“Missus in the Big House”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1963
Keywords: work slave discrimination
Found in: US

Description

"Missus in the big house, Mammy in the yard. Missus holdin' her white hands, Mammy workin' hard." "Old Marse ridin' all the time, Niggers workin' round. Marse sleepin' day time, Niggers diggin' in the ground."

Notes

Metrically, this reminds me very much of "Fly Around, My Pretty Little Miss." Hard to tell if they are the same without a tune and with only two verses.

The Lomax text does not share the two verses of the Courlander and Greenway versions, but the form and content (contrasting white luxury with Black work and poverty) seem to place the songs together. The Lomax text may be composite anyway; they give no information about its origin. - RBW

Cross references

References

  1. Courlander-NFM, p. 117, (no title) (1 text)
  2. Greenway-AFP, p. 96, "Missus in de Big House" (1 text)
  3. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 246-247, "De Black Gal" (1 text)
  4. BI, CNFM117