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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

Words Francis Lynch, Music James Power, 1847

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.

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

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.
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.
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.

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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