it. Tumbler? Hummer? Couldn't have been hummer. Birds don't hum. Must have been buzzard."

And another line of deathless dialect is born.


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