Shew! Fly, Don’t Bother Me!

Standard

I think I hear the angel sing, I think I hear the angel sing,

I think I hear the angels sing, The angel now are on the wing.

I feel, I feel, I feel, That’s what my mother said,

The angels pouring ‘lasses down, Upon this nigger’s head.

Chorus

Shew! Fly, don’t bother, me, Shew! Fly, don’t bother me,

Shew” Fly, don’t bother me, I belong to comp’ny G.

I feel, I feel, I feel, I feel like a morning star,

I feel, I feel, I feel, I feel like a morning star.

I feel, I feel, I feel, I feel like a morning star,

I feel I feel I feel, I feel like a morning star.

If I sleep in the sun this nigger knows, If I sleep in the sun this nigger knows,

If I sleep in the sun this nigger knows, A fly comesting him on the nose.

I feel, I feel, I feel, That’s what my mother said,

Whenever this nigger goes to sleep, He must cover up his head.

Chorus

As I was looking at this song to type it in for the blog, I realized that I didn’t know the tune to the verse for sure, only the chorus, so I sat in a quiet restaurant on an evening and tried sight-singing the music (I do a decent job sight-singing, but I’m not confident of my intervals without an instrument to back it up). After I got done singing the first verse I looked at Betsy, then looked around and said “was anyone near to hear that?” Because I had just sung the word “nigger” out loud in a public restaurant, and didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. That is the sort of culture we have gotten to – our fear of offense of others.

That said, don’t anyone be offended when you hear the recording of this song – just remember the period it comes from. The chorus is fun and non-offensive, unless someone knows the context and chooses to be offensive.  Perhaps the reason I didn’t know the verse is because people had cut it out long ago for fear of offense.  But rather than offense, we shouldn’t be afraid of past ages, of their bigotries, or, elsewhere, of the places where they point out our own bigotries and false senses of superiority to us. (Hey, when did I get on the soap box?)

So, enjoy the song, and try to absorb the good things from a day gone by…

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