I almost want to apologize for this. Almost. But not quite. I have a love for old recordings that borders on the obsessive, so much so that I wrote a whole novel around it (Bus People! You can read the whole thing here. Just click on the pink link.)
But never mind that. Now that I have YouTube, I don't have to wait for these bizarre old things to come on the radio or appear on a recording. NO! Here they are, millions of them, thick with dust and outmoded thinking, things you never wanted to hear but are going to hear anyway.
The first two are - strange - novelty recordings, I guess, with a lot of barnyard stuff on them. But partway through the Farmyard Medley is a shock so unexpected that it literally registered in my gut. You'll know when you get to it.
That leads to the third recording. It's the same song I heard on an old record - so old it had grooves on only one side, and was about 1/2" thick - which I listened to with my friend Nancy, one day in the musty attic when it was raining too hard to do anything else. We found a trove of ancient records that probably hadn't been played since the 1920s, and some of them were far older than that. Cornfield Medley is shocking because of the language, and in particular the casual use of one of the worst words that exists, but the version we heard was even uglier because it involved a "Massa" ordering his slaves around.
Old and horrible, but how far have we come? Things are dark, these days, and the only way around it is to keep going. We're still fighting battles around ugly words, even uglier racism, the ruthlessness of it, the way it diminishes humanity. Back then, it was simply called entertainment.
(Never mind what's on this one. I don't know myself. But there IS a connection to Bus People, in that nobody is quite sure who this is.)