In the play, this is “‘Berta ‘Berta,” a prison work song the men learned while in Parchman Farm (Penitentiary) in Mississippi. You can hear its roots in the field songs of slaves and in gospel call-and-response, as well as the relation to its distant descendant, rock ‘n’ roll. Actors: Charles Dutton, Courtney Vance, Carl Gordon, Tommy Hollis. Dir. Lloyd Richards.
Afterwards, hear a short clip of a real prison work song.
Interesting fact: Dutton was a real convict (possession of a deadly weapon and assaulting a prison guard) before becoming an actor.
I LOVE listening to this song.