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THE SONG OF THE TERRIBLE THREE

Page history last edited by Amanda 10 years, 9 months ago

Another, larger change of this type, where references to skin color have been cut, is in the poem "The Song of the Terrible Three" at the end of part V, chapter 5. The complete poem in 1922/1950 (p. 280-1) AND 2001 (p. 268-9) is:

 

"THE SONG OF THE TERRIBLE THREE

 

Oh hear ye the Song of the Terrible Three

And the fight that they fought by the edge of the sea.

Down from the mountains, the rocks and the crags,

Swarming like wasps, came the Bag-jagderags.

 

Surrounding our village, our walls they broke down.

Oh, sad was the plight of our men and our town!

But Heaven determined our land to set free

And sent us the help of the Terrible Three.

 

One was a Black—he was dark as the night;

One was a Red-skin, a mountain of height;

But the chief was a White Man, round like a bee;

And all in a row stood the Terrible Three.

 

Shoulder to shoulder, they hammered and hit.

Like demons of fury they kicked and they bit.

Like a wall of destruction they stood in a row,

Flattening enemies, six at a blow.

 

Oh, strong was the Red-skin; fierce was the Black.

Bag-jagderags trembled and tried to turn back.

But 'twas of the White Man they shouted, 'Beware!

He throws men in handfuls, straight up in the air!'

 

Long shall they frighten bad children at night

With tales of the Red and the Black and the White.

And long shall we sing of the Terrible Three

And the fight that they fought by the edge of the sea."

 

The ten lines in boldface have been removed in 1988 (p. 242-3). The lines remain in 1998 (p. 212-3), but “Red-skin” is changed to “Red” and “White Man” to “White”.  Just before the Song, the phrase "the strength and weight of those three men of different lands and colors" has been changed to omit "and colors" only in 1988 (p. 242).

 

Next: OTHER CHANGES

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