De Nigger's Got to Go


Dear Liza, I is bin down town,
To Massa Charley's sto',
An' all de talk dis nigger hear
Is — " niggers got to go; "
I 'fess it bodders my ole head,
An' I would like to kno',
What all we cullud folks is done,
Dat now we's got to go?

I hear dem say dat long ago,
To ole Virginny's sho',
Dar kum a ship wid cullud folks,
Some twenty odd or mo',
Dey tells me dat dey hoed de corn,
An' wuz good wuckers sho';
Dey made Virginny like de rose,
But now dey's got to go.

Dat, when ole Ginnel Washington
Did whip dem red coats so,
A nigger wuz de fus to fall,
A-fightin' ub de foe;
Dat in de late " unpleasan'ness "
Dey watched at massa's do'
Proteckin' ub his lubin' ones,
But now we's got to go.

I 'fees I lubs dis dear ole place,
'Twuz here we buried Jo',
An' little Liza married off
So menny years ago,
An' now wez feeble, an' our lims
Is a-gittin mighty slo',
I'd hate to lebe dis dear ole place
But den wez got to go.

I don' kno' much 'bout politicks,
An' all dem things fur sho',
But de las leckshun I jes vote
Like de white folks tole me to;
Dey tole me vote for Dimikrats
An' 'twould be better sho',
But now dey don de leckshun win
But dey sez we's got to go.

Dey sez de white folks mad long us,
Kas wez-a-kummin up you kno',
An' sum un us is gittin' rich,
Wid do' bells on de do':
Dat wez get lawyers, doctors too,
An all dem things fur sho':
But den, it kan be jes for dis
Dat we all got to go.

De Lord he made dis lubly lan'
For white an' black folks too,
An' gin each man his roe to ten,
Den what we gwine to do?
We habes ourselbes, an' 'specks de laws,
But dey's peckin' mo' an' mo'
We aint don nuffin tall to dem,
Den huc-kum we mus' go.

Fur ebry nashun on de glob'
Dis seems to be a hom',
Dey welkums dem wid open arms,
No matter whar dey from
But we who here wuz bred an born,
Don' seem to hab no sho';
We hoped to make it what it is,
But den wez got to go.

It 'pears to me, my Liza dear,
Wez got a right to stay,
An' not a man on dis brod uf
Gwine dribe dis nigger way;
But why kan white folks lef us lone,
An weed dar side de roe,
An what dey all time talkin' 'bout
" De nigger's got to go? "

" But Rastus, " Liza sed, " Trus' in God,
He'll brung things right fur sho',
He don' hate us bekase wez black,
He made us all you kno';
He lubs us if wez cullud folks,
Our hearts is white an puh
An' less de Lord sez, forward march!
Wez not a gwine to go. "

Last updated March 22, 2023