Jump for Joy

oil on panel, framed gilded wood frame






Jump for Joy
(Duke Ellington)

Fare thee well land of cotton
Cotton lisle is out of style
Honey chile
Jump for Joy
DOn't you grieve little Eve
All the hounds I do believe
Have been killed
Ain't 'cha thrilled?
Jump for Joy
Have you seen pastures groovy?
Green pastures was just a technicolor movie
When you stomp up to heaven and you meet old Saint Pete
Tell that boy
"Jump for joy"
Step right in
Give Pete some skin and
Jump for Joy"

Recently I have been reading "The Warmth of Other Suns" by Isabel Wilkerson, and watching Dr. Henry Louis Gates' programs on the Reconstruction period of post civil war US.

Duke Ellington wrote "Jump for Joy" in the early 1940s.- The music is joyous, the lyrics of this song express the historical movement of Blacks during the Great Migration, from the south to larger cities in the north. The all black cast and characters and songs - a celebration of Black culture - performers depicted in a positive light, without the racial stereotypes that were often in films and performances at the time.
Duke Ellington described it later in his life as "the first 'social significance' show".



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