“Keep in de Middle Ob de Road”

Author: William S. Hays (1837-1907)
Earliest date: 1878 (broadside, LOCSheet sm1878 11057)
Keywords: religious worksong nonballad
Found in: Canada(Mar)


"I hear the angels calling .... the road is rough and it's hard to walk.... Keep in de middle ob de road, den, chil'ren.... Don't you look to de right, Don't you look to de left, But keep in de middle ob de road"


Smith/Hatt: The fragment is part of the chorus and part of a verse. "'Heard this song sung by darkies at Philadelphia, digging pitch ... from the Brigintine Hamelin.' ... It is hardly a shanty but still a work song heard on ships." - BS



  1. Smith/Hatt, p. 32, "Walking in de Middle of de Road" (1 text)
  2. Roud #9413
  3. BI, SmHa032