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Length: approx. 3½ mins. Sound best if the 2nd tenor and bass are doubled.
On Emancipation Day is proclaimed as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Will Marion Cook's latest and greatest hit on the cover of the original sheet music. It celebrates of course the days upon which slaves were manumitted and set free around the USA. It is a splendid march in ABBCCCC form with a 10-bar introduction, a 4-bar interlude between the BB and initial CC-strains, a vocal section, and a 12-interlude before the final CC-strains. The lyrics for bars 63-94 are as follows:
On Emancipation Day all you white folks clear the way.
Brass ban' playin' sev'ral tunes, Darkies eyes look jes like moons.
Marshall of de day a-strutin' Lord but is he gay.
Coons dressed up lak masqueraders, porters armed lak rude invaders.
When dey hear dem ragtime tunes, white fu'ks try to pass fu coons on Emancipation Day
On Emancipation Day was published by Harry von Tilzer Music Pub. Co., New York, USA.
A tempo of 80 crotchets/min. is suggested.
Emancipation Day and Slavery
Trinidad and Tobago was the first country in the world to declare a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery in the British Empire on August 1, 1834. Emancipation Day is also celebrated in the USA and other countries on different days in accordance with local manumission act dates. As late as April 2005, Washington D.C. inaugurated a legal Emancipation Day. It is a global disgrace to humanity and mankind that there is reported to be an estimated 27 million still enslaved people around the world in this 21st century. Forced to work through violence or the threat of it, they are under the complete control of their "employers". They are treated as property and sometimes bought and sold.
This adaptation for recorder is respectfully dedicated to those slaves emancipated in the past, to those some 27 million poor wretches
enduring slavery today and to those hopeful of being emancipated in the future.