On 4/28/2015 1:05 PM, Michael Biel wrote:
> David Burnham brings up Old Man River and Paul Robeson. Yes the use of
> the N word in the song in Show Boat was as an ANTI-racism comment, but
> although Paul Robeson went on to sing the song so often that it was his
> theme song he NEVER used the N word outside of the context of the show.
> I am not sure if he ever used "Darkies" as others did, but it usually
> was "The people" or "We all". Furthermore, to make the song a political
> statement he changed the words of the final chorus in his later years "I
> must keep fighting until I'm dyin'". I suppose that Oscar Hammerstein
> let him go at that point with the changes, because it was not in the
> context of the show.
Robeson did record the word "darky" on at least one occasion, his 1920s
(1925? Sorry, it's buried in a box) recording of "Li'l Gal", where he
referred to himself as "dis darky". I remember being surprised at that.
He recorded "Li'l Gal" again in the 1950s, but I don't know if he used
that word. Must go check -- if I can find *that* CD.)
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