Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes, Come to yo' pappy an' set on his knee. What you been doin', suh — makin' san' pies? Look at dat bib — you's es du'ty ez me. Look at dat mouf — dat's merlasses, I bet; Come hyeah, Maria, an' wipe off his han's. Bees gwine to ketch you an' eat you up yit, Bein' so sticky an sweet — goodness lan's! Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes, Who's pappy's darlin' an' who's pappy's chile? Who is it all de day nevah once tries Fu' to be cross, er once loses dat smile? Whah did you git dem teef? My, you's a scamp! Whah did dat dimple come f'om in yo' chin? Pappy do' know you — I b'lieves you's a tramp; Mammy, dis hyeah's some ol' straggler got in! Let's th'ow him outen de do' in de san', We do' want stragglers a-layin' 'roun' hyeah; Let's gin him 'way to de big buggah-man; I know he's hidin' erroun' hyeah right neah. Buggah-man, buggah-man, come in de do', Hyeah's a bad boy you kin have fu' to eat. Mammy an' pappy do' want him no mo', Swaller him down f'om his haid to his feet! Dah, now, I t'ought dat you'd hug me up close. Go back, ol' buggah, you sha'n't have dis boy. He ain't no tramp, ner no straggler, of co'se; He's pappy's pa'dner an' play-mate an' joy. Come to you' pallet now — go to yo' res'; Wisht you could allus know ease an' cleah skies; Wisht you could stay jes' a chile on my breas'— Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes!
- by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 - 1906), "Little Brown Baby" [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork (b. 1941), "Little Brown Baby", 1994, from Common Ground: An Operatic Songfest, no. 6 [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2020-06-03
Line count: 32
Word count: 272