Historic American Sheet Music, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University

Sheet Music Lyrics

Title: Mammy's Little Coal Black Rose
Lyrics: Raymond Egan
Music: Richard A. Whiting

I heard a pickaninny crying 
Down in Tennessee one night;
His little heart was nearly breaking 
Just because he wasn't white;
Then his dear old Mammy kiss'd him 
And she said "Chile don' you sigh
Weep no more, my baby,"
Then she sang a Dixie Lullaby:

And then I saw that dear old Mammy
Kiss those baby tears away
While in her arms the baby nestled
Happy as a child at play;
Then she whispered "Mammy loves you,
You're as sweet as 'possum pie,
Go to sleep, my honey, While your mammy sings a lullaby"

Chorus

You better dry your eyes, my little Coal Black Rose 
  (and don't you cry) 
You better go to sleep and let those eyelids cloes
  (just hush a-by)
'Cause you're dark, don't start apinin'
Your're a cloud with a silver lining;
Tho' ev'ry old crow thinks his babe am white as snow,
Your dear old Mammy knows you're mighty like a rose;
And when the angels gave those kinky curls to you
  (so curly que)
They put a sunbeam in your disposition too, that's true,
The reason you're so black I 'spose
They forgot to give your Mammy a talcum powder chamois,
So don't you cry, don't you sigh,
'Cause you're mammy's little Coal Black Rose.

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