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When Malindy Sings Analysis

Author: Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar Type: Poetry Views: 1123

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G'way an' quit dat noise, Miss Lucy --

Put dat music book away;

What's de use to keep on tryin'?

Ef you practise twell you're gray,

You cain't sta't no notes a-flyin'

Lak de ones dat rants and rings

F'om de kitchen to be big woods

When Malindy sings.

You ain't got de nachel o'gans

Fu' to make de soun' come right,

You ain't got de tu'ns an' twistin's

Fu' to make it sweet an' light.

Tell you one thing now, Miss Lucy,

An' I'm tellin' you fu' true,

When hit comes to raal right singin',

'T ain't no easy thing to do.

Easy 'nough fu' folks to hollah,

Lookin' at de lines an' dots,

When dey ain't no one kin sence it,

An' de chune comes in, in spots;

But fu' real melojous music,

Dat jes' strikes yo' hea't and clings,

Jes' you stan' an' listen wif me

When Malindy sings.

Ain't you nevah hyeahd Malindy?

Blessed soul, tek up de cross!

Look hyeah, ain't you jokin', honey?

Well, you don't know whut you los'.

Y' ought to hyeah dat gal a-wa'b-lin',

Robins, la'ks, an' all dem things,

Heish dey moufs an' hides dey face,

When Malindy sings.

Fiddlin' man jes' stop his fiddlin',

Lay his fiddle on de she'f;

Mockin'-bird quit tryin' to whistle,

'Cause he jes' so shamed hisse'f.

Folks a-playin' on de banjo

Draps de fingahs on de strings--

Bless yo' soul--fu'gits to move em,

When Malindy sings.

She jes' spreads huh mouf and hollahs,

"Come to Jesus," twell you heyeah

Sinnahs' tremblin' steps and voices,

Timid-lak a-drawin' neah;

Den she tu'ns to "Rock of Ages,"

Simply to de cross she clings,

An' you fin' you' teahs a-drappin'

When Malindy sings.

Who dat says dat humble praises

Wif de Master nevah counts?

Heish you' mouf, I hyeah dat music,

Ez hit rises up an' mounts--

Floatin' by de hills an' valleys,

Way above dis buryin' sod,

Ez hit makes its way in glory

To de very gates of God!

Oh, hit's sweetah dan de music

Of an edicated band;

An' hit's dearah dan de battle's

Song o' triumph in de lan'.

It seems holier dan evenin'

When de solemn chu'ch bell rings,

Ez I sit an' ca'mly listen

While Malindy sings.

Towsah, stop dat ba'kin', hyeah me!

Mandy, mek dat chile keep still;

Don't you hyeah de echoes callin'

F'om de valley to de hill?

Let me listen, I can hyeah it,

Th'oo de bresh of angels' wings,

Sof' an' sweet, "Swing Low,

Sweet Chariot,"

Ez Malindy sings.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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The narrator is telling Miss Lucy (a white female)that there is no way that she is going to be able to sing like Malinda. He suggests to her that no amount of music lessons can help her because what "Malindy" has is a gift from God. He tells her that it's easy for people to sing with music, but for real singers do not need music to truly be able to sing. He tells her that it is unfortunate that she'd never heard Malinda sing. He goes on to compare Malinda's singing to birds and the fact that they hid their faces and are ashamed to make a sound when they hear Malinda sing. He says the musician who plays the banjo just lets his hands go limp because he realizes he is in the presences of greatness and defers to her. ~Sonya McClellan

| Posted on 2010-06-25 | by a guest

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