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A Banjo Song

James Weldon Johnson 1871 (Jacksonville) – 1938 (Wiscasset)

W'en de banjos wuz a-ringin',
An' de darkies wuz a-singin',
Oh, wuzen dem de good times sho!
All de ole folks would be chattin',
An' de pickaninnies pattin',
As dey heah'd de feet a-shufflin' 'cross de flo'.

An' how we'd dance, an' how we'd sing!
Dance tel de day done break.
An' how dem banjos dey would ring,
An' de cabin flo' would shake!

Come along, come along,
Come along, come along,
Don't you heah dem banjos a-ringin'?

Gib a song, gib a song,
Gib a song, gib a song,
Git yo' feet fixed up fu' a-wingin'.

W'ile de banjos dey go plunka, plunka, plunk,
We'll dance tel de ole flo' shake;
W'ile de feet keep a-goin' chooka, chooka, chook,
We'll dance tel de day done break.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and early civil rights activist. Johnson is best remembered for his leadership within the NAACP as well as for his writing, which includes novels, poems, and anthologies. He was also the first African-American professor at New York University. Later in life he was a professor of creative literature and writing at Fisk University. more…

All James Weldon Johnson poems | James Weldon Johnson Books

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