Historic Sheet Music Collection

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Mammy’s Little Coal Black Rose

Lyrics by Raymond Egan

Music by Richard A. Whiting

New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co. (1916)

Some of these resources may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of the library or the institution.


[Verse 1]

I heard a pickaninny crying
Down in Tennessee one night,
His little heart was nearly breaking
Just because he wasn’t white;
Then his dear old mammy kiss’d him,
And she said “Chile don’ you sigh
Weep no more my baby”,
Then she sang a Dixie Lullaby:


You better dry your eyes, my little Coal Black Rose,
You better go to sleep and let those eyelids close,
‘Cause you’re dark, don’t start apinin’,
You’re a cloud with a silver lining,
Tho’ ev’ry old crow thinks his babe am white as snow,
Your dear old mammy knows you’re mighty like a rose,
And when the angels gave those kinky curls to you,
They put a sunbeam in your disposition too, that’s true,
The reason you’re so black I ‘spose
They forgot to give your Mammy a talcum powder chamois,
So don’t you cry, don’t you sigh,
‘Cause you’re mammy’s little Coal Black Rose.
You better Rose.

[Verse 2]

And then I saw that dear old Mammy
Kiss those baby tears away
While in her arms the baby nestled
Happy as a child at play;
Then she whisper’d “Mammy loves you,
You’re as sweet as ‘possum pie’,
Go to sleep my honey,
While your mammy sings a Lullaby: “



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.