Regional accents and dialects
are often criticized as not correct.
It happens almost everywhere.
It’s a type of prejudice – be aware.
My favourite American accent that I have heard
is a Southern one, with an embroidered word.
Mark Twain said – “Southerners talk music.”
The notes are often nicely bucolic.
If you think that the speech has a lazy drawl,
this is because its roots are pastoral.
If you can use an upgliding diphthong,
we will know where you come from.
How you stress the vowel sounds,
gives a clue to what abounds.
The Virginia Piedmont dialect
you could readily dissect.
You will not hear an – R – distinct
if followed by a consonant.
The Coastal Southern speech resembles it;
further south – Cajun, Creole and Yat.
Gullah talk gives – jukebox and voodoo;
the West African influence is true.
Then there was a rhythmic situation
found on many a cotton plantation.
Black workers heaving a cotton bale
while chanting the words – “rock ‘n roll.”
If you hear something that you don’t expect
it might be Native American dialect.
The Southern American English twang
may include interjections of Rebel slang.
There is a definite style in the Southern drawl,
which is addressed to everyone as – y’all.
Something they have honed with precision
is saying a word with an elision.
That charming change of speech that I have heard
is the dropping of a vowel or consonant in a word.
In lovin’ movin’ and shakin’ they dropped the – g –
and it flows along the sentence so prettily.
You can sing Southern speech kinda musically,
and change – of – to – a – linguistically.
Where would Jazz, Soul, and Pop all be
without the Southern drawl harmony?
If you want to hear the sound of a Southern word,
get them to say – a four-door Ford.
You can find many an abbreviation
in the American Southern nation.
One that is so very quaint
turns the words – is not or am not – into aint.
In – honey chile – they dropped a consonant
and expect to hear next a lullaby chant.
It can also have a sugary style
for things that are considered worthwhile.
Then it can turn to a phoney praise
and irritate in so many ways.
To sing speech in an emotional description
use a Southerner for the right prescription.
But when they want to stress something
they use the full words when talking.
It is – yes, I did – for the affirmative –
and – no I did not – for the negative.
Things they like are – darling and precious;
about affection they can be serious.
In the sultry summer heat that they have in the South
it was an effort to force the whole word from your mouth.
If bad news is to be delivered with some style,
a Southerner will soften it with a smile.
Those lazy tones may sound very pretty
but they often hide a resolve that is gritty.
If you want a nicer phrase for – go to hell!
you may hear it from a Southern Belle.
If the speech has a persuasive drawled sway,
that is how Southern ladies get their way.
They can flatter and become very cloying.
This false speech can also be annoying.
They can use for the truth – a substitute,
but make it sound so very cute.
The tone can turn from – syrup gushy
into an aggressive – strident and pushy.
If a Southern lady makes a move,
it’s the iron fist in the velvet glove.
You have never heard a prettier lie
than that which a Southern lady will try.
But when a Southern lady is sincere,
it’s the nicest speech that you will hear.
If you say a Yankee does something well,
the drawl will change into a Rebel yell.
At a party, within some drunken revels
you may hear a shout of – Up the Rebels!
And if it is true that manners maketh man,
a Southern gent will show that he can.
This gentleman is as good as his word.
He has an honour code I have heard.
If a Southern man offers you his arm,
watch out for that Celtic charm.
In a hazy, lazy day of summer beaches
he can quietly whisper sensual speeches.
Relaxing under the shade of Live Oaks,
he can sip a mint julep and tell cunning jokes.
But he can turn angry at a house full of wimmin
and declare that none of ‘em were worth shootin’.
When a Southern mommy’s child had a belly ache –
“did a Yankee get ya?” Is the question she would make.
Grandparents down south have well-known fame –
Big Momma and Big Poppa have their own name.
This was Southern speech as I did recall,
telling it as I had heard it – y’all.