Slave Narrative of Hector Smith

Interviewer: Annie Ruth Davis
Person Interviewed: Hector Smith
Date of Interview: July 14, 1937
Location: Marion County, South Carolina
Age: 79

“I studied en studied what songs would suit, but dem old familiar hymns bout all I know dese days. You see dem old familiar hymns what de spirit sings. It just like I tell you, I put all dem other kind of songs away when I is change to a better way of livin. I does remember first one en den de other of dem frolicksome song dat my grandparents learnt me.”

Nobody Business But Mine

Rabbit in de hollow,
I ain’ got no dog,
How can I catch em?
I do know! I do know!
O Me! O Mine!
Sorry dat if I leave my home,
I gwine to my shack
Wid de chicken on my back,
Nobody business but mine.

Rabbit in de hollow,
Ain’ got no dog,
How can he catch em?
I do know! I do know!
O Me! O Mine!
Let every nigger have his way,
Gwine to his shack
Wid he chicken on his back,
Nobody business but his.


Marion County SC,

Federal Writers' Project. WPA Slave Narratives. Web. 2007-2024. The WPA Slave Narratives must be used with care. There is, of course, the problem of confusion in memory resulting from (73+ years) of the participants. In addition, inexperienced interviewers sometimes pursued question lines related to their own interests and perspectives and attempted to capture the colloquialism of the informant's speech. The interviews provide fascinating insight and surprisingly candid information, however.

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