Lit2Go

Humour and Dialect

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

A Back-Log Song

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1913
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
  • Word Count: 505

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De axes has been ringin’ in de woods de blessid day,
An’ de chips has been a–fallin’ fa’ an’ thick;
Dey has cut de bigges’ hick’ry dat de mules kin tote away,
An’ dey’s laid hit down and soaked it in de crik.
Den dey tuk hit to de big house an’ dey piled de wood erroun’
In de fiah–place f’om ash–flo’ to de flue,
While ol’ Ezry sta’ts de hymn dat evah yeah has got to soun’
When de back–log fus’ commence a–bu’nin’ thoo.

Ol’ Mastah is a–smilin’ on de da’kies f’om de hall,
Ol’ Mistus is a–stannin’ in de do’,
An’ de young folks, males an’ misses, is a–tryin’, one an’ all,
Fu’ to mek us feel hit ’s Chrismus time fu’ sho’.
An’ ouah hea’ts are full of pleasure, fu’ we know de time is ouahs
Fu’ to dance er do jes’ whut we wants to do.
An’ dey ain’t no ovahseer an’ no othah kind o’ powahs
Dat kin stop us while dat log is bu’nin thoo.

Dey ’s a–wokin’ in de qua’tahs a–preparin’ fu’ de feas’,
So de little pigs is feelin’ kind o’ shy.
De chickens ain’t so trus’ful ez dey was, to say de leas’,
An’ de wise ol’ hens is roostin’ mighty high.
You could n’t git a gobblah fu’ to look you in de face—
I ain’t sayin’ whut de tu’ky ‘spects is true;
But hit’s mighty dange’ous trav’lin’ fu’ de critters on de place
F’om de time dat log commence a bu’nin’ thoo.

Some one’s tunin’ up his fiddle dah, I hyeah a banjo’s ring,
An’, bless me, dat’s de tootin’ of a ho’n!
Now dey ‘ll evah one be runnin’ dat has got a foot to fling,
An’ dey ‘ll dance an’ frolic on f’om now ‘twell mo’n.
Plunk de banjo, scrap de fiddle, blow dat ho’n yo’ level bes’,
Keep yo’ min’ erpon de chune an’ step it true.
Oh, dey ain’t no time fu’ stoppin’ an’ dey ain’t no time fu’ res’,
Fu’ hit ’s Chrismus an’ de back–log ’s bu’nin’ thoo!