Joy (Or, Poor Massuh)

Massuh ain’t gonna never steal my joy,

No, Massuh caint do that no matter how he tries,

I see everything he been tryun’ to do,

Even if he buys everything he been wanting to,

He took my sweat and tears and pains,

And made me work from Sun to Sun,

Now All of dem is his fo’ sure,

And he thinks he counts ‘em when Day is done,

Ain’t nuttin bout them even pure or good,

Or worth the counting of da cost before my head is once laid down,

But whut he ain’t never been able to steal,

is the onliest thing’s that is mine for sure,

The joy he mistakes when he calls us fools,

And thinks we cannot see his pain,

And jes’ when he thinks he’s finally won,

After all them rebukes to keep us down,

He just don’t know he caint

steal our joy,

Cause he believes it’s a thing that’s bought,

Or put up on that auction block,

No poor massuh ain’t gonna steal this joy,

Even if it’s the thing he most truly wants,

Or one thing he caint seem to pay da cost,

It came with our lives and won’t disappear,

We’se going to ‘joy it our whole lives through,

Guess he jes’ don’t know

who really been free.

-Albert Turner Goins