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Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run

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GUEST,Sule Greg Wilson 03 Jan 01 - 10:40 PM
Abby Sale 03 Jan 01 - 11:53 PM
mousethief 04 Jan 01 - 12:17 AM
Bullytanana 04 Jan 01 - 01:51 AM
Abby Sale 04 Jan 01 - 06:09 PM
Uncle_DaveO 04 Jan 01 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Sule Greg Wilson 04 Jan 01 - 11:30 PM
Extra Stout 05 Jan 01 - 01:26 AM
GUEST,fox4zero 05 Jan 01 - 05:32 AM
raredance 05 Jan 01 - 04:46 PM
raredance 05 Jan 01 - 05:02 PM
Extra Stout 05 Jan 01 - 10:36 PM
raredance 05 Jan 01 - 10:46 PM
Naemanson 06 Jan 01 - 09:45 AM
raredance 06 Jan 01 - 04:45 PM
Uncle_DaveO 06 Jan 01 - 05:23 PM
Dicho 20 Sep 01 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,jack 20 Sep 01 - 07:28 PM
LR Mole 21 Sep 01 - 10:21 AM
W y s i w y G ! 21 Sep 01 - 12:16 PM
chip a 21 Sep 01 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 22 Sep 01 - 02:04 AM
W y s i w y G ! 22 Sep 01 - 02:09 AM
Stewie 22 Sep 01 - 02:53 AM
Joe Offer 22 Sep 01 - 03:37 AM
masato sakurai 22 Sep 01 - 12:33 PM
Dicho 22 Sep 01 - 01:16 PM
W y s i w y G ! 22 Sep 01 - 01:37 PM
katlaughing 22 Sep 01 - 01:40 PM
Big Mick 22 Sep 01 - 01:46 PM
W y s i w y G ! 22 Sep 01 - 02:18 PM
katlaughing 22 Sep 01 - 02:50 PM
Murray MacLeod 22 Sep 01 - 04:44 PM
Big Mick 22 Sep 01 - 06:09 PM
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Subject: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: GUEST,Sule Greg Wilson
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 10:40 PM

Hey; I picked out the melody on my 'jo from a book. When I asked John Jackson about the words...he just laughed; wouldn't repeat 'em. Can anybody help? Answer @ suleness@aol.com

Originally, After the Nat Turner War, the song was by blacks for blacks, signaling that "pattyroller'll get you" (an alternate name, I think). The song was taken up by Euro minstrels, and made derogatory. Thanks!


Click for related thread


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Abby Sale
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 11:53 PM

Good tune & interesting song. Many titles - "Run, Nigger Run," "Run, Jimmie, Run," "The Pateroller Song," "Fire on the Mountain" (esp for the tune), "Run, Slave, Run." Refers to escaping the patrols after Nat Turner's Revolt of 1832. See Lomax Amer. Ballads & F S, p228. Per Rinzler, also as "Pateroller Song." Randolph published references back to 1852. Per Lomax: from 1832 "Negroes were put under special restriction to home quarters and patrolmen appointed to keep them in."

"Run, Jimmie, Run" and also "Fire on the Mountain" are on the CD of Original Folkways Recordings of Doc Watson & Clarence Ashley, Smith/Folkways & also see minstrel show skit http://memory.loc.gov "America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets."


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 12:17 AM

Is this the song/melody, then, that is mentioned in "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" in the line

Fire in the mountains, run boys run

?

Alex


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Bullytanana
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 01:51 AM

"Run Slave Run" can be heard on HEDY WEST's Vanguard VRS-9162 Volume 2. 1964


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Abby Sale
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 06:09 PM

Gee, I like Hedy's work. Yes, that's a good one. (Waiting patiently, we is, for the new CDs.) I've never been entirely sure, though, if the word "slave" here didn't get substituted in to the song much lateer.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 08:51 PM

For whatever it's worth, Leadbelly was not above singing this as "Run, Nigger, Run."

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: GUEST,Sule Greg Wilson
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 11:30 PM

Well, Folks: I'm excited! Thanks for the leads! DaveO: do you have a citation for Leadbelly's version? There's a "Patteyroller'll Get You on "Altamont: Black Stringband Music" from the Library of Congress. I think that's the same melody I got from John Burke's old time song book. I've been asked to do a presentation re the Underground Railroad, and I figger that one'll be a good song to do. Kinda put stuff in context, you might say....


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Subject: Lyr Add: RUN, NIGGER, RUN
From: Extra Stout
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 01:26 AM

RUN, NIGGER, RUN^^

CHORUS: Run, nigger, run, or the pattaroller get you,
Run, nigger, run, you gotta get away.

VERSES: Some folks say a nigger won't steal,
I caught three in my cornfield.

Nigger run and he run so fast,
Stove in his head on a hornet's nest.

Nigger sayin' "Don't catch me,
Catch the nigger behind that tree."

I don't remember any more of it than that. Not much call for it. I learned it from a record of The North (or maybe South) Carolina Skillet Lickers. It was a re-issue LP, years ago, label unremembered. Be careful if you sing this out loud.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: GUEST,fox4zero
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 05:32 AM

Uncle Dave Macon recorded this in the 1930's, preceded with an apology for the language. The reissue is still around I believe. Larry


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Subject: Lyr Add: RUN, CHILLUN, RUN and RUN, NIGGER, RUN
From: raredance
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 04:46 PM

A "nicer" version can be found in Ruth Crawford Seeger's "American Folk Songs for Children." (1948). Mike & Peggy Seeger recorded the songs from the book for Rounder Records ( I think it was 3 LPs and later 2CDs). The second version listed here is from "Negro Folk Rhymes" by Thomas W. Talley ( 1929, revised & annotated version 1991 University of Tennessee Press). Uncle Dave Macon original recording was in 1925 (Vocalion 15032). There was another early recording by Dr. Humphrey Bate in 1928 (Brunswick 275)
^^
RUN, CHILLUN, RUN

Run, chillun, run, the paterroller catch you,
Run, chillun, run, It's almost day.
Run, chillun, run, the paterroller catch you,
Run, chillun, run, It's almost day.

That child ran, that child flew,
that child lost his Sunday shoe.

Jumped the fence and ran through the pasture,
First ran slow and then he ran faster.

Let me tel you what I'll do,
I'm going to find me a Sunday shoe.

Let me tell you where I'll be,
I'm going to hide behind that tree.

^^
RUN, NIGGER, RUN

Run, Nigger, run! De Patter-rollers ketch you.
Run, Nigger, run! It's almos'day.

Dat Nigger run'd, dat Nigger flew,
Dat Nigger tore his shu't in two.

All over dem woods and frou de paster,
Dem Patter-rollers shot; but de Nigger git faster,

Oh, dat Nigger whirl'd, dat Nigger wheel'd,
Dat Nigger tore up de whole co'n field.

rich r


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Subject: ADD Version: RUN, NIGGER, RUN
From: raredance
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 05:02 PM

There are several versions in the Frank C Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore. The refrain is pretty much the same in all. The "almost day" line has become "you'd better get away" in one variant and "you'd better be a-runnin'" in another. Below are some of the other verses that were collected.
^^
RUN, NIGGER, RUN

As I went down the new-cut road
I met a possum and a toad;
And every time the toad did jump
The possum hid behind a stump.

I went to the railroad track,
Hitched an engine to my back,
Combed my head with an engine wheel;
It gave me the headache in my heel.

Snake & hornet verses:
AS I jumped over in the harvest field
A black snake struck me on my heel,
I run myself so nigh to death
I stuck my head in a hornet's nest.

I went through the farmer's field,
The black snake bit me on my heel.
I jumped up and run my best,
Stuck my head in a hornet's nest.

Nigger tried to cross the field,
Black snake struck him on the heel,
Nigger tried to do his best
And stuck his head in a hornet's nest.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Extra Stout
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 10:36 PM

Or maybe it was the Tarheels.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: raredance
Date: 05 Jan 01 - 10:46 PM

Now, them could be fightin' words.

rich r


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Subject: Lyr Add: RUN, NIGGER, RUN
From: Naemanson
Date: 06 Jan 01 - 09:45 AM

I have been ignoring this thread for a few reasons but this morning I found the answer. Yesterday my sister gave me a copy of B. A. Botkin's Treasury Of American Folklore published in 1944. This song, with melody, is listed in there on page 906. The song was originally published in Slave Songs Of The United States in 1867. Slave Songs Of The United States was written by William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison. At that time the only words known were as follows:

O Some tell me that a nigger won't steal,
But I've seen a nigger in my cornfield,
O run, nigger, run, for the patrol will catch you,
O run, nigger, run, for 'tis almost day


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Subject: Lyr Add: RUN, NIGGER, RUN
From: raredance
Date: 06 Jan 01 - 04:45 PM

Naemanson, you are quite right about the antiquity of this song. Virtually all of the sources indicate that it is a song the came out of the slavery era. The Allen,Ware & Garrison book may well be the first publication of this song. Their book was reprinted in 1929, but I do not know if it has been reprinted more recently. It is unusual for a 19th century book of what are mostly folk songs in that it has a printed melody line for all 136 songs. Allen et al. also contains a version of "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" with more than 25 one line "verses".

A very unusual version of RNR is found in "On the Trail of Negro Folk-songs" by Dorothy Scarborough (1925). The typical RNR chorus bookends a religious song "Most Done Lingerin' Here". The latter has a totally different melody. It's in her book twice, she reports hearing it in Kentucky from an old man on the street, and she also received a copy from someone in Louisiana. Scarborough offers no comments on the curious medley. The Kentucky version is included below.
^^
RUN, NIGGER, RUN

Run, nigger run, de patterroller get you,
Run nigger run, it's almost day.
Dat nigger ryun, Dat nigger flew,
Dat nigger tore his shirt in two.
Run, nigger run, de patterroller get you,
Run nigger run, it's almost day.

If you get there before I do,
'Most done ling'rin' here;
Look our for me, I am comin', too
'Most done ling'rin' here;

CHORUS:
I'm goin' away, goin' away,
I'm 'most done ling'rin' here;
I'm goin' away to Galilee,
And I'm 'most done ling'rin' here.

I have hard trials on my way
'Most done ling'rin' here;
But still King Jesus hears me pray,
'Most done ling'rin' here;

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 06 Jan 01 - 05:23 PM

GUEST Sule Greg Wilson:

I first heard this song fifty years ago, in the music library at the University of Minnesota, I believe on Library of Congress recordings. Leadbelly, and he sang "Run, NIGGER, Run." This thread was the first time I ever was aware of anyone changing the N word to anything else in this song.

I just MIGHT have it by Leadbelly on a Folkways recording too, but I'm not sure. I'll try to dig out the 10 inch LP and see.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Dicho
Date: 20 Sep 01 - 05:00 PM

Tanner and The Skillet Lickers did an "Appalachian" version about 1929; Asch issued it. It is in the Smithsonian Collection. Rich r's Kentucky version with the interesting gospel or spiritual add-on perhaps should be split with the last part on a separate thread; someone may be able to add to it.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: GUEST,jack
Date: 20 Sep 01 - 07:28 PM

I learned it from a record of The North ( or maybe South ) Carolina Skillet Lickers. It was a re- issue LP, years ago, label unremembered. Be careful if you sing this out loud. Extra Stout, I've never heard of the North (or south)Carolina Skillet Lickers,maybe just the Skillet Lickers, and they did record the song in question. The Skillet Lickers' County 526 has a version sung by Riley Puckett.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: LR Mole
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 10:21 AM

I remember a choral thing we sang in primary school, the refrain to which was "Way down, way down, way down yonder in the corn field". It featured the line "Some folks say that a Tramp won't steal/But I caught a couple in my corn field." The Tramp was a real figure of terror in the rural 19th century, because they were frequently tradeless and desperate veterans. I wonder when "nigger" changed to "tramp", or whether it was always code.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 12:16 PM

It's odd living close enough to the history of these songs that, theoretically, we COULD know how songs migrated and changed... but we don't!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: chip a
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 12:53 PM

County 526, Gid Tanner & the Skillet Lickers. A re-isue of some great old Skillet Lickers stuff from the late 20's on. This ain't the best song to sing around others but it's history is interesting and the tune with a little tinkering with the words is great.

Chip A.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 02:04 AM

I can't believe it is necessary to keep repeating that word for reasons of scholarship or whatever. There must be a way around this. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 02:09 AM

MG, there is no easy answer. I may ask for a name change in this thread-- had thought of it before actually--- to become:

Spiritual: "Run, Nigger, Run"

It would at least make it clear we aren't bandying the word around lightly. But that IS the title of the song.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 02:53 AM

Mole, quite often the reference was to 'preacher'. As the butt of folk humour, the 'preacher' was substituted for the 'nigger' of the minstrel show.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 03:37 AM

Sorry, MG. It's part of history, and I don't think it would be right to euphemize it. The thread title will remain unchanged.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: masato sakurai
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 12:33 PM

The earliest citation of the phrase "Virginia reel" in A Dictionary of American English (1938-44) and A Dictionary of Americanisms (1956) is: "One of the favourite Virginia reels is, 'Fire in the mountains, run, boys, run'" from Paulding, Lett. from South I. 151 (1817). This song is much earlier than "Run, Nigger, Run!" in Allen et al.'s Slave Songs of the United States (1867, p. 89). Opie's The Singing Game (1985, p. 318) comments on "Fire on the Mountains," saying: "The song itself has roots both in Britain and America. In a nursery book, Mother Goose's Quarto, published in Boston about 1825, appears the verse:

Hogs in the garden, catch 'em Towser;
Cows in the corn-field, run, boys, run;
Cats in the cream-pot, run girls, run girls;
Fire on the mountains, run, boys, run."

"Run, Nigger, Run" may have been a considerable remake of "Run, Boys, Run."

Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Dicho
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 01:16 PM

Euphemizers and sanitizers be gone, O Lawd!


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 01:37 PM

This word and this subject has baffled USA-ers everywhere else it has come up. I don't think we should be surprised that we have trouble with it here-- trouble knowing what to do about this word, I mean.

I don't appreciate historic revisionism, sanitizing, making things PC for the sake of PC, etc. The word is the word, and God knows it ought to be talked about. But a thread title that slams one in the gut, IMO, ought to be thought about. Once someone opens this thread, I would hope they find people discussing rationally. But does the thread title potentially arouse so many bad reactions that the rationality is missed entirely? I don't know. I do know, tho, that our African-American membership here is pretty small, and that each of us can only speak for ourselves.

Please keep in mind, BTW, that I am going to be inviting a lot of people from other sites, many of them African-American history folks, to join the ongoing discussion on spirituals. This forum presents a fantastic opportunity for others who love this music, and whose music they feel it is, to discuss material they have posted at their own websites.

So I hope that you can see that I want us to be as clear as possible about our thinking in this thread in particular-- because I may have to explain it thoughtfully.

Thanks,

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 01:40 PM

Well regardless, it would be nice to see it fall to the bottom. Historical or not, I hate seeing that word near the top almost everyday when I come here. Couldn't the title at least be "Run, N**ger, Run*? Or noted that it is a spiritual as Susan mentioned?

There needs to be some way to designate IN THE TITLE of the THREAD, that it is historical and NOT some contemporary racist thread. I cannot imagine what my son-in-law NOR the people I just invited in here, who are of many colours, will think when they see this one coming up. I doubt they'd even want to stay to understand.

BTW, the only reason I am saying any of this, is I've been dismayed ever since I saw this one come back up and I finally decided to come in and see why.

katECasever


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 01:46 PM

Good choice, Joe. IMHO, it is never good to sanitize the ugly. I want folks to always see it and be disgusted by it. I am in support, in fact I would be disappointed if it were hidden. And by the way, it smacks me in the face everytime I look at it. As it should.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 02:18 PM

Kat, it's back up because the study of it continues, that's all. Just like any other music thread-- only the title is so disturbing.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 02:50 PM

Yeah, Mick, it smacks people of colour in the face, too! Totally different way, though. Are we to keep it that way so we can continue to be a mostly white-bred/bread website?

Thanks, Susan, I understand that.

Again, the title needs to say something about it being HISTORICAL. Otherwise it is offensive and off-putting and fairly leaps off the page to the eye of anyone who may sensitive to issues of colour.

That's my only point. I am not saying we shouldn't have the song or talk about it, just make it clear in the title.

kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 04:44 PM

kat, since you are better placed to know than most, can you state authoritatively just what is the most acceptable appellation from the Afro-American point of view ? I have been told that "people of color" was regarded as a patronizing label, but that information is obviously inacurate. Sorry to put this thread back to the top, perhaps I should have opened a new one.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 06:09 PM

Well said, Murray. I would prefer to hear from black people that they are offended. And I stand by my comment. But thanks for trying, Mom.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 06:52 PM

Wait a minute........Old Mick just reread Kat's position. While I certainly don't feel the need to be chastised, I see her point. She is not asking for it to be taken off the page (Are you?) rather just to have some kind of modifier. I still don't think it is necessary though. Any thoughtful person would pull it up and see what it is about. If they don't take that step at least then I don't think we have to worry about it.

And as far as the patronizing comment, Kat, I would ask you why you haven't invited your many friends "of color" to join in? Maybe that would be a substantive way to make a difference, instead of your rather insulting comment. I would love to hear a person of African descent tell me about this song and how it strikes them historically and in modern times

Mickwhobelievesinansweringinkind


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 07:20 PM

Oh feck. I was NOT going to post this as I didn't want to help keep this at the top. I did answer Murray by PM and received a nice reply, so I think he and I understand one anther. Thanks, Murray.

Mick, I'd written this as a PM, but have decided it needs to be public, despite my misgivings about refreshing this damn thing. Here is what I wrote:

I AM not ASKING that it be removed. I am asking that SOMETHING be put in the title to indicate that it is an historical discussion. Is that so hard to understand? I thought I stated it pretty plainly, twice.

Why don't I invite my friends who are Americans of African descent or my son-in-law or my friends from Africa. I have. They are not interested for the most part, and, if they did see that thread title, I have been assured it would be so offensive they wouldn't bother to open it and see what nice white folks we are.

I have linked this site, just recently, to a site which attracts people from all over the world, of all ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately, it was this week, just when that thread title popped up. I am now cringing, hoping that these people who do not know me or the Mudcat, but who may come here, on my recommendation on a website they trust, will understand.

I made what you took to be a rude comment because I felt yours was insensitive and rude about being slapped in the face. We shouldn't need that to remind ourselves not to be racist. I meant exactly what I said.

However, we do have a few members of mixed race and I know of one of them who has thanked me, in the past, for speaking up as they didn't feel comfortable "outing" themselves. I am speaking up for them, the unseen, the ones we never know about, who may come to this site and not immediately discern, as you would have them do, that a thread title really isn't a racial slur.

Is there something wrong with retitling to something along these lines: "Historical Song Discussion: Run, Nigger, Run?"

katmumsanstheironskillet


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 08:27 PM

Well great, kat. Thank you very much for your pedigree. Now let me tell you that there are very many people here who spend every single day of their lives WORKING to correct all sorts of evils, such as racism. I have found that people of whatever color you happen to be referring to at the moment don't need you or anyone else to speak up for them. If it is offensive, they will let you know. But thanks for all your concern on those poor unfortunates behalf. It seems to me that much of the problem faced today comes from acting like what is different about us is more important than what we have in common. I "know" you a long time, katdarling (meant sincerely), and I know that if someone like me pretended to speak for you because you were afraid, you would take that skillet and give 'em a hidin'. That is as opposed to speaking in support of you, which I have done plenty of times. And I did, in my second post, tell you that I understood the distinction, but perhaps you overlooked it in your righteous fury. I just disagree. And I did that initial disagreement without a comment about anyone else's position. I simply supported Joe. Live up to the rules, my friend. People have a right to an opinion every bit as much as you. But when you make a smartassed comment, expect one back. Lord knows that I have gotten skewered more than a few times when I got all full of meself. Enough said by me on this issue. My opinion is known.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 23 Sep 01 - 12:00 AM

Pardon me for interrupting the party, but as I have been doing some things lately with the music of this time period, I think I may have come up with an approach for this thread that will be effective in addressing all concerns. It will reflect the correspondence I have had with people who have been studying this music a lot longer than we have.

Now cut out the bickering and wait till I am awake enough in the morning to deal with it, OK? If you want to see a first draft of what I propose, see me in PM's.

Sheeshe.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Sep 01 - 12:30 AM

Mick said, I have found that people of whatever color you happen to be referring to at the moment don't need you or anyone else to speak up for them. If it is offensive, they will let you know. So, we didn't need the Civil rights marches?

My experience has been different and if I were afraid to speak out, I would certainly welcome someone of your caliber doing so for me. Isn't that what you do, everyday, for the people you represent in the unions; speak up for them?

This is getting too far off from my only and original intent of posting: that is to ask for clarification in the name title.

Susan, thanks. I look forward to your suggestions and this is the last I will say on this, except in PMs.

kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 23 Sep 01 - 12:47 AM

OK, I didn't wait; sue me! *G* I decided that hot heads called for prompt action on my part, and I think you will like what I have done.

PART TWO: Slavery-Era Song, 'Run, ======, Run'.

And THAT is the one I will include in the index of links to posted "spirituals" I have been building.

Let's get back to music, and mend the other fences as we come across them, huh?

~Susan


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Subject: Lyr Add: RUN, NIGGER, RUN
From: Dicho
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 12:00 AM

N. I. White, in American Negro Folk songs, discusses "Run, Nigger, Run and gives fragmants of several versions. The earliest he found is in White's "Serenaders' Song Book" copyright 1851.

De sun am set- dis nigger am free,
De colored gals he goes to see.
I heard a voice cry, "Run, dad, fetch you!
Run, nigger, run, or de M. P. 'll catch you!"

Chorus and repeat
Run, nigger, run, de M. P.'ll catch you!
Run, nigger, run tum a du daddle da!
"The other stanzas describe mainly the manner of the running."
The song also appears in "Uncle Remus and His Friends, p. 200.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 01:18 AM

This song is fine stark message from Slavery times. The Patrollers enforcing slavery, the fear of slave rebellion, the echos of slave escape or night-time subrosa activity, the 'in group' ironical use of the 'N' word. Only after I lived in the Ghetto did I understand the ironical understated voice in this song. I'm much more bothered by the Victorian white-written 'coon' songs, which contain the 'rationale' for Jim Crow while proclaiming the 'innocence' of their message.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: masato sakurai
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 04:08 AM

See the entry at The Fiddler's Companion (CLICK HERE).
~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: GUEST,Bud
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 07:18 AM

First read the words to this in Uncle Remus as a boy. Uncle Remus states that Bre'r Rabbit was strutting around very proudly "ez if he wuz de king ob de patter-rollers", which a footnote explains as "patrols" and gives a short history of the practice. Author Joel Chandler Harris gave the following words: Run, nigger, run. Patter-roller ketch you. Run, nigger, run. Hit's almos' day. Oh, please massa, don' ketch me. Ketch dat nigger behime dat tree. He stole money an' I stole none. Put him in de calaboose des' fo' fun. [All quotes are from my ebbing memory] In its historical context it's hard to find anything offensive about it, but considering modern standards and sensitivity, the performer had best change the operative word or sing at his own risk.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Oversoul
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 08:26 AM

Nigger and the Devil playin' Seven-Up, Devil won the hand, But Nigger wouldn't give it up! ...sorry kids, I can't remember the rest. But I can say this, once I was popping this tune off real good on my little banjo and some lady told me to "go back to Saudi Arabia and stay there!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 09:17 AM

Folks, it had been hoped that new posts would go to the later thread linked above...

CONTINUE HERE

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Dicho
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 11:48 AM

This thread has a n indexable title, and should be used for postinh now lyrics or pertinent history


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 12:19 PM

Thanks, Susan.

Dicho, as far as I know the followup thread title is also indexable, esp. as there is leeway in what actually gets put in for a title. I, personally, am dismayed to see this title and, only the title, come back to the top, esp. during the holiday season, for all of the reasons I stated previously. It is really painful to see it up there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 23 Dec 01 - 01:10 PM

I think the idea is that when someone makes a Part Two, we simply use it-- for whatever reason it was created.

We are not going to agree on WHY, in this case-- but we CAN agree to move on and use the other thread. We have a RIGHT to post as we wish-- but we can CHOOSE to honor a request from someone without endorsing what we take to be their reason.

Therefore, I am asking, as one friend to another-- please

CONTINUE HERE

and let this link be the last post to bring it back to the top.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: Dicho
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 12:44 PM

Guest Amy has posted the lyrics to the gospel song "Run, Samson, Run" in thread 46271 (Lyr. Req: Run Boy Run), which uses the phrase, "Run Samson run, Delilah's gonna get you,..." Run Samson Run


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: X
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 12:59 PM

I see this thread all the time. I hope it's not because some of you like an excuse for writing the "N" word. Is it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Run, Nigger; Run
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 09:26 PM

Banjoest, see the thread linked above as the continuation of this one.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST,Retus
Date: 27 Apr 07 - 11:29 PM

This is the first and correct lyrics, whether you like them or not.
^^
RUN, NIGGER, RUN
from Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers
Run Nigger Run recorded in 1927 Atlanta, Georgia

Irish slave patrols (called patrollers, pattyrollers or paddyrollers by the slaves) were organized groups of three to six white men who enforced discipline upon black slaves during the antebellum U.S. southern states.

Oh run nigger run well the pattyroller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away

Run nigger run well the pattyroller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away

Nigger run nigger flew
Nigger tore his shirt in two

Run run the patty roller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away

Nigger run, run so fast
Stoved his head in a hornets nest

Run nigger run well the pattyroller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away

Nigger run through the field
Black slick coal and barley heel

Run nigger run the pattyroller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away

Some folks say a nigger won't steal
I caught three in my corn field
One has a bushel
And one has a peck
One had a rope and it was hung around his neck

Run nigger run well the pattyroller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away

Run nigger run well the pattyroller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away

Oh nigger run and nigger flew
Why in the devil can't a white man chew
                                                        
Run nigger run well the pattyroller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away


Hey Mr. Patty roller don't catch me
Catch that nigger behind that tree

Run nigger run well the pattyroller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away

Nigger run, run so fast
Stoved his head in a hornets nest

Run nigger run well the pattyroller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away

Nigger run, run so fast
Nigger, he got away at last

Run nigger run well the pattyroller will get you
Run nigger run well you better get away


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: mg
Date: 27 Apr 07 - 11:37 PM

I think we need some sort of official policy on the use of this word..perhaps in quotation marks or something to indicate it was a word that used to be used, never in polite society and hopefully never again....mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 12:01 AM

The only version of this I've heard is performed by an older black blues harp player - I can't remember who - but in his version, it's quite clear that N----- is the name of a dog; it's one of those harmonica hunting songs. For all I know, it could be a completely different song with that one phrase shared ("Run, N---, Run").


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: mg
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 12:20 AM

I think this is an unmentioned, perhaps, I am not a historian, additional tragedy of the potato famine...that decent young Irishmen took these positions..many more than I realized came in through the port of New Orleans...not all worked on the canals...mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 02:33 AM

I find the language used on this thread racist in the highest extreme. Just because it was acceptable 50 years ago - IT'S NOT NOW.

Please delete.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 02:54 AM

Well, it's history. I think it's best to present it as-is, without trying to sanitize it. Maybe the "good old days" weren't as good as we like to think, and maybe it's a mistake to portray them as a better time than the present. The thread titles are, first and foremost, an index. They are not primarily a statement, they're there to help people find things. This being a historically significant song, it's important that don't mess up the title and make it difficult for people to find it.

I've been listening to "Uncle" Dave Macon CD's the last few days - many of his songs would be considered racist today, some disturbingly so. Interestingly, the Carter Family came from the same period, and their lyrics are mostly quite acceptable by today's standards.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: kendall
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 07:17 AM

Historically accurate or not, I will never sing it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 07:29 AM

I agree kendall, but historically this is how it was. Once we start wiping the tapes of our history for whatever reason we remove the ability to learn from the past. Let's leave revisionism to the dictators of this world. If we wish to understand how people feel today we need to know how they were treated in the past.
Somehow this well meaning horror some people have for words can lead to a state of mind like holocaust denial and I'm sure none of us want to go there.
What was, is. Read, mark and learn.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: BanjoRay
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 08:02 AM

This thread was started (and titled) by Sule Greg Wilson - an African American musician interested in songs by and about African Americans. A regular contributer of useful stuff to the Black Banjo list, I assume he wanted to see some real history, not revisionist claptrap.
I hope we all want that - if you don't, this isn't the place to be.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 08:15 AM

Ernest Hemingway said that American literature really began with one book, Huckleberry Finn. "That word" appears on more pages than not. So what do we do? Declare it a non-book?

Using language in such a way as not to give offense without just cause is one thing. Denying historical fact in the name of political correctness is another.

Peter

(who is old enough to remember when "nigger" was tasteless, but no big deal, but you'd be in real trouble if anyone heard you say "fuck" in public - and has lived to see the situation exactly reversed. Is this really progress?)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: kendall
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 10:15 AM

I am NOT advocating re writing history. The past is by definition, past. I am simply saying I will never sing those words. Strictly a personal statement.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Big Mick
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 10:31 AM

I am glad that this is back at the top. I have reread it, and my opinion has not changed. Songs like this, places like the Holocaust Memorial, all these things must never be sanitized. To do so is the first step to repeating the sin. I hate this word. It hurts to even hear it or read it. It attacks the sensibilities of any reasonable person. When my 15 year old daughter hears it, even today, she starts crying. That is how it should be. To make the past disappear, or become sanitized, means that one has nothing to compare to. People should always be made to realize the horror that otherwise decent people can inflict on one another for the most foolish reasons.

We should never lose our horror and disgust for these things.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 11:56 AM

I admit to flinching when I saw this thread title. Upon opening this thread, the first thing that I noted was the thread starter's name.

Fwiw, Sule Greg Wilson and I grew up in the same city. Though I don't believe that I have ever met him, in 2006 Sule contacted me through my website and we exchanged emails. In one of those emails, I invited him to visit & join Mudcat. It may mean nothing at all, but after that email, I never heard from Sule again.

It's possible that Sule still reads and posts to this forum. As a result of a private message that I received, I know there is at least one other African American besides myself who post on Mudcat. That person wrote me that he or she chooses not to identify himself or herself by race. Maybe that person is Sule. Maybe not. I find it interesting that when he started this thread, Sule didn't mention his race. Also, I consider it regrettable that Sule didn't continue to respond to subsequent posts in this thread that addressed concern about the thread's title.

I believe in "different strokes for different folks", but I very much wish that other African Americans, and other Black people, and any other people of color would post on Mudcat and would consider it appropriate & worhwhile to identify themselves by race/ethnicity on threads about race as the perspectives and opinions of African Americans, Black people, people of color may be of particular interest when discussions of race & ethnicity are held.

Though there is no need for me to do so for those who know me here, for those who don't, I'll reiterate my deep seated dislike of the referent "n****r", regardless of who writes and says it. I personally refuse to say it or to spell it out.

That said, I would have been much more disconcerted if this thread just contained variant examples of that song & historical source material data about that song-as interesting reading as I found them-if there had been no discussion of whether & how historical songs with language that are considered offensive by contemporary and/or historical standards. Without that discussion, how would people reading this thread know that some people here consider that term to be-as Big Mick described it-ugly and hateful?

It's my hope that other people of color wouldn't be so turned off by that highly offensive "n word" that they would refuse to read this entire thread. I hope that other African Americans, other Black people, other people of color would not only read this thread-and other Mudcat threads on race and non-racial topics- but that they would join the discussion and start new threads on racial topics and on non-racial topics which would expand the definition of what some folks here consider to be folk music.

In my opinion, Mudcat could greatly benefit from that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 12:06 PM

I cut out a pertinent ending to a sentence in my previous comment. I'm posting it without attempting to make any changes to this admittedly convoluted sentence:

"That said, I would have been much more disconcerted if this thread just contained variant examples of that song & historical source material data about that song-as interesting reading as I found them-if there had been no discussion of whether & how historical songs with language that are considered offensive by contemporary and/or historical standards should be presented on Mudcat. "


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 12:22 PM

"but that they would join the discussion and start new threads"

I'm sure we all agree - "people of colour", with the exception of yourself, are conspicuously absent in the various discussions of racial issues that come up here from time to time, and it has often struck me as unfair that you should have to bear the standard here for all the world's "people of colour". (And I know that you often make it clear that your opinions are your opinions only).

Anyway - you handle it well!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 12:35 PM

Well said, Azizi. At heart, this Forum is a place of study and discussion on traditional music. As such, we should be able to discuss "Run, Nigger, Run" from a historical and musical standpoint without engaging in a full-fledged examination of slavery, repression, and race-relations, just as we can discuss "Knoxville Girl" without roundly criticizing homicide : Some things can be taken as understood. If we wish to discuss racism or murder, there are places below the BS line for that.
I do fine the thread title disturbing, as I hope we all do, and that is very healthy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Q
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 01:32 PM

The Skillet Lickers' version posted by Retus is perhaps the best known, but, as noted in threads above, it appeared in Serenaders Song Book, White, 1851, was sung by slaves (who sang it first?) and appeared in Allen et al., "Slave Songs of the United States," 1867, and was found in several versions among Black populations. Scarborough (rich r 06 Jan 01) and others collected versions. The Patrollers also were used by blacks in much the same way as the 'boogerman' was used by whites to threaten their mis-behaving children.

The 'paterrollers' and the song about them illustrates an important although deplorable episode in American history; their actions were censured by many at the time, and contributed to the increasing demand for abolition. As such, the song is an important record of a time and an event.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Big Mick
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 01:34 PM

Thanks for posting, Azizi. I too wish that there were more people of color here, and that they would post in a way that we knew we were getting their perspective as a person of color. Many peoples have been the subject of ugly persecution for ridiculous reasons, and it takes open discussion of these things to give me the tools I need to teach my child and other children how hateful speech can lead to horrendous actions. Just two weeks ago I took my daughter and her friend to see the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. I wanted her to see that under certain circumstances, she could have been the little girl in the boxcar, for no other reason that what she was born. It is the same lesson I gave her when I showed her pictures of young Michael (a good kid, about her age) hanging from a tree. His crime? He was a black kid on a bike. But the more important lesson for her and her friend, the one that I made sure she got, was that by simply "getting along and going along" she could have been one of the people doing the acts. I think that is the important lesson in these songs, in these pictures, and in these places. I made sure that she "knew" these people.

I repeat. Never, ever, allow one's history to be whitewashed. If we do, then we are doomed to repeat these horrific events. The list is long, and every country has it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 01:59 PM

Lonesome EJ & meself, thanks for the compliments.

**

meself, you wrote that "it has often struck me as unfair that you should have to bear the standard here for all the world's "people of colour" (And I know that you often make it clear that your opinions are your opinions only)."

You are correct that I have made it clear that I speak only for myself. I absolutely don't want to be considered a spokesperson for anyone but me.

Given that point, I certainly don't feel and hope that no one else feels that I "bear the standard here for all the world's "people of colour" or "color"

:o}

**

Lonesome EJ, I agree with your 1st, 2nd sentence, and last sentence. However, I don't agree with your 3rd and 4th sentence.

I certainly think that it's appropriate to have general or specific discussions about race/ethnicity and racism below the line in Mudcat's BS section. However, I also think it's important to have a discussion about how distasteful these referents are [and whether they are distasteful] within threads that contain these words in their title or in the lyrics of the featured song.

I also think it is both interesting and important within these kinds of threads to include some discussion about the efficacy of using such offensive referents in song performances, in titles, and in posts on this forum.

I don't think that it's "a given" that all or even most people nowadays consider "n****r to be racially coffensive. I believe that this thread needed to include an acknowledgement of the fact that some if not all folks here consider the "n word" to be offensive.

Also, it seems to me from a folkloric standpoint that persons who come across these threads now and in the future could be quite interested in reading out how various people in these times and in these places considered these kinds of subjects.

For these and other reasons, I would have been greatly disappointed if there had been no comments about the offensiveness of the "n word" within this thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Apr 07 - 02:42 PM

I still find the title offensive and still am concerned about the so important first impressions of any newcomers who may see this at the top of the threads. I have no problem with the rest of it: the discussion, historical input, etc. just that title. My preference would be that it be modified with an "Historical Discussion" prefix or something similar. I would still hate for my son-in-law or grandsons to come here and see that first off. JMO.

kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 08:00 PM

Post is from 'hellbilly'
There's a term you don't hear much anymore in the tune: roastin' ear. I remember havin' some durn good roastin' ears when I was a boy in Avery County.

I don't why anybody would get work up, since the song has happy ending:

"Nigger run, run so fast
Nigger, he got away at last"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST,JC
Date: 11 May 11 - 11:53 PM

History should be remembered as it really was, not how we want to sugarcoat it today. These songs may not be politically correct by today's standards, but they tell of a real time, when slaves worked on plantations & the patrollers (Pattyrollers) checked them to be sure they had proper passes to be off the plantations, & if not, enforce the consequences. Old songs shouldn't be lost & everyone whether they are white, black, purple or green, should try to ensure they are not. Let's tell all our history - the good & the bad, the funny and the sad. Let's not rewrite what was, let's not glorify slavery but let's not pretend it didn't exist either. Just appreciate this for it's heritage & historical significance.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Bill D
Date: 12 May 11 - 10:58 AM

Since this thread has been refreshed, I will say that it seems to me that almost everyone posting has made it clear that they do not approve of the use of the offensive word as an appellation for labeling a group of people. We recognize that the historical & cultural situations that led to ANY pejorative racial terms are sad and to be decried.
But...there in no way to erase the fact that it was once common, even among the groups being insulted, and is, sadly, still used today.
There is a huge difference between employing such terms in everyday discourse and referring to them in their historical context. The very sight of the word, while it make us wince, reminds us of what we strive to overcome, and as others have said in the 10 years of this thread, censorship using n***** is only a pretense that the word behind the ** is not 'there'.
As has been noted, the thread was started BY a black man doing research....and I have known black friends who used it among themselves to make certain points...and I'm sure, to emphasize that THEY still remember what it was all about, and to make clear that THEY intend to remind the world of past & ongoing discrimination.

We will never get everyone to agree on how to approach sensitive language on sex, race, religion..etc., but we DO know that Mudcat's policy is to delete offensive references directed AT anyone.
   I can't see any better way to cope with the issue.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 12 May 11 - 11:51 AM

Sule is alive and living in Tempe, Arizona. Find him on facebook for a consult...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Q
Date: 02 Nov 11 - 08:56 PM

A single verse was published in Allen, W.F., C. P. Ware and L. M. Garrison, 1867, Slave Songs of the United States, A. Simpson, New York (book online; several reprints, including the Oak Pub. edition of 1965 by Irving Schlein, with new guitar and piano accompaniment, p. 144).

Run, Nigger, Run

O (G)some tell me that a (C)nigger (G) won't steal,
But (C)I've seen (G)a nigger in my cornfield;
(D7)O (G)run, nigger, run, for the (Am)patrol will catch you,
O run, nigger, (C)run, for 'tis (G)al- (D7)most (G)day.

It was first printed in White, 1852, The Serenader's Song Book.

"..... "Run, Nigger, Run," is a good example of the essentially non-racist of many such songs. In this case, the song's refrain voiced encouragement for escape. The folklorist Dorothy Scarborough found "Run, Nigger, Run," to be popular among Southern Black singers. In her 1925 book, On the Trail of Negro Folk-Songs, she claimed the song had its true origin among Black slaves in the antebellum South." (Her collected version is posted in this thread).

Quotation from Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Suffet
Date: 02 Nov 11 - 10:50 PM

On the other hand, here is Run, Children, Run, something I pieced together from a fragment of one version of RNR and the lyrics lifted from several other songs. It is not completely traditional, but neither is it completely an original composition. I prefer to use the term adapted.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Q
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 03:20 PM

Mentioned by raredance, the version in Ozark Folksongs, coll. from Missouri, 1926.

Run, Nigger, Run

Run, nigger, run,
The calaboose'll git you,
Run, niggern run,
You better run fast:

This nigger run,
He run his best,
He stuch his head
In a hornet's nest.

Jump the fence,
Run through the pasture
White man run
But the nigger run faster.

Chicken in the bread tray
Scratchin' out the dough,
Granny will your dog bite?
No, child, no.

Randolph says some of the stanzas were used in a play-party song. The tune attracts floaters.

Have not seen the first printing, in White's Serenader's Song Book
Vance Randolph, 1980 reprint, Ozark Folksongs, vol. II, no. 264.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Q
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 03:29 PM

E. C. Perrow, Songs and Rhymes from the South, Jour. American Folklore, v. 28, 1915, printed two stanzas coll. from Negroes, Virginia, 1909.

Run, Nigger, Run !

Es I was runnin' through the fiel',
A black snake caught me by de heel.
Run, nigger, run, de paterrol ketch yuh !
Run, nigger, run ! It's almos' day !

Run, nigger, run ! I run my bes'
Run my head in a hornet's nes'.
Run, nigger, run !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 04:04 PM

I heard this for the first time today, great song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST
Date: 22 May 12 - 04:14 PM

I found this page by doing an internet search on the lyrics after hearing it online from a compilation of the Virginia Mountain Boys. I was more than a little shocked and dismayed but wanted to know the history of it and I dare say if the title had been scrubbed, I may not have experienced this very high value discussion. I also would bet if the title was changed, the discussion would have been altered.

Anyway, 1 thing that strikes me is that no one has mentioned the variant lyrics by John Hartford in a song called "Up on the Hill where they Do the Boogie".

A-Some folks say that a hippie won't steal
But I caught three in my corn field
One had a flag and the other had a bomb
And the third ol' boy was a-gettin' on home

Peace


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 May 12 - 04:27 PM

I don't see why we can't put the word in italics or quotes or parenthesis ...I understand all the historical stuff but it is still vile. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Q
Date: 22 May 12 - 05:42 PM

All this has been gone over before.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: PHJim
Date: 22 May 12 - 06:15 PM

I found the title of this thread offensive and read the thread out of curiosity. I was pleased to see that most of the posters (all that I read) kept a scholarly stance and not a bigoted one.
I do find the N word very offensive no matter who says it. There is something very ugly about that word that surpasses all other words.
I recall hearing it on the playground when I was a school teacher and trying to explain to the children who used it that, "I'd rather hear the F word than that one."
I have enjoyed Richard Pryor's acting, but couldn't listen to his stand-up routines because of his use of that word.

While I don't like hearing other people insulting their race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, somehow the N word has a particularly ugly, hateful feel that, to me, cannot be matched by any other.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST,Bb Coltman
Date: 23 May 12 - 07:24 AM

Hi All,

Perhaps it would be good if Mudcat were to try to foster a habit of using some circumlocution—for thread titles in particular—to avert the problem kat mentioned, especially to preserve good/responsible appearance on first impression.   Such as the following possibilities:

N—
N—r
N***
N***r

or something of the kind. I'm not happy with circumlocutions, and would personally prefer not to use them, but it is time we consider the feelings of everyone, and these are ways to do it.

I also think the dash is preferable because it somehow seems less brutal than the asterisks.

As to enforcing this, I suggest:

1. Use it only for titles in the forum message list, where it's most obvious and allows those offended to avoid the message if desired.

2. The body of messages could continue to use the word (sparingly if possible!) for scholarly accuracy and also because message contents would be too much to have to police.

3. How to do it: when the N word appears in a message title, the moderator changes it ASAP to the chosen circumlocution.

That would mean such message titles might appear for a brief time. However, they would presumably be caught and changed within a few hours to a day at most.

Does this seem doable? Does it answer the objections to the term?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: PHJim
Date: 23 May 12 - 09:26 AM

Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley recorded this song on their Original Folkways Recordings.They called it Run, Jimmie, Run.

Jimmie run, Jimmie flew,
Jimmie tore his garter shoe,
Run Jimmie run, the paterollers'll catch you,
Run Jimmie run, You'd better get away.

Jimmie run, he run his best,
Stove his head in a hornet's nest.
Run Jimmie...

Jimmie run through my cornfield,
A black snake bit him on the heel.
Run Jimmie...

Jimmie run, Jimmie flew,
Jimmie tore his shirt in two.
Run Jimmie...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Q
Date: 23 May 12 - 01:45 PM

In 2007, I wrote, "The 'paterrollers' and the song about them illustrates an important although deplorable episode in American history; their actions were censured my many at the time, and contributed to the increasing demand for abolition. As such, the song is an important record of a time and an event.

I find attempts to lily-gild American history more deplorable than the song itself.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 May 12 - 06:40 PM

"I do find the N word very offensive no matter who says it. There is something very ugly about that word that surpasses all other words. "
Having been, at various times, a "Hebe", a "Yid", a "Mockie", or a
"Christ killer" in good standing, I'm not quite sure I agree. Neither, I feel, would the various "Wops", "Guineas", "Spics", "DAgos", "Nips", "Harps", "Poms" and "Chinks" who might happen to congregate at the Mudcat Cafe.
They're certainly not nice words, but their offence, I feel, lies in the malice or lackof same of th people that use them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 23 May 12 - 06:44 PM

Dick - you forgot "Kike". But I agree with your sentiments.

Seamus the Mick, Paddy, Harp, Donkey, Spud-Eater et al.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: Stewie
Date: 23 May 12 - 08:18 PM

Apparently, introducing and playing Uncle Dave Macon's version of this song on KFVD (Los Angeles) on 20 October 1937 marked the beginning of Woody Guthries' epiphany from a casual racist to a committed anti-racist. Will Kaufman, his most recent biographer, gives the story: 'He received from one Howell Terence a letter so politely incandescent - and he was so shaken by it - that he read it out over the airwaves the next day: "You were going along quite well in your program this evening until you announced your Nigger Blues. I am a Negro, a young Negro in college, and I certainly resented your remark. No person or persons of any intelligence uses that word over the radio today". Guthrie apologised profusely, dramatically ripped the offending song sheet to shreds before the microphone, and swore he'd never use that word again. He later made the point of repeatedly apologising to the African American community for all the racist 'frothings' that he had uttered'. [Will Kaufman 'Woodie Guthrie: American Radical' pp 149-150, Uni of Illinois Press 2011]

Joe Klein, a previous biographer, commented that he also 'ripped all the "nigger" songs out of his (song)book'. [Joe Klein 'Woody Guthrie A Life' p 97, Delta 1980]

I agree with Q above, that sanitising the historical song is bowdlerism, and there is no place for it - either reject it entirely or explain its historical context.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 23 May 12 - 09:42 PM

What are we--children? "Nigger" hurts our little feelings? By placing this taboo and stigma around it even for discussion purposes, we give it the power to hurt. Words can't hurt you unless you let them. Time to grow a pair, people, and deal with it like adults.

Casual racism in songs should definitely be discouraged. There's no place for it in this society. But discussion of racist words should NEVER be discouraged and by bowdlerizing, redacting, censoring and the like those words to be discussed we ARE discouraging the discussion. Censoring of the words is a censoring of the discussion. The inability to discuss the words for fear that we might hurt another's feelings is intellectual cowardice. It is lower than the words themselves and even more worthy of contempt.

If we can't be adult about such things, just what exactly CAN we be adult about?


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