Harriet Tubman was born in Maryland and given the name Araminta. She was known as Minty. From a very young age, Minty was rebellious. She dreamed of freedom and was sure that it was more than a dream..it was her destiny.

In this song, her mother is trying to convince her to follow plantation rules. But Minty explains that she needs to be a free person, and will be...someday. It is thought that her mother understood her feelings and became somewhat rebellious herself.

Click for notation

What Ya Doin' Minty

Music and lyrics by Suzie-Jean
Arranged and played by Bernie Katzman



Mother's part

What ya doin' Minty,
Sittin' in the corner,
Get yourself goin',
There's work to be done.

The missus don't like
No lazy slave girl ,
There aint no rest here,
Never fun.

Up now Minty,
Get ya-self movin'
Life don't change
oh can't ya' see,
Plantations for us is sure not free,
And won't never be.

Minty's Part

It aint no fair mama,
Workin' like a cart horse
Livin' for the big house
Night and day.

I needs to be free,
Be my own master,
For me, it's the only way.
I know in my heart
I'm headin' for freedom
Ain't just a dream, it's on my mind

May not be today's or tomorrow's plan,
But it's freedom for me
that's what I'll find.



Click here for an improvisation of
this song in the modern/blues style



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