Title
Times Is Gettin' Harder

The Great Migration was not just a movement of people. The culture of the migrants traveled North as well - including the narrative traditions embodied in the Blues. The lyrics in the following song provide insight in a unique way into the motives of many migrants.

Sing Along:
Times is gettin' harder,
Money's gettin' scarce.
Soon as I get my cotton and corn,
I'm bound to leave this place.

White folks sittin' in the parlor,
Eatin' that cake and food,
black person’s way down to the kitchen,
Squabblin' over turnip greens.
Times is gettin' harder,
Money's gettin' scarce.
Soon as I get my cotton and corn,
I'm bound to leave this place.

Me and my brother was out.
Thought we'd have some fun.
He stole three chickens.
We began to run.
Times is gettin' harder,
Money's gettin' scarce.
Soon as I get my cotton and corn
I'm bound to leave this place.

To Start You Thinking

1) Explain how the lyrics deal with the differences in social status between "white folks" and "black persons."

2) When am "I bound to leave this place?" Explain.

Notes

Unknown author, Times is Gettin' Harder, recorded by Lucious Curtis, 1940 from Lucious Curtis and Willie Ford perform "Times is Getting Hard" in the Alan Lomax Collection "Mississippi Saints and Sinner.

Last modified in March, 2017 by Rick Thomas