Finding-Aid for the Race Parody Sheet Music Collection (MUM00376)
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University of Mississippi (collector)
Race Parody Sheet Music Collection.
Collection contain sheet music related to race parody and African-American stereotypes. Items were created 1882-1945.
Race Parody Sheet Music Collection (MUM00376). The Department of Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi.
Collection contain sheet music related to race parody and African-American stereotypes. Items were created 1882-1945.
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INVENTORY OF RACE PARODY SHEET MUSIC
AFRICAN-AMERICAN STEREOTYPES [1882-1945]
1. No date — “If the Man in the Moon Were a Coon” by Fred Fisher; Will Rossiter Publisher (Chicago, IL). Cover: smiling African American girl, photo of a smiling white woman, man in a top hat looking into a shed.
2. 1882 — “Gib Me Dat Water-million” by Thos. P. Westendorf; The W.F. Shaw Publishing Co. (Chicago, New York). Cover: no picture.
Oh, see dat watermillion a smilin’ fro’ de fence, How I wish dat watermillion it was mine. Oh de white folks mu’ be foolish, Dy need a heap ob sense, Or dey’d nebber leave it dar upon de vine.
Oh, de hambone am sweet, An’ de bacon am good, An’ de possum fat am berry, berry fine, But gib me, yes, gib me, Oh! how I wish you would, Dat watermillion growin’ on de vine.
You may talk about de peaches, de apples and de pears, And de ‘simmons hangin’ on de ‘simmon tree. But bless my heart, my honey, Dat truck it aint no where’s, Oh, de watermillion am de fruit for me.
When de dewdrops dey is fallin’, dat million’s gwine to cool, An’ I know den it will eat most awful fine. So I’s gwine to come and fetch it, Or else I is a fool, If I leaves it dar a smilin’ on de vine.
3. 1885 — “When I Swim De Golden Ribber” by Fred Lyons; Thos. Goggan & Bro. (Galveston, San Antonio). Cover: plantation setting with river, angel, devil, and person swimming with a crown.
Since I got my education, I will take an elevation, I will swim de golden ribber in de morn; I’ll dress in silk in satin And I’ll talk in Greek and Latin, When I swim de golden ribber in de morning, Go holer up de alley, And whisper in de valley, Den tell all de gals not to cry, I hates to leave um Kase I know it’s gwine to grieve um, When I swim de golden ribber in de morning.
Yes, tell all de gals not to weep, When I swim o’er de ribber so deep, And they’d better come and kiss me, For I know they’s gwine to miss me, When I swim de golden ribber in de morning.
When you hear de bells a ringing And de darkeys all a singing, I will swim de golden ribber in de morn; I’ll put on my golden slippers And I’ll flop my golden flippers, When I swim de golden ribber in de morning, You may think I am crazy, But I think I’ll be a daisy, When I cross o’er de ribber so deep, I’ll look like a lily And I’ll knock de people silly, When I swim de golden ribber in de morining.
Ole Satan built de fire And he begged me to come nigher, I will swim de golden ribber in de morn; And he swore he would bruise me Just because he had to lose me, When I swim de golden ribber in de morning, But if Satan pesters me, Dar will be a jamberree, I declare I’ll smack him to sleep, And he says he will buy me, But I dare him to come night me, When I swim de golden ribber in de morning.
4. 1886 — “De Coon Dat Got De Shake” by Samuel Burnell; Willis Woodward & Co. (New York). Cover: no picture.
I once had a gal, and a good gal was she And I loved her to perfection. She was jess as sweet as de little honey bee, Bust she drove me to distraction. She done run away and she left dis coon De day beforeyesterday just about noon, And I dont expect dat she’ll be back soon, For when she left me she sang dis tune.
Den a good bye my honey, I got another fellar, Good Bye my honey, You’re black and he is yaller, De reason I must go is because you are too slow, So my honey I’m agwine to say good bye. Den fare you well, I’m gwine away to leave you, leave you, leave you, honey fare you well, now niggar don’t you cry, Fare you well dont let my parting grieve you, grieve you honey, Got my little satchel packed, I’m gwine to say goodbye.
I used to dress her up in de finest kind ob style And she looked jess like a queen. Den I used to take her out to all de colored hops, And i’d tread her to Ice-cream. But she done run away and she left her bed Eloped wid a nigger wid a pock marked head, To tell you de truth why she shook me dead, And when she left me dese word she said.
5. 1886 — “Polka des Negres” by Albert Graud; G. Koeckert & Co. (Princeton, NJ). Cover: pleasant plantation scene with banjo and dancing, gross caricature. No lyrics.
6. 1893 — “African Patrol” by G.B. Brigham; National Music Co. (Chicago). Cover: African-American shaking hands with a primitive African. No lyrics.
7. 1893 — “Little Alabama Coon” by Hattie Starr; Willis Woodward & Co. (New York). Cover: no picture
I’s a little Alabama Coon! And I hasn’t been born very lon; I ‘member seein’ a great big round moon! I ‘member hearin’ one sweet song! When dey tote me down to de cotton field, Dar I roll and I tumble in de sun! While my daddy pick de cotton, mammy watch me grow, And dis am de song she sung!
Go to sleep, my little picaninny, Brer’ Fox’ll catch you if yo’ don’t; Slumber on de bosom of yo’ ole Mammy Jinny, Mammy’s gwine to swat yo’ if you won’t; Lula, lula lula lula lu! Under neaf de silver Southern moon; Rockaby! hushaby! Mammy’s little baby, Mammy’s little Alabama Coon!
Dis h’yar little Alabama Coon! Specks to be a growed up man some day; Dey’s gwine to christen me hyar very soon! My name’s gwine to be “Henry Clay” When I’s big, I’s gwine to wed a yellow gal, Den we’ll hab pickaninnys ob our own! Den dat yellow gal shall rock ’em on her bosom, And dis am de song she’ll croon!
8. 1894 — “Hello, Ma Baby!” by Howard and Emerson (arr. by Max Dreyfus); T.B. Harms & Co. (New York). Cover: flashy dressers. No lyrics.
9. 1895 — “Honey Does You Love Yer Man?” (A Coon Love Song) by John W. Bratton (m) and Walter H. Ford (w); M. Witmark & Sons (New York, Chicago). Cover: photo of white performer and inset caricature drawings.
Dar’s a little old mud cabin down in Tenessee Wid a mawnin’ glory creepin’ ’round de do’, And a pretty yaller gal is waitin dar fo’ me, She has been mah lady friend a year or mo. When we bof was little picaninnies long ago, We would often play togedder in de san’. In de evenin’ when de Southern sun was sink in low, Den I used to tell her while I’d hol’herhan’.
Honey you’se more dan won me, Cast dem big eyes upon me, Give me dat little brown han’. You’ll live on pork and kisses, If you will be mah missus, Honey does you love yer man.
She’s de finest little coon gal, dat you’d run across And I dreams about her, mostly ev’ry night. She’s de color of a saddle or a sorrel hoss, But I couldn’t love her more if she was white. I’m a savin’ all my money up to marry her, And I Never even monkey wid de dice. Ev’ry penny dat i Save I’m goin to give to her, Den of course I’ll have to tell her once or twice.
10. 1895 — “Love Me, Love Me Lou” by B. Conners (m) and Dan Waldron (w); Howley, Haviland & Co. (New York). Cover: gross caricature of a couple.
I went last night to see my girl, had no other place to go. Her father was standing in the door, he had no place to go. I said Mister Jones how do you do? just then he raised me with his shoe, Now I’ll have to find some other place to go,
Love me, love me Lou, Say you love me do! If you love me as I love you, Why come and kiss your baby do! Love me, love me Lou! If you love me true, I’ll be Papa, you’l be Mama, If you love me Lou.
I married a widow three weeks ago, I had nothing else to do, But I’d been married once before And of children I had two, But since that time I’ve been on a spree for my wife she’s been chasing me, So I’ll have to find some other place to go.
Cycling now is all the rage, and folks are on the go, My wife has a wheel and constantly she’s riding to and fro, She has no bloomers but wears my pants, so do her brothers, cousins, and aunts, While I stay home, there’s no place I can go.
A coon sat on a powder keg, he was singing soft and low, He was also smoking a cigarette, poor nigger didn’t know. The coon began to whoop and cough, when bang! powder, it went off, And he soon found some other place to go.
11. 1896 — “I Want Dem Presents Back” by Paul West; M. Witmark & Sons [supplement to the New York Journal and Advertuer]. Cover: photo of white female performer surrounded by photos of black male performers. Also, inside sketches of dandies and laborers.
My gal Tildy she’s gone shook me, Shook me good and smart She done say she’d be mah wife, But she give me de marble heart, She skipped out wif a low down nigger, Aint got half mah stack, She kin go whar she’s a mind to, Fer I don’t care whar she gwine ter. But I want my presents back O!
I want dat bran’ new cook stove, I want dat cha’r I want dat lookin’ glass, to comb, to comb my hair I want dat carpet, yes sir, Won’t git it? Wal I guess, sir! Carve me! An’ starve me, I want dem presents back.
Ise a coon what does t’ings pretty, So I says ter Til’ Buy de best in all the city An’ I’ll blow myself I will, Got a flat in de up per coondom. Reckless dats a fac’, So I squandered all my money On de furniture but Honey, Now I want dem presents back. O!
Saw her once wid dat low nigger, In a bran new suit o’ clothes She pawned de stove te buy dat ring And dat ain’t all my woes, Hocked de carpet ter buy him shooes, Clean shirt for his back, But ter show dat I aint wicked, I’ll jes square it fer de ticket, Fer ter git dem presents back. O!
12. 1896 — “You’ll Always Find This Coon Hanging ‘Round” by Joseph E. Howard (m) and Herbert Holcombe (w); Chas. K. Harris (Milwaukee). Cover: small box with caricature.
Talk about your hoodoos, Listen to me, I’ll tell you one that’s true; He’s de cutest little nigger, And he lives ‘cross de way; I’ll tell you what he’ll do. I was talking to my Lulu In de park Sunday night, Just about to get ‘pon my knees, To tell her how I loved her, Dar clean through and through, When I heard dat black coon sneeze.
Eb’ry night when I goes down to what dey call Black Town, Eb’ry night when I goes down to see dat gay old Town, Eb’ry night when I goes down to what dey call Black Town, You’ll always find this coon ahanging ’round.
He’s around in de moring, Round in de night, Don’t think dat coon ever sleeps, If you’re out stealing chickens, Or shootin’ of dem craps, Over the fence he’ll peep Dreamt of him last night, Played him in de gig, Couldn’t win nohow, I’m gwine to hoe my razor, For dat nigger dude, When we meets dars gwine to be a row.
13. 1897 — “All Coons Look Alike to Me” by Ernest Hogan; M. Witmark & Sons (London). Cover: no picture.
Talk about a coon a having trouble, I think I have enough of ma own, Its all about ma Lucy Janey Stubbles, And she as cause my heart to mourn, Thar’s another coon barber from Virginia, In soci’ty he’s the leader of the day, And now ma honey gal is gwine to quit me, Yes she gone and drove this coon away, She’d no excuse, To turn me loose, I’ve been abused, I’m all confused, Cause these words she did say
All coons look alike to me, I’ve got another beau, you see, And he’s just as good to me as you, nig! ever tried to be, He spends his money free, I know we cant agree, So I don’t like you no how, All coons look alike to me.
Never said a word to hurt her feelings, I always bou’t her presents by the score, And now my brain with sorrow am a reeling, Cause she won’t accept them anymore, If I treated her wrong she may have loved me, Like all the rest she’s gone and let me down, If I’m lucky I’m lucky I’m a gwine to catch my policy, And win my sweet thing way from town, For I’m worried, Yes, I’m desp’rate, I’ve been Jonahed, And I’ll get dang’rous, If these words she says to me
14. 1897 — “At a Georgia Campmeeting” (A Characteristic March) by Kerry Mills; F.A. Mills (New York). Cover: outdoor campmeeting scene, caricatures. [2 copies]
A campmeeting took place, by the colored race; Way down in Georgia There were coons large and small, lanky lean fat and tall, At this great coon campmeeting. When church was out, how the “Sisters” did shout, They were so happy, But the young folks were tired And wished to be inspired And hired a big brass band.
When that band of darkies began to play Pretty music so gay hats were then thrown away Thought them foolish coons their necks would break When they quit laughting and talking And went to walking, for a big choc’late cake.
The old “Sisters” raised sand, when they first heard the band, Way down in Georgia The preacher did rare and the deacons did stare At the young darkies prancing, The band played so sweet tht nobody could eat ‘Twas so entrancing So the church folks agreed ‘Twas not a sinful deed, And joined in with the rest.
15. 1897 — “The Black Four Hundred” by Irving Jones; George L. Spaulding (New York). Cover: photo of white performer and following inscription: “Dedicated to the Colored Aristocracy, A Comic Negro March Song. To the Public: There are three clubs in New York City composed entirely of colored men, and consequently there is much rivalry and jealousy between them for first honors with the dusky belles of ‘Little Africa’ with whom the ‘black 400’ at the present time seem to be slight favorites.”
There’s a club call Black Four Hundred, it’s composed of dead swell coons, It’s hotter than the “Skidmore Guards,” or the “Order of Full Moons,” You’ll see the latest styles and fashions when these coons parad. They lay all other coon clubs in the shade; You must wear pearls and diamonds if you want to be in line, You’be got to be a hot coon, and your clothing must by fine, And when those coons turn out upon Emancipation Day, On the corners you will hear the wenches say:
See the “Black Four Hundred a coming down the street, Now don’t those coons look hot? As along the street they trot, If you listen, you’ll hear the kinkey-headed wenches say, “The Black Four Hundred are on parade today.”
If you want to be a member, you must be an aristocrat, You must wear patent leather shoes, and a great big beaver hat, For drilling and cakewalking, why our equals can’t be found. The white folks say we’re the hottest coons in town. We’re going to give a picnic and we’re bound to have a crowd, Because, both guns and razors on the grounds will be allowed, We’re going to give a grand parade, quite early in the day, Up on Fith Avenue you’ll hear them say:
16. 1897 — “I Don’t Care If Yo’ Nebber Comes Back” (Greatest Darkey Song of the Present Era, Introduced and Sung with Great Success by the Two Real Coons Williams and Walker) by Monroe H. Rosenfeld (m) and Raymond A. Browne (w); Jos. W. Stern & Co. (New York). Cover: photo of mammy and dandy.
I went acallin’, Sunday on ma go-to-meetin gal, But I got there too soon! I walked into de parlor, an’ I ketched ma yaller Sal; She was huggin’ strange coon! I stated ma objections, an’ I days, “Dat settles you! You’se shook! I’se gwine to leave yo’, dat is what i’m gwine to do.” Says she, “You’re not so many! don’t you linger longer, Lou! Bye, bye! good afternoon!” [An’I don’r care how long you stays away, neither!]
I don’t care if you nebber comes back, Git a move on you, nigger, do! Lots amore coons in dis yere town, So I won’t grieve after you! Heaps o’niggers, dat I kin boss, And dar’s none of ’em half so black; So trot along, ma honey, For you havn’t got no money, And I don’t care if yo’ nebber comes back!
Dat nigger in de corner gave a mighty sassy grin, An’ ma razor I drew! I started in to carve him, but his skin was tough as sin, He won easy, dat’s true! De last t’ing I remember, ‘fore de ambuland come ’round, Was flyin’ thro’ the window and a bouncin on de ground. An’ de wench she was ashoutin’, “Trouble’s mighty easy found! Bye, bye! dey’ll pull yo’ through!” [You black rascal, I’ll teach you to insult my husband!]
17. 1897 — “Ma Caroline” (A Refine Coon Song) by Lee Johnson; Sherman, Clay & Co. (San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Seattle). Cover: dandy couple, caricatures.
Ise won a cullud lady she’s de belle of Mobile, Um um ma honey; Dem sporty nigs and hightoned coons my gal try to steal, um um ma honey; Ev’ry Sunday with my gal Im out, The wenches and de coons all shout, When I do the promenade on de hightone boulevard, With my own sweet Caroline.
Yes, She’s my Caroline, ma sweetness devine, Dressed in satin gowns ma honey looks fine, When she passes by coons all heave a sigh, [rest missing]
Nest Sunday at de cullud church of Zion, I’ll wed, Um um ma baby; All decked in orange blossons and a swell gown of red, Um um ma baby; Then our wedding bells will sweetly chime, With my honey gall I’ll fall in line, Den de jealous coons will see Parson Jackson give to me My own love, my Caroline.
18. 1898 — “De Ole Time Cake Walk” by Lee B. Grabbe (m) and Wallace Moody (w); Zickel Bros. (Detroit). Cover: plantation scenes, caricature.
Dar’s a little ole log cabin on de banks of oyster bay, An’ you’ll find ole Rastus sittin’ in de do’; He ain’t de cullud, cultured coon yuh see ’round nowaday, Jus’ a common niggah slave befor’ de wah. But he was de swellest coon on dat plantation, Though he nevah ware no store clo’s mighty fine; An’ he’ll show yuh what to do If yuh only ask him to, Present de ole-time cake-walk south of Dixie line
Then it’s first you git a gal yuh know Pull her aroun’ de corners slow, Always keep along de line, Till de leader gib de sign: Swing yuh lady fair an’ square, Don’t yuh nevah turn a hair! Den yuh got yuh ‘Rastus ole-time cake-walk on de go!
He’ll git up an’ say “dis niggah may be ‘way behin’ de time, An’ de rhumatiz alayin’ of him low.” He’ll cut a fancy figure, shoutin’ “Coons heah’s where I shine!” Wile ole Dinah standin’ laughin’ in de do’. He’ll scorn yer swallertail an’ chokin’ collar, Yer patent leather shoes an’ yallah tie: If yuh want to win de cake, Go to Ras’, fer ercy sake! Den yuh got de cake acomin’ on de fly.
19. 1898 — “I Guess I’ll Have to Telegraph My Baby” by Geo. M. Cohan; George L. Spaulding (New York). Cover: photo of white performers.
A coon he left his gappy home to go upon the stage, He joined a colored minstrel troupe, he thought he’d be the rage, He left the nicest little gal in Memphis Tennessee, And just because an actor man dis coon desired to be; He thought he was a corker, dat Williams and Walker Would soon have to take off their hats and salaam. In a town they landed, troupe disbanded, Coons all stranded empty handed, Big black actor said to him, “What will you do now Sam?” He sighed and cried and then he replied.
Well I guess I’ll have to telegraph my baby, I need the money bad, indeed I do. For Lucy is a very gen’rous lady, I can always touch her for a few. I find the Western Union a convenience, No matter where I roam, I’ll telegraph my baby, She’ll send ten or twenty maybe, Then I wont have to walk back home.
He telegraphed and waited for an answer all in vain, He didn’t get no reply at all, the coon near went insane: He tried to jump his hotel bill, the landlord had him clinched, The bel’boy got the Sheriff and they had dis darkey pinched. In a cell he was awalkin’, to himself he was a talkin’, Said he, “No more troupin’ or travellin’ in mine.” Before the judge he had to trudge, He didn’t budge, the landlord’s grude brought Sentence for two years in jail or twenty dollars fine. He sighed and cried and then he replied.
20. 1899 — “Bunch O’Blackberries” by Abe Holzmann; Feist & Frankenthaler (New York). Cover: photo of many black boys in suits. No lyrics. [2 copies]
21. 1899 — “My Hannah Lady, Whose Black Baby Is You?” by Dave Reed, Jr.; Jos. W. Stern & Co. (New York). Cover: photo of white performer.
Way down in Lou’siana there lives a yaller gal, De folks all call her Hannah, but her christian name is Sal; Now does dat lady love me? Well, I jes’ guess she do, Dar aint no wench this side of Heaven who is half so good and true! She’s a daisy, sets ’em crazy, Coons all think she’s it; They go daffy, give her taffy, Don’t faze her one bit. She don’t trabble with the rabble, Bet your life on that! My little Hannah down in Lou’siana, is a blue blood ‘ristocrat.
My Hannah, lady, I do love you, There aint no baby so good and true; In lou’siana I could die, If you was only nigh, Oh, my Hannah lady, whose black baby is you?
I knowed, it we got married, some rent Id have to pay; So ’round that town I tarried for just one single day; Then for a situation, next day I went to roam, And told her I would bring back money for to buy my baby home; I kept tryin’, felt like cryin’, Nuffin’ cae my way, Then got plucky, struck it lucky, ‘Way up North, one day. Back I’m goin’, make a showin’, Buy a ring so fine; The celebration will arouse the nation, when I make Miss Hannah mine.
22. 1899 — “Prancing Pickaninnies (A Cakewalk)” by Max Dreyfus (m) and Andrew B. Sterling (w); T.B. Harms & Co. (New York). Cover: sillouette of three blacks with inset of caricature playing the banjo. [Supplement to the New York Sunday World, Nov. 5, 1899].
Kepp your eye on the prancing pickaninnies, And just gaze at the style of Jasper Green, (Keep amoving Jasper,) Don’t say a word about cakewalking. They’re the hottest you’ve ever seen.
23. 1899 — “The Queen of Charcoal Alley” by Howard & Emerson (m) and Andrew B. Sterling (w); T.B. Harms & Co. Cover: dandy male and female. [Musical Supplement to the New Orleans Sunday Morning Item. Sunday, Dec. 16, 1900.]
Coons may sing, praises ring, All about the gals they love; I know one takes the bun, She’s a little turtle dove. Her name’s Sal, she’s my gal, That nobody can deny; And if you seen this little choc’late cream You’d smack you lips and say, “O my!” Ah!
Noone knows how much I love my Sally! She’s the reigning Queen of Charcoal Alley! The coons all get in line To worship at her shrine, They idolize this choc’late blonde. But she’s ma baby, baby! Talk about your Mandy and your Sadie, They can’t touch my gal, ’cause she’s a lady! They can’t steal her away, And I aint ashamed to say I love the Queen of Charcoal Alley.
Talk of style, blowed my pile, Bought the very best in towm; Now ma mash cuts a dash, Aint noone can throw her down. Silk and lace, beads in place. ‘Tell you! she does look immense! The wenches sigh when Sally passes by, She makes them feel like thirty cents! Ah!
24. 1899 — “Smokey Mokes” by A. Holzmann (m) and W. Murdoch Lind (w); Feist and Frankenthaler (New York). Cover: black dandy smoking a cigar, photo inset of black performers.
Sharpen yo’ razors bring all yo’ ladies Down to de old Town Hall, Dar’s going to be a ball, Come niggers come one and all, De walk fo’ de cake will soon be commencin’, music will play sublime, Dem Smoky Mokes am gwine to cut a dash, Strike up de old ragtime.
Judges in de gall’ry say “Oh me” “Oh my,” ‘Taint no use to takl, dey’ll surely win dis cakewalk, Watch de stylish niggers, full of fun and jokes, Give ’em de prize, dar aint no flies upon dem Smoky Mokes.
See all de gals dressed up in de fashion, Doing de Pasmala, Wid niggers as black as tar, Dey promenade to de bar, Dem big Smoky Mokes dey leads de procession, look at de hit dey make, As sure’s yer born dem coons has got a cinch, Dey’s gwine to win dat cake.
25. 1899 — “Swim Out For Glory” by J.A. Verlander; J.A. Verlander (New Orleans). Cover: Caricatures at baptizing ceremony.
‘Twas a bright and cheerful morning while on Water street I saw All the colored congregation dress’d in white with hats of straw In the lead was uncle Tom with his Dinah by the arm Such a sight i ne’er did see ’twas a grand old jubilee When old Dinah shouted out you caould hear her all about She start slamin’ things around when the parson said get down And
swim out for glory sister swim out for glory Brother don’t act a nigger any more Sister just get dat good old lidgen Don’t steals nare nother pigeon come join us fancy folks once more and we’ll treat you right.
Soon ’twas time to sing a little said the sister dressed in grey Who up on a mound was seated what we call a stack of hay Soon the wind began to blow and the hay it scattered so Like the unexpected snow which we had not long ago The poor sister she was found tryin’ to swim upon the ground While the parson there had found sister swimmin’ on the ground Said
26. 1899 — “Tickled to Death” by Chas Hunter; Frank G. Fite (Nashville). Cover: photo of three little black boys. No lyrics.
27. 1900 — “The Colored Major” by S.R. Henry; The Lyceum Publishing Co. (New York). Cover: black dressed in fancy military uniform (drum major?). No lyrics.
28. 1900 — “Ma Tiger Lily” by A.B. Sloane (m) and Clay M. Greene (w); M. Witmark & Sons (Chicago & New York). Cover: no picture.
I’d frow down any coon fur her, She frowed down piles for me, No matter whener where, she’ll ketch ’em by de pair, She’s wicked as ken be; But she aint never caused no sigh, To dis yere yaller coon, You hear me all I’m proud to leave her in a crowd, And see dem crazy niggers spoon. Fur she’s ma
Lily, my Tiger Lily, She draws de niggers like a crowd of flies, A Queen in shape and size, Got diamonds in her eyes, She is ma sweetest one, ma Baby Tiger Lily.
I met her at a ball one night, And gave her jest one smile, She shook her nigger pard and handed me her card; I wrote ma name in style, She would’nt waltz no coon but me, I took de last quadrille, Ane when de ball was froo, de furst thing dat I knew, She swoa ma little bride to be. Fur she’s ma
29. 1900 — “Possum and Taters” (A Ragtime Feast) by Charles Hunter; H.A. French (Nashville). Cover: interior and exterior on plantation, slight caricature. No lyrics but the following written introduction:
A happy time for the Darkies in the South is just after the first severe frost in the Fall. It is then that the Persimmons are full ripe and the ‘Possums are all fat. Every Persimmon tree has its ‘Possum, so to speak, and ‘Possum hunts are of nightly occurrence, until the persimmons are all gone. Sweet Potatoes are an invariable, and frequently the only, accompaniment to a ‘Possum feast, which is always an occaision for a general gathering and great rejoicing. So the Darkies one and all, from the “Cornfield Niggah” up to “Coontown’s Four Hundred,” are always glad when the good ole time for “Possum and Taters” has come, and sorry when it’s gone. Note: The title was suggested by the composer’s having been a witness at one of these joyful occaisons.
30. 1901 — “Go Way Back and Sit Down” by Al Johns (m) and Elmer Bowman (w); F.A. Mills (New York). Cover: resteraunt scene, gross caricaturistic.
Old Sam Jones runs and owns a Care on easy street, But a coon hangs ’round that he calls down that will never ever treat. He likes his gin and will “butt in” to every argument, But when Sam’s there he doesn’t dare, he acts much different. He ain’t got nothing won’t do nothing there’s nothing he will try, But humil’iates and aggravates the customers that buy. ‘Twas left to Sam, the proprietor man, to find this darkey out, And when he did there was nothing hid, Every body heard Sam shout:
“Go way back, and sit down. coons in your class are easy found, You seldom have money, you never treat, get in your place and take a back seat, Go way back and sit down.”
This coon will hear for many a year “Go way back and sit down” He’s got no vim, the shoe fits him, still he keeps on hanging around. He still dows say there’ll come the day when better times he’ll see; If he keeps his health he’ll sure have wealth and live in luxury. He bet on a horse that always lost, the coons all laughed at him, But this time it won at a hundred to one, Then thousands he “cashed in”. He left the field in an automobile That took him to Sam’s place, Sam thought he was broke and stared to joke, So he told Sam to his face:
31. 1901 — “Ma Ebony Belle” by Maurice Levi (m) and Ed Gardenier (w); The Rogers Bros. Music Publishing Co. (New York). Cover: photos of white performers.
De flow’rs am sleepin’, de stars am peepin’, De harvest moon shines in de sky; A funny feelin’ comes sof’ly stealin’ Aroun’ ma heart, when yo’ are nigh, It’s mighty pleasin’ to tell de reason Ma hear’s a flame when you are near, With love it’s burnin’ fo’ yo’ I’se yearnin’, So let me whisper in yo’ ear:
Ma Ebony Belle, you’se shu’ly weavin’ Aroun’ ma heart love’s magic spell, So quit deceivin’, an’ stop ma grievin’, Say you’ll be mine, Ma Ebony Belle.
Please come ma lady, de lane am shady, de nightin’gale sings in de tree; I knows a bower among de flowers, Dat’s only meant fo’yo’ an’ me, Like fire-flies gleamin’ your eyes am beamin’, Although yo’s actin’ kinder shy Ma turtle dovey I knows yo’ love me, I see de love-light in yo’ eye:
32. 1901 — “Mama, Mama Make Cinda ‘haive Herself” by Sol Tibbs; Louis Grunewald Co. Ltd. (New Orleans). Cover: no picture.
I am going to tell you ’bout a sister of mine Goes wid a nigger from down the line He is not good looking but comes so fine he’s got a mouth on him like a watermelon rine Ev’ry time you see him he’s got a brand new tune, Trying to make you think he is a red hot coon Trying to make you think he come well dressed, just to get sister Cinda for to behaive herself.
Mamama, mama make Cinda ‘haive herself mamama, mama make Cinda ‘haive herself If she fool wit me any longer she’ll certainly be a goner Ma, mama, mama make Cinda ‘haiver herself.
If this old keep a hanging around Going to get me a gun and blow him down. He’s always setting in the house without a light, any body here know that aint right. He burned up nineteen dollars worth of wood Said sister Cinda was er getting very good Said sister Cinda come well dressed, just to get sister Cinda for to behaive herself.
33. 1901 — “Nobody’s Lookin’ But De Owl An’ De Moon” by Rosamond Johnson (m) and J.W. Johnson & Bob Cole (w); Jos. W. Stern & Co. (New York); Cover: no picture.
De ribber is a glistenin’ in de moonlight, Honey, De owl is settin’ high up in de tree, De little stars am twinklin’ wid a sof’ light, Honey, De night seems only jes fo’you an’ me. Thro’ de trees de breezes am asighin’, Breathin’ out a sort o’ lover’s croon, Der’s nobody lookin’ or aspyin’: Nobody but de owl an’ de moon.
Nobody’s lookin’ but de owl an’ de moon, De night is balmy fo’ de month is June, Den my little Honey, Honey, Come to meet me soon, While nobody’s lookin’ but de owl an’ de moon but de owl an’ de moon.
I feel so kinder lonely all de daytime, Honey, It seems I really doan know what to do. I jes keep sort alongin’ fo’ de nighttime, Honey, Cause den I knows dat I will be wid you. An’ de thought jes sets my brain aswayin’, An’ my heart a beatin’ to a tune, Come, de owl won’t tell what we’s asayin’, An’ Cose, you know we kin trust de moon.
34. 1901 — “Peaceful Henry” by E.H. Kelly; Whitney Warner Publishing Co. (Detroit, New York). Cover: photo of black boy.
35. 1902 — “Any Rags?” by Thos. S. Allen; Geo. M. Krey (Boston). Cover: Rag beggar. [two copies]
Did you ever hear the story of Ragged, Jagged Jack? Here he comes down the street with a pack on his back. He comes in the morning, and he comes at night, And he gobbles up ev’ry thing in sight, He wakes up the neighborhood for miles around, He’s a reglar alarm clock, always wound. He gets beneath your window when you try to get to sleep, And yells in a voice so loud and deep,
Any Rags? Rags? Any rags, any bones, any bottles today, There’s a big black rag picker coming this way, Any rags? Rags? Any rags, any bones, any bottles today, It’s the same old story, in the same old way.
If you ever happen for to leave a thing out all night, You get up in the morn and it’s gone from yer sight. You’ll know then that Ragged Jack has been tat wy. He’s a very bad omen, people say. He stole all his furniture, he stole his wife, If he’d steal from his friend he’d steal yer life. He never gets molested as he daily walks about, But thing diappear when he yells out:
36. 1902 — “Just Ask Me” by Chas Hunter; Frank G. Fite (Nashville). Cover: two girl pickaninnies, caricatured, with watermellon. No lyrics.
37. 1902 — “Just Kiss Yourself Goodbye” by Jean Schwartz (m) and Wm. Jerome (w); Shapiro, Bernstein & Von Tilzer (Chicago). Cover: black man leaving in a blizzard with a girl peaking behind the door.
A lazy coon and an Octoroon, had a fam’ly fight, She pack’d his grip for the farewell trip, on a wintry night, Out in the snow, twenty-two below, he was forced to go, from his bungalo, Would’nt listen to his tale of woe, Just opened the door and said:
I’ve open’d the door for you to go, Out in the rain, the hail and the snow, Out where the wintry winds do blow, oh, oh, my; ‘Round the house you aint a bit of good, You would’nt light the fire, Even carry in the wood, You need’nt try to reason, Your excuse is out of season, Just kiss yourself goodbye.
I’m through with you, fade away from view, and disappear, Remove your junk, and what you call a trunk, away from here, Out in the street, where the slush and sleet, will freeze your feet, Beat a quick retreat, at the wagon lunch where you goes to ear, These words will follow you;
38. 1903 — “Gala Parade” by Jane Le Blanc; K. Dehnhoff (New York). Cover: black child with umbrella on a green banjo. No lyrics.
39. 1903 — “Sakes Alive!” by Stephen Howard; M. Witmark & Sons (New York, Chicago, London, San Francisco). Cover: black mammy. No lyrics.
40. 1904 — “There’s a Dark Man Comin’ With A Bundle” by Leighton & Leighton; Helf & Hager Co. (New York). Cover: caricature of a dandy with wad of bills and cigar. [music section of New York American and Journal, Sunday, Oct. 22, 1905].
Most all her life Hank Higgins’ wife believed in signs you know. She saw one hangin’ on a house a week or two ago. It simply said “Your fortune read a quarter, fifty cents.” She said, “I want the best you’ve got, regardless of expense. I want the kind wherein I find I’m goin’ to be a queen.” The fortune teller man he said, “I know just what you mean.” He dealt the cards and told her yards of things that were to be. And then in tones mysterious he gasped. “What’s this I see?”
“There’s a dark man comin’ with a bundle, He’s a sneakin’ along softly singin’ a song. It’s a mighty heavy package for to trundle. Seems like something must be wrong; And there’s something so suspicious in his actions, He’s a hummin’ a tune by the light of the moon. To you r house, to your home, in the night he’s goin’ to roam, There’s a dark man comin’ with a bundle soon.”
A week that night the moon shone bright and by her window sill. She sat till nearly two A.M. and all was calm and still, Then on the street the sound of feet so soft and faint she heard, She saw a dark form stagger near and heard each muttered word. She says, “I’ll bank that’s my man Hank, I know that voice for fair.” She couldn’t see no package, but It certainly was there. And as he tried to sneak inside, she saw just how things were, And like a flash that fortune teller’s words came back to her.
41. 1904 — “Piccaninny Nigs” by Will Davies; Hatch Music Company (Philadelphia). Cover: ring of caricature faces which include a cop and a preacher. No lyrics.
42. 1904 — “St. Louis Tickle” by Barney & Seymore; Victor Kremer Co. (Chicago). Cover: black males dancing, playing banjo, peeking through the fence at the St. Louis World’s Fair — not caricatured. No lyrics.
43. 1905 — “A Black Bawl” by Harry G. Thompson; W.C. Polla Company (Chicago). Cover: pickaninny girl crying. No lyrics.
44. 1905 — “Missouri Rag” by W.C. Powell; Jos. Morris Co. (Philadelphia). Cover: old black man dancing, chicken, two black faces peaking from behind a fence. No lyrics.
45. 1906 — “My Mississippi Babe” by Dan Holt; The Monroe Music Co. (Macon, Georgia). Cover: photo of two blackface performers.
Way down in Mississippi, the place where, I was born, Where they git the sugarcane de cotton and de corn, Dar lives a little dusty maid as bright as de stars dat shine, And some of dese days if I have good luck, I’ll make dat black gal mine, For
I don’t want no Zuooluoo babies or your niggers from off of de Nile, I don’t want no jungle queens for I don’t like de African style (Oh! honey) Gimme my gal from away down South den I knows my fortune’s made, Den i cert’ny will be satisfied, wid my Mississippi Babe.
For you talk about yo’ foreign coons from across the deep blue sea, Niggers right here in the U.S.A., am a good enough for me, Dem Zulu coons dey don’t know nuthin’ and as mean as they can be, The Cannibals might git hungry and, try their best for to eat me, Now
46. 1907 — “Bandana Land”; cover shows no exagerated features on girl with bandana; song inside is a selection from the show entitled “Late Hours” with no dialect or references to coons.
47. 1907 — “Cotton (A Southern Breakdown)” by Albert Von Tilzer; The New York Music Co. (New York). Cover: caricature of black girl. No lyrics.
48. 1909 — “Pigeon Wing Rag” by Chas. L. Johnson; Will Rossiter (Chicago, IL). Cover: black children dancing, boy playing banjo
49. 1911 — “Chicken Reel” by Jos. M. Daly (m) and Jos. Mittenthal (w); Daly Music Publishers (Boston). Cover: dandies in a ballroom, slight caricature.
Way down in Carolina where the sweet potatoes grow, There lives a dusky maiden by the name of Liza Snow, She used to go to parties where they’d always make her sing, But say you ought to see that Baby do the pigeon wing. They held a dancing contest and were goin’ to give a prize, They all had on their finest and it now was up to Lize. Just who was goin’ to win it ev’ry body there could feel, When Liza hollered to the band to play the Chicken Reel. Clear the crowd away Tell the band to play, When yer hear me say “GO” My honey
Oh you Chicken Reel how you make me feel Say it’s really so entrancin’ Who could ever keep from dancin’, That’s the music sweet like the chicken meat, give it to me with the dressin’ I don’t need no dancin’ lesson. Put all the other fine selections right away That is the only tune I want to hear you play When I get married if there’s music I will say “Hey boss keep aplayin’ Chicken Reel all day.”
One night when from a party she was walkin’ home with Bill, Now he’s her steady feller and the night was dark and still. It seems he stole a chicken, and when Liza looked at that, She said I’m goin’ to wear it on my go-to-meetin’ hat. I guess you’re goin’ crazy answered William with a smile, But Liza said “Go on you havn’t heard the latest style.” When first she wore it out the people asked her to explain, But Liza simply said Why I have a chicken on the brain. Clear the crowd away Tell the band to play, When yer hear me say “GO” My honey
50. 1913 — “A Coon Serenade” by M.H. Irish; Frank G. Fite (Nashville). Cover: photo of black boy with banjo. No lyrics.
51. 1913 — “Plantation Tunes” by Jack Mahoney; Wenrich-Howard Co. (New York). Cover:plantation scene, not overtly stereotyical
I’m tired of Northern tunes I’m tired of Northern coons, Because the songs they sing are too much the same, Oh, how I long to be in my Dixie Land, Where they sing songs that I understand. Oh, “Weep no more my lady,” that dear old song has reached my hear, ‘Twill never be forgotten, Down in the land of cotton, For my old South let me start.
I want to hear those old plantation tunes, Played on the banjo be plantation coons, Old folks singing, Young folks swinging, All the darkies buck and winging, winging, winging; Just let me hear those good old melodies, And I well thank the good Lord on my knees, “I’m coming, I’m coming,” To hear those old plantation tunes.
Now, every melody is ever calling me, Back to that cabin on the old Mississippi, I hear that sweet old harmony in my dreams, The angels lend their voices it seems. Oh, “Weep no more my lady,” the banjoes echo ev’ry where, Along the moolit rever, Oh, how my heart will quiver, When that old train takes me there.
52. 1914 — “When It’s Night Time in Dixie Land” by Irving Berlin; Waterson, Berlin, & Snyder Co. (New York). Cover: plantation scene with banjos and bones, slight exageration.
Talk about your arabian nights I must admit they’re grand But if you long for wonderful night Come down to Dixie land That’s the dearest place of all Listening to the crickets call When the evening shadows fall Down in Dixie land.
Nighttime down in Dixie land Darkies strolling hand in hand Southern melodies Floating on the breeze Let me tell you, it’s grand For when you hear those darkies harmonize Tear of gladness fill you eyes Baritones and Basses, Lounging round the places, Dixie land embraces the happiest of races, All you see is smiling faces, when it’s night time in Dixie land.
Throught the air float the wonderful tunes of mister whippoorwill On the ground dance the bowlegged coons, They simply can’t keep still Vet’rans of the civil war Telling stories by the score How they fought in sixty four Down in Dixie land.
53. 1915 — “Brown Skin (Who You For) by Clarence Williams & Armand J. Piron; Dugan Piano Company (New Orleans). Cover: sketch of pretty lady. [2 copies]
I’ve been around most ev’ry girlie in your city I must admit That they all are very pretty if you want to know Just before I go the only kind of girl that can spend my dough She got to be a Seal Skin Brown that lady not too fair Neither not too shady I’ll go wild if I only find, A Brown Skin to be mine all mine I mean Some one to love me all the time now honey.
I’m going back to old Tennessee Brown Skin come and go with me be my baby doll Two live as one how happy we’ll be If you come and go with me be my all in all Brown Skin from the start You don’t know you’ve won my heart [spoken: want to be Brown Skin like the rest you got to use that Palmer’s skin success; sung second time: Brown Skin who you for? I’m for you my sweet papa] I’m going back to old Tennessee Brown Skin come and go with me I say Brown Skin come and go with me Come honey
Moon’s beaming dowm tonight up on the old plantation come little girl Will you stop that hesitation come on go with me Happy we can be in my old plantation home down in Tennessee When we get there the darkies will be singing wedding bell For us will soon be ringing girl like you is hard to find, so come on brown be mine all mine I mean Come and love me all the time now honey.
54. 1915 — “De Fust Banjo” by Harry C. Eldridge (m) and Irwin Russell (w); Eldridge Entertainment House (Franklin, Ohio). Cover: no picture.
Go way fiddle folks is I tired of you a squawkin, Keep silence fur yo’ betters don’t you heah de banjo talkin’ About de possum tail she’s qwine to lecture ladies listen! About de har what isn’t dar’ an’ why de ha’r is missin’, Dar’s gwine to be a’ oberflow,” said Noah lookin’ solemn, Fur Noah tuk de “Herald” and he read de ribber column, An’ so he sot his hands to work a cleanin’ timber patches, An’ ‘lowed he’s gwine to build a boat to beat the steamer Natchez. Ol’ Noah kep’ a nailin an’ a chippin’ an’ a sawin’ An’ all de wicked neighbors kep’ a laughin’ an’ a pshawin’ But Noah didnt mind em’ knowin’ what wuz gwine to happen, An’ forty days and forty nights de rain it keep a drappin’.
Now, Noah had done cotched a lot ob ebry sort of beas’es Ob all de shows a trabbelin’, it beat ’em all to pieces! He had a Morgan colt an’ sebral head o’ Jarsey cattle An’ druv ’em ‘board de Ark as soon’s heered de thunder rattle. Den sech anoder fall ob rain! -it come so awful hebby, De ribber riz immejitly, an’ busted troo de lebbee; De people all wuz drowned out-‘cepten Noah an’ de critters, An’ men he hired to work de boat -an one to mix de bitters. De Ark she dep’ a-sailin’ an’ a-sailin’ an’ a-sailin’; De lion got his dander up, an’ like to bruk de palin’; De sarpints hissed; de painters yelled; tell, whut wid all de fussin’, You c’u’dn’t hardly heah de mate a-bossin’ ‘roun’ an’ cussin’
Now Ham, de only nigger whut wuz runnin’ on de packet Got lonesome in de barber-shop, an’ c’u’dn’t stn’ de racket; An’ so, fur to amuse hese’f, he steamed some wood an’ bent it, An’ soon he had a banjo made de fust dat wuz invented. He wet de ledder, stretched it on; made bridge an’ screws an’ aprin; An’ fitted in a proper neck ‘twus berry lon an’ taprin’ He tuk some tin an’ twisted him a thimble fur to ring it; An’ den de mighty question riz: how wuz he gwine to string it? De possum had as fine a tail as dis dat I’s a singin’ De ha’rs so long an’ thick an’ strong, des fit fur banjo stringin’; Dat nigger shaved ’em off as short as washday dinner graces; An’ sorted ob ’em by de size, f’om little E’s to basses.
He strung her, tuned her struck a jig, ‘twuz “nebber min’ de wedder,” She soun’ like forty lebben bands a playin’ all togedder; Some went to pattin’; some to dancin’; Noah called de figgers; An’ Ham he sot an’ knocked de tune, de happiest ob niggers! Now sence dat time its mighty strange der’s not de slightes’ showin’ Ob any ha’r at all upon de ‘possum’s tail a growin’; An’ curi’s, too, dat nigger’s ways: his people nebber los’ ’em Fur whar you finds de nigger dars de banjo an’ de possum! Go way fiddle folks is tired o’ you a squawkin’, Keep silence fur you betters; don’t you’ heah de banjo talkin’, ‘Tis curi’s now dat niggers ways: his people nebber los’ ’em, Fur whar yo’ finds de nigger, dars de banjo an’ de possum.
55. 1916 — “Brown Skin (Who’re You For?) by Sam. Seligman, Roy Barton, and the origianl Dixie Jazz Band; Will Rossiter (Chicago). Cover: white couple dancing
Were you ever down in Dixie where the flowers bloom, They[re dancing on the Levee, ‘Neath the silv’ry moon, To the music of the banjos, hear the serenade, With syncopated melodies, Oh! Honey Babe, How often in the evening, when the work is o’er, They love to harmonize, around the cabin door, Listen to the happy darkies singing loud and long: Oh! it’s the little Brown Skin song.
Who’re you for Brown Skin? I’m for you white folks: Who’re you for Palm Beach? I’m for you in the summertime: Who’re you for Uncle Joe? I’m for you when I need dough: Who’re you for sweet mama? I’m for you sweet papa:
Oh they’re like a lot of children, not a single care, And just as sure as sunset, You will find ’em there, And each one in turn astepping while the others “pat”, They’d keep it up forever, don’t you know where they’re at, I don’t care where you travel, don’t care where you roam, There’s nothing sounds as sweet, as songs we learnt at home, If you like that southern harmony, just come along And listen to the Brown Skin song.
56. 1916 — “Mammy’s Little Coal Black Rose” by Richard A. Whiting (m) and Raymond Egan (w); Jerome H. Remick & Co. (New York, Detroit). Cover: photo of Al Jolson over plantation scenery.
I heard a pickaninny crying Down in Tennessee one night, His little heart was nearly breaking Just because he wasn’t white; Then his dear old Mammy kiss’d him, And she said “Chile don’ you sigh Weep no more my baby,” then she sang a Dixie Lullaby:
You better dry your eyes, my little Coal Black Rose, You better go to sleep and let those eyelids close, ‘Cause you’re dark, don’t start apinin’, You’re a cloud with a silver lining; Tho’ ev’ry old crow thinks his babe am white as snow, Your dear old Mammy knows you’re mighty like a rose; And when the angels gave those kinky curls to you, They put a sunbeam in your disposition too, that’s true, The reason you’re so black I ‘spose They forgot to give your Mammy a talcum powder chamois, So don’t you cry, don’t you sigh, ‘Cause you’re mammy’s little Coal Black Rose.
And then I saw that dear old Mammy Kess those baby tears away While in her arms the baby nestled Happy as a child at play; Then she whisper’d “Mammy loves you, You’re as sweet as ‘possum pie’, Go to sleep, my honey, While your mammy sings a Lullaby:
57. 1921 — “Turkey In the Straw” by Words by Leo Wood, Music by Otto Bonnell, Arranged by Calvin Grooms; Leo. Feist Inc. (New York). Cover: black man playing a banjo
58. 1923 — “Original Charleston Strut” by Thomas Morris, William Russell, and Clarence Williams; Clarence Williams Music Pub. Co. (New York). Cover: photograph of Greenlee & Dreyton in tux & top hat. Lyrics: no dialect, nothing notable.
59. 1925 — “The Dixie Dude” by Z. Vebeit; J.C. Barolet, Music Publisher (Houston). Cover: primitive Africans with modern musical instruments. No lyrics.
60. 1945 — “The Mule’s Tail” by Alliene Brandon Webb (m) and Kate McAlpin Crady (w); Carl Fischer Inc. (New York). Cover: Sillouette of man and mule with plow.
Don’t know the words but I like to sing, Aplowin’ in the fall and a plowin’ in the spring, Singin’ my song, O Lawd, Lawdy, Lawd! Sun sho is hot but my feet like to burrow Deep in the earth of a long cool furrow, Singin’ my song, O Lawd, Lawdy, Lawd! Some folks fo to the city, Some folks go to jail, But I’se happy enough jes’ ter stay right here, Behind my old mule’s tail, Sing’in my song, O Lawd! Sing’in my song, O Lawd! I’se happy enough jes’ter stay right here, Behind my old mule’s tail!