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.
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: “
Egan, Raymond and Whiting, Richard A., "Mammy's Little Coal Black Rose" (1916). Historic Sheet Music Collection. 886.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.