James Edwin Campbell

Uncle Eph Backslides

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W'y, Sam, I'se glad to see you, I sho' is fur ur fac';
W'y, man, hit teks de lameness right outn' my ol' bac'.


How's Cindy an' de chillen? I'se glad ter hyuh hit, sho' --
O, Susan, she des tol'bul an' I des sorter so.


She done gone ter dat meetin' up dar on Mayho's Creek;
Dem niggahs been ur shoutin' fur nigh mos' on ur week.


An' Susan, she ur leader, wen dey call on Sistah Brown,
She des lif' up ur strong pra'r dat call de hebbins down.


W'y, she done got so 'ligious, I darsn't tek ur dram,
An', Sam, I des ez dry ez de upper Mill Creek dam!


She med me burn my bawnjer an' druv me in de che'ch --
She wawn' gwine hab no bawnjer, no drinkin' an' all sech.


You say you'se got ur bottle? Ur qua't ob fine ol' co'n?
I'se gwine ter mek ur fiah an' put de kittle on.


Hyuh, tek dis bucket, honey, an' run 'long ter de spring,
Wile I goes fur some sugah an' fixes ebbry ting.


You hyuh dat kittle singin'; hit knows wat hit am 'bout --
Hit fill my soul wid 'joicin'; O, Sam, I'se got ter shout!


Now, des put in dat sugah, say, honey, aint dat fine?
Dis min' me ob de ol' time 'fo' Susan fell in line.


Hyuh's luck ter you, my pa'dnah, hyuh's luck ter you, my fren';
Hyuh's long life in dis ol' wu'l, an' hebbin in de en'.


Des fill dat glass urgin, Sam, an' stir dat sugah 'roun --
I doan' cyah dat fur pa'sons an' Sistah Susan Brown.


Hyuh's luck ter you, my pa'dnah, hyuh's luck ter you, ol' fren';
Hyuh's long life in dis ol' wul', an' hebbin in de en'.


Now ef I hed my bawnjer -- you done brung yo'se urlong?
Des han' huh out hyuh, honey, an' jine me in dis song:

Uncle Eph's Banjo Song

Clean de ba'n an' sweep de flo',
Sing, my bawnjer, sing!
We's gwine ter dawnce dis eb'nin' sho',
Ring, my bawnjer, ring!
Den hits up de road an' down de lane,
Hurry, niggah, you miss de train;
De yaller gal she dawnce so neat,
De yaller gal she look so sweet,
Ring, my bawnjer, ring!


De moon come up, de sun go down,
Sing, my bawnjer, sing!
De niggahs am all come f'um town,
Ring, my bawnjer, ring!
Den hits roun' de hill an' froo de fiel' --
Lookout dar, niggah, doan' you steal!
De milyuns on dem vines am green,
De moon am bright, O you'll be seen,
Ring, my bawnjer, ring!


Git out dat deck ob kyards, sah, an' we'll des hab ur game --
Nebber min' 'bout Susan, we'll play hit des de same.


I'd hab you fur ter know, sah, ob dis house I'se de head,
An' Susan she de tail, sah, an' she de one dat's led.


Dar, I tu'ned de jack, sah; you'se beggin? Go ur head;
I plays de deuce fur low, sah, an' now de ace am led.


Des fill-dat-glass-ergin S-Sam, dat liquah s-sho-am-f-fine;
D-debbil-tek de meetin's an' S-Susan-n-nebber-min'.


Hyuhs-luck-ter-you, ol'-p-padnah, hyuhs-l-luck-ter-you, ol'-f-frien',
Hyuhs-l-long-l-life-in-dish ol' wu'l', an' hebbin' in d-de-en'.


'Dar, fo' de Lawd, come Susan, now somefin' mus' be done --
Hide dem kyards, quick, niggah, an' do hit on de run!


An' frow dat bottle liquah in dem weeds out de do',
An' stick dis blamed ol' bawnjer dar un'nerneaf de flo'.


W'y, Susan, how's de meetin'? De sperrit runnin' high?
Brer' Johnsing stopped ter se me, ez he wuz parsin' by;


You see, I med de fiah an' put de kittle on --
I knowed dat you'd be tiahd; pra'r's wu'k, des sho's you bo'n.


(Susan goes out to the wood pile.)
Sam, you tek dat bawnjer, an', niggah, des you fly,
'Fo' Susan blows us bofe up ter mansions in de sky.

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James Edwin Campbell