Paul Laurence Dunbar

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When Malindy Sings (1903)

When Malindy Sings

First published by Dodd, Mead and Company

Copyright 1896

Itching Heels

Fu' de peace o' my eachin' heels, set down;
Don' fiddle dat chune no mo'.
Don' you see how dat melody stuhs me up
An' baigs me to tek to de flo'?
You knows I's a Christian, good an' strong;
I wusship f'om June to June;
My pra'ahs dey ah loud an' hymns ah long:
I baig you don' fiddle dat chune.

I's a crick in my back an' a misery hyeah
Whaih de j'ints's gittin' ol' an' stiff,
But hit seems lak you brings me de bref o' my youf;
W'y, I's suttain I noticed a w'iff.
Don' fiddle dat chune no mo', my chile,
Don' fiddle dat chune no mo';
I'll git up an' taih up dis groun' fu' a mile,
An' den I'll be chu'ched fu' it, sho'.

Oh, fiddle dat chune some mo', I say,
An' fiddle it loud an' fas':
I's a youngstah ergin in de mi'st o' my sin;
De p'esent's gone back to de pas'.
I'll dance to dat chune, so des fiddle erway;
I knows how de backslidah feels;
So fiddle it on 'twell de break o' de day
Fu' de sake o' my eachin' heels.

This poem appears in the following book(s):

When Malindy Sings, Lyrics of Love and Laughter

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