Watermelon Hanging on the Vine
Dr. Brown described this song as "a composite of many snatches
by a white man who projects the Negro into the situations." Dr.
White added: "I knew this in my boyhood. It is a modern minstrel
song, not originally Negro, but not a composite except possibly 1st
stanza." The chorus corresponds to 'Hambone Am Sweet,' in
Southern Songs and Spirituals by Marjorie Lamkin and W^endell
Hall (Chicago, 1926), p. 12. It is related to 'Here Lies de Body
uv Po' Little Ben,' No. 440. and 'Oh, Dat Watermilion.' No. 454.
'Happy Little Negro.' From Miss Lura Wagoner, Vox, Alleghany
county, who in August 1936 lent Dr. Brown a MS book of songs, some
dated 191 1, some 1913, from which this was copied.
I I'se a happy little negro ; all the way from Alabam',
Where they use to hoe the cotton and the cane.
The whites they will miss me when they look for little
For I never expect to go back there again.
Hani bone is good, l)cicon am sweet, possum meat so
very very fine.
But give me. oh ! give me, I really wish you would,
That watermelon hanging on the vine.
2 You may talk about your peaches, your bananas and your
Your persimmons hanging high upon the tree, but bless
]\ly honey 1 know, your fruits are good.
But the watermelon is good enough for me.
3 I left my older brother for to take care of my mother.
For to view that bright and happy clime.
I went to get that melon on a dark and rainy night.
When the moon had just begun to shine.
The white folks they did see me and they shot me through
But didn't leave the melon on the vine.