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    Why Should the American Negro Be Proud?   Table of Contents     What's Mo' Temptin' to de Palate?

Johnson, Maggie Pogue
Virginia Dreams

- VIRGINIA DREAMS
- De Leap Yeah Party


De Leap Yeah Party


Was you at de hall las' night,
To de Leap Yeah Party?
I reckon dat I was,
But didn't I eat hearty?

I wouldn't hab missed gwine dar,
Fo' sumpin purty fine;
Dem folks was sholy lookin' good,
En had one sumptious time.

En ebery which a way you went
About de day befo',
Some one was standin' at yo' fence,
Or knockin' at yo' do'.

Axin dese here questions:
Is you gwine out to-night?
What color is you gwine to w'ar,
Yaller, blue or white?

Is you gwine to twis' yo' hwar up high,
Or let it cum down low?
Is you gwine to walk dar,
How's you gwine to go?
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27

En ob all de questions,
I neber heahed befo',
As dey met me wif upon de street,
En eben at my do'.

Till I jis took to thinkin'
As I walked aroun'
Dat dis would be de grandes' t'ing,
Dat eber cum to town.

Case ol' an young was fixin'
En primpin' up to date,
Leaben all de wuk undone
Fo' fear dat dey'd be late.

En when I got into dat hall,
Goodness! what a sight,
De same as pictures on de wall
De folks did look dat night.

Cud'n tell ol' folks from de young,
Case all was lookin' gay,
Chattin' to der fellows
In a stylish kin' o' way.

En you better had been kerful,
Dar'd been one de bigges fights
Had you called eny body ol' folks
On dat Leap Yeah Party night.

Eben to de ol' men,
Who'd always had der canes,
To keep f'om fallin' in de streets,
Or slippin' in de rain,--

Had flung dem all away dat night,
En cum in struttin' too,
Wid long tail jimswingers on,
En I said, Who but you?

It wud hab tickled you so much,
'Til you on your knees wud fall,
Could you jis hab seed dem folks
A settin' in dat hall.
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28

Like sardines in a box,
Dem folks was holy packed,--
Hardly room to draw yo' breaf,
'Lieve me, 'tis a fact!

De music it was playin', too,
Like ragtime at a ball,
De folks could hardly hold dey feet,
But de parson viewed dem all,--

En dey was skeered to move dem,
Or make a silent tread,
So dey kept time wid de music
By de bowin' ob de head.

When eatin' time did cum,
Dey all was at de table,
Puttin' 'way de grub,
As fas' as dey was able.

Gibin no tho't to dem aroun',
En not a wud dey said,
Stuffin' dey mouths wid chicken,
Tater salid, ham en bread.

De odder folks wid hungry looks,
Sot waitin' fo' der turn,
Hoping dar'd be sumpin' lef,
As dey gazed wid faces stern.

As dey finished ob der eatin',
Dey moved up f'om der places,
En turnin' dey did meet,
A number ob smilin' faces.

Now 'twas der turn to eat,
Such a scrumagin' dey had,
En dem dat failed to git seats,
Did turn wid faces sad.

Dey soon got thro' der eatin',
Case de hour was growin' ol',
Dey head de clock a strikin',
En de mornin' hour it told.
raster
29

Dey called out fo' der coats en hats,
Wid faces gay en bright,
En eber dey'll remember,
Dat Leap Yeah Party night.

    Why Should the American Negro Be Proud?   Table of Contents     What's Mo' Temptin' to de Palate?