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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Lighter New article on Stagolee and John Henry (25) RE: New article on Stagolee and John Henry 19 Apr 21


As I understand it, "Stagolee" isn't "a song made about black manhood," it's a song that became especially popular because of a character whose actions appealed to singers' sense of what a certain kind of black manhood should have been like.

Similarly, a white outlaw ballad like "Jesse James" (as everyone seems to agree) reflects a spirit of rebelliousness against law and authority as well as sympathy for the daring but underdog outlaw. That's one reason for its popularity.

But it wasn't consciously composed to be "about" those things.


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