Mudcat Café message #3361696 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2103   Message #3361696
Posted By: GUEST,BugJuice
10-Jun-12 - 02:00 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Add: Going Home / Goin' Home (Dvorak)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Going Home / Goin' Home (Dvorak)
Back in hi school we had a music teacher named Leonard Bernstein and he taught the BOYS' Chourus to sing the old, unexpurgated version which, when properly interpreted is in no way any insult to the Black Race, since it is a Hymn to freedom disguised as a slave's tribute to a dead master. Paul Robeson chose to interpret it otherwise and that
has always made me sad, since he was such a great guy and had such a magnificent bass voice, altho his revulsion at slavery led him to admire Josef Stalin who had more slaves, treated worse, than ever
happened in the New World.
The lyrics reflected the singers desire to unite with GOD, sung as Massa Dear:

Massa Dear, Massa Dear,
Oh look down awhile.
Heav'n am clear,
Winds am still;
You can hear dis chile.

All the home folks is gone
And it's lonesome here.
Work is o'er
Day is done,
Call me, Massa Dear.

There's a bird in the air,
Sweet and low he sings.
Voices all
Drawing nigh,
How de banjo rings!

There were other verses. One line was, "And the clear, shining moon, made the night the dawn!" but I don't recall more of it; this was
more than 70 years ago.
The point to all this is that these gorgeous lyrics didn't demean
black folks at all and shouldn't be censored and expurgated. It would be a mistake to pretend that slavery never existed. We need to be proud that we abolished it! Remember, slavery still exists in some parts of the world (Islamic places) and we need to direct our energies toward outlaweing slavery everywhere.