"Jazz-Boys" is the third song in Carpenter's Four Negro Songs.

Date: 1927Composer: John Alden CarpenterText: Langston HughesSong Collection: Four Negro Songs

Print vitals & song text


The lyrics of “Jazz-Boys” come from the following poem:

Harlem Night Club
by Langston Hughes

Sleek black boys in a cabaret.
Jazz-band, jazz-band,–
Play, plAY, PLAY!
Tomorrow…who knows?
Dance today!

White girls’ eyes
Call gay black boys.
Black boys’ lips
Grin jungle joys.

Dark brown girls
In blond men’s arms.
Jazz-band, jazz-band,–
Sing Eve’s charms!

White ones, brown ones,
What do you know
About tomorrow
Where all paths go?

Jazz-boys, jazz-boys,–
Play, plAY, PLAY!
Tomorrow…is darkness.
Joy today!

–The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, p. 90

Sheet Music

Four Negro Songs

Composer(s): John Alden Carpenter

Song(s): 1. Shake Your Brown Feet, Honey!
2. The Cryin' Blues
3. Jazz-Boys
4. That Soothin' Song

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