A-FORE  DE  DANCE  BE  OB-ER  *see note below

 

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Hab ye eber paus-ed
ta watch yur chil'ren a' play
wit thar sticks 'n runnin' hoops?



Or simply stop-ped ta lis'n
ta de ra-in
a-slappin'  on de gr-und?



Eber foll'er-ed a
butterfly's a-ratic flite?



Or gaz-ed a' de sun inta de fadin'
nite?



You'd best be a-slo'n down



'n don't be a-dancin' so fas'.



Fer time be a-short



'n de mus-ic, hit won't las'.



Do ye run thru each day
on de fly?


'n wen ye ask, 'How-de-do?'


Duz ye eben hay'r thar re-ply?



When day be dun



Duz ye lie 'n yur ni-tee-shirt
wit de nex' hun'red chores
just a-runnin'  thru yur ha-ed?



You'd best be a-slo'n down



'n don't be a-dancin' so fas'.



Fer time be a-short



'n de mus-ic, hit won't las'.



Eber tell'd a chil',



'We'll do hit ta-morry'



'n in yur haste,
not ta see his sorry?



Eber los' touch,
let a gud fr'en'ship lie--- 'Cause ye neber hab de time'



Ta go eben a-callin'  jus' ta say,'Howdy, fr'end!'



You'd best be a-slo'n down



'n don't be a-dancin' so fas'.



Fer time be a-short



'n de mus-ic, hit won't las'.



Wen ye run so fas' ta git some-whares



Ra-membar,
'half  de fun be of a-gittin' thar.'



'n wen ye be a-worryin'  'n a-hurryin'
thru-out yur day,



Hit wud be like an un-op'n'd gif'...
jus' a-throw'd a-way.



Life be not a race.


So take hit slo'-er



'n hay'r de mus-ic



A-fore De Dance Be Ob-er.



 
A 74-year-old, wanna-be writer, 'writing some music of a different sort'  into his story,  "Raisins and Almonds---A Civil War Story".
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* NOTE: Adapted liberally from a poem---"SLOW DANCE" ---by child psychologist, David Weatherford--- a poem which has since been turned into a song by the same name.  The song itself doesn't offer very much, but Weatherford's original lyrics (not shown here) are in themselves, beautiful.  I've changed a lot of things here to make Weatherford's poem fit both the Civil War period and the language spoken by a not-so-literate old man who rises to recite this homily one Sunday evening in 1861 at Vesper Services in John's Church in Middleton, Ohio.  And when he had finished, this same old gentleman picked up his fiddle, and to the amazement of all then in attendance, he began playing an old English aire, "John, Come Kiss Me  Now", accompanied by Emily on the piano.  And at the reception that follows, when asked about how it was that he could read music, whereas he could not read words, he had this to say:---                                                                                                                                                  
 
"Me mus-ic be lak a gif' frum de Lord.  But me wurds ... dey be yur wurds, 'n not frum de Lord ... jus' as I hay'r ye speak dem ta ebry wit-ch one, ratch hyar 'n nah." 
 
And amidst the silence that followed, a lone voice was heard.  "It's never been about what we say, or how we say it.  It's what we mean when we say it."  And then, while directing her attention squarely upon the old man, she added, "And it is the meaning behind your words here tonight that we will all take home with us.  Why, it was like     music to our ears --- and for that, we applaud you."  It was Emily who had spoken, and with that, she rhythmically began applauding the old man.  And soon she was        joined by others within their small group, and then, very quickly, the applause became deafening as it completely filled the sanctuary, spilling out onto the lawn outside,     
 even to the point where the horses at their posts began whinnying in concert with that which startled them so.                                                                                                                                  
                                                                         
... Just a short piece from "Raisins and Almonds--- A Civil  War Story"    ... "But it is from such pieces as this that great stories come to be told."
 
...Bruce************         
 
. b
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 Permission from David Weatherford is pending and expected, as long as 'credit due be credit given.'