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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,songbob My Old Kentucky Home problem (55* d) RE: My Old Kentucky Home problem 03 May 12


"the head will bow and the back will have to bend]
wherever the young foilks will go
a few more miles and our troubles all will end
in the fields where the sugar canes grow"

MG, did you post that to show the stupidity of using the phrase "young folks" universally through the song (it works just fine in the first verse, and is absolutely wrong in this verse, where the subjects are obviously quite aged -- "a few more years to totter on the road" in the original, I think)? Because when you start changing words, you end up with having to change more of 'em as you go through the song.

I'm in a Civil War reenactment ensemble, and we regularly sing "darky" where it appears. We DON'T use "nigger," but luckily, most songs with that word are pretty damn bad, anyway ("Someone's In the Kitchen with Dinah," believe it or not, is truly awful; luckily, it's not related to the lines in "I've Been Working on the Railroad").

Our thought is that "darky" is not in wide usage these days, so most people hearing it FROM PEOPLE IN PERIOD COSTUME usually "get it." If I am not doing a reenactment, I usually change to less volatile, like "It's summer, and everyone's gay" and "wherever the slave, he must go" in the last verse. But if my audience is interested in history as it happened, I will use "darky".

Now, "Kingdom coming" is another story. It's really hard to change that one -- "slavey" fits the scan, but doesn't work in the singing.

Bob Clayton


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