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Origins: Buffalo Gals

DigiTrad:
BUFFALO GALS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: dolly with a hole in her stocking (9) (closed)
Lyr Req: Buffalo Gals (10) (closed)
(origins) Origins: Buffalo girls & motorcycle racing (7)
Lyr Req: Buffalo Girls (6) (closed)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Buffalo Gals


Bruce O. 22 Feb 99 - 01:51 PM
dedlyperil 11 Sep 99 - 05:12 PM
Joe Offer 11 Sep 99 - 05:40 PM
Joe Offer 11 Sep 99 - 07:37 PM
Wally Macnow 11 Sep 99 - 09:26 PM
DonMeixner 11 Sep 99 - 09:40 PM
raredance 11 Sep 99 - 11:29 PM
DonMeixner 12 Sep 99 - 01:02 AM
dedlyperil 12 Sep 99 - 04:44 AM
Banjer 12 Sep 99 - 05:31 AM
Bill D 12 Sep 99 - 11:06 AM
Pete Peterson 12 Sep 99 - 03:49 PM
K~~ 12 Sep 99 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,JasGriffin@worldnet.att.net 08 Nov 01 - 06:24 PM
Tinker 08 Nov 01 - 06:42 PM
Joe Offer 09 Nov 01 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Jas 10 Nov 01 - 10:01 AM
Gypsy 10 Nov 01 - 08:42 PM
rich-joy 02 Aug 02 - 06:12 AM
Snuffy 02 Aug 02 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Les B. 02 Aug 02 - 12:03 PM
Dicho 02 Aug 02 - 01:37 PM
Snuffy 02 Aug 02 - 05:10 PM
GUEST 02 Aug 02 - 07:50 PM
Dicho 02 Aug 02 - 09:50 PM
masato sakurai 02 Aug 02 - 10:56 PM
GUEST 03 Aug 02 - 12:29 AM
GUEST 03 Aug 02 - 12:44 AM
GUEST 03 Aug 02 - 01:10 AM
masato sakurai 03 Aug 02 - 01:14 AM
masato sakurai 03 Aug 02 - 01:40 AM
GUEST 03 Aug 02 - 01:47 AM
masato sakurai 03 Aug 02 - 02:02 AM
Stewie 03 Aug 02 - 02:26 AM
masato sakurai 03 Aug 02 - 02:46 AM
rich-joy 06 Aug 02 - 01:52 AM
masato sakurai 06 Aug 02 - 04:34 AM
Kaleea 07 Aug 02 - 04:32 AM
Amos 07 Aug 02 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Ian Darby 07 Aug 02 - 10:29 PM
EBarnacle1 08 Aug 02 - 03:53 PM
Richie 13 Dec 02 - 07:50 AM
Kim C 13 Dec 02 - 10:09 AM
Richie 13 Dec 02 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Paul 27 Apr 03 - 08:13 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Feb 04 - 09:10 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Feb 04 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 09 Feb 04 - 10:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Feb 04 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 10 Feb 04 - 06:49 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Feb 04 - 01:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Feb 04 - 01:56 PM
Joybell 10 Feb 04 - 06:08 PM
Joe Offer 12 Jul 04 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,Guest 23 Sep 05 - 12:54 AM
GUEST,Linda M 02 Nov 05 - 09:32 PM
Kaleea 02 Nov 05 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 02 Nov 05 - 11:58 PM
Azizi 03 Nov 05 - 05:23 PM
Azizi 03 Nov 05 - 06:17 PM
Kaleea 03 Nov 05 - 08:02 PM
Azizi 03 Nov 05 - 08:25 PM
Azizi 03 Nov 05 - 08:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Nov 05 - 08:50 PM
Clinton Hammond 04 Nov 05 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,richard 25 Dec 08 - 02:48 AM
BuffaloChuck 17 Nov 09 - 10:59 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Nov 09 - 06:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Nov 09 - 08:29 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 09 - 09:07 PM
Joe Offer 18 Nov 09 - 11:30 PM
Mr Red 19 Nov 09 - 06:54 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Nov 09 - 06:03 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Nov 09 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,craig 25 Mar 10 - 07:36 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Mar 10 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,DTM 27 Jan 12 - 11:27 AM
Amos 27 Jan 12 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,SteveG 27 Jan 12 - 02:45 PM
Lighter 27 Jan 12 - 04:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 12 - 06:07 PM
Lighter 27 Jan 12 - 06:18 PM
The Sandman 08 Jan 13 - 05:42 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Jan 13 - 04:46 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Jan 13 - 05:16 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 13 - 01:16 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jan 13 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,Bette 27 Nov 15 - 02:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Buffalo Gal Won't you come out tonight
From: Bruce O.
Date: 22 Feb 99 - 01:51 PM

There are several copies in the Levy sheet music collection (Mudcat's Links). Use 'bibliographic search' on 'Buffalo Gals'. Note that several of these were published in London. The oldest copy that I've ever seen was on an English broadside.


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Subject: Buffalo Gals
From: dedlyperil
Date: 11 Sep 99 - 05:12 PM

The Buffalo Soldiers were black troop in the Old West. Does anyone know if Buffalo Gals were black women?

Thanks for any help you can give.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Sep 99 - 05:40 PM

Hey, this is interesting - in Best Loved American Folk Songs John and Alan Lomax say that Buffalo Gals comes from a minstrel song published in 1844 by Cool White, a song called LUBLY FAN WILL YOU CUM OUT TO NIGHT?. The Lomaxes suspect White got it from traditional sources. The minstrel boys soon began changing it to "New York Gals," "Philadelphia Gals," or "Bowery Gals," depending on the theater they were playing. The Lomaxes don't exactly say it, but the implication is that the "Buffalo" in the song is the city in the State of New York.
-Joe Offer-

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Buffalo Gals

DESCRIPTION: As requested, the Buffalo [Bowery, etc.] girls promise to come out tonight, to dance or otherwise disport themselves by the light of the moon.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: A Christy Minstrels' version was copyright in 1848
KEYWORDS: bawdy playparty dancing
FOUND IN: US(MW,SE,So) Tobago
REFERENCES (19 citations):
Wolford, p. 32=WofordRev, p. 227, "Cincinnati Girls" (1 text)
Randolph 535, "Buffalo Gals" (2 texts plus an excerpt and a fragment, 1 tune)
Owens-2ed, p. 159, "Buffalo Girls" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownIII 81, "Buffalo Gals" (2 short texts); also 491, "We'll Have a Little Dance Tonight, Boys" (1 fragment, too short to properly classify but it might go here)
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 112-114, (no title) and "Buffalo Gals" (2 texts plus a fragment possibly from this, 1 tune)
Randolph-Legman I, pp. 424-425, "Buffalo Gals" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSUSA 33, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 288-290, "Louisiana Girls" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fife-Cowboy/West 101, "Buffalo Gals" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Botkin-AmFolklr, p. 841, "(Buffalo Gals)" (1 text, 1 tune)
MHenry-Appalachians, p. 233, (fourth of four "Fragments from Maryland") (1 fragment)
Elder-Tobago 22, "Lambeau Gal Le' A-We Go" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnett, p. 58, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 107-108, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune)
Coleman/Bregman, pp. 38-43, "The Cowboy's Christmas Ball" (1 text, 1 tune, with elements of "Buffalo Gals" and "Skip to My Lou" as bridges)
Scott-EnglishSB, pp. 74-75, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune, "Sung by the Ethiopian Serenaders)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 34, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 36, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Charles Edward Russell, _A-Rafting on the Mississip'_, 1928 (republished 2001 by the University of Minnesota Press), pp. 211-213, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune); also a "Cornfed Gals" stanza on p. 219

ST R535 (Full)
Roud #738
RECORDINGS:
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Alabama Gal" (OKeh 40204, 1924)
Collins & Harlan, "Ain't You Coming Out To-Night?" (CYL: Edison [4-min.] 480, n.d.)
Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers, "Buffalo Gal's Medley" (Crown 3075, c. 1930)
Harlan Miner's Fiddlers [pseud. for Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers], "Buffalo Gals" (Montgomery Ward M-3022, 1931) [I am assuming this is a different recording from Crown 3075, as the latter is a medley]
Vernon Dalhart, "Ain't-Ya Comin' Out Tonight?" (Columbia 257-D, 1924)
Vernon Dalhart & Co., "Ain't You Comin' Out Tonight?" (Edison 51430, 1924)
Frank Hutchison, "Alabama Gal Ain't You Coming Out Tonight" (OKeh 45313, 1929; rec. 1928)
Earl Johnson & his Dixie Entertainers [or Earl Johnson and his Clodhoppers], "Alabama Girl Ain't You Comin' Out Tonight" (OKeh 45300, 1929; rec. 1928)
Guy Massey, "Ain't Ya Comin' Out Tonight" (Perfect 12170, 1924)
Shorty McCoy, "Buffalo Gals" (Bluebird 33-0511, 1944)
Pickard Family, "Buffalo Gals" (Brunswick 363/Banner 6371/Conqueror 7326, 1929)
Riley Puckett, "Alabama Gal" (Columbia 15185-D, 1927)
Bookmiller Shannon, "Buffalo Gals" [instrumental] (on LomaxCD1707)
Pete Seeger, "Buffalo Gals" (on PeteSeeger17)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Hangtown Gals" (tune)
cf. "Horsham Boys" (tune)
cf. "Gwine Follow" (partial form)
SAME TUNE:
Birdie in the Cage / Buffalo Gals (Square dance calls) (Welsch, pp. 87-89)
Quadrille/Variant (square dance call) (Welsch, p. 119)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Alabama Gals
NOTES: According to Spaeth (A History of Popular Music in America, p. 101), this originated as the Cool White (John Hodges) song "Lubly Fan" (1843). From the present perspective, it's hard to prove whether Hodges actually did write the thing or borrowed an existing piece -- but I rather suspect the latter. - RBW
The tune to Elder-Tobago is close to the usual one and has the same structure. Here, the Lambeau gals are called to dance at Carnbee Hall, at what was once a great sugar plantation. - BS
Last updated in version 3.7
File: R535

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


And the Digital Tradition lyrics:

BUFFALO GALS

Buffalo gals, woncha come out tonight,
Woncha come out tonight, woncha come out tonight?
Buffalo gals, woncha come out tonight,
And dance by the light of the moon?

I danced with a gal with a hole in her stockin',
And her heel kep' a-rockin' and her toe kep' a-knockin',
I danced with a gal with a hole in her stockin',
And we danced by the light of the moon.

O yes, pretty boys, we're comin' out tonight,
We're comin' out tonight, we're comin' out tonight,
O yes, pretty boys, we're comin' out tonight,
And dance by the light of the moon.

I danced with a gal with a hole in her stockin',
And her heel kep' a-rockin' and her toe kep' a-knockin',
I danced with a gal with a hole in her stockin',
An' her heel kep' a-rockin' to the moon."

Other verses - In most cases the last part of the first line
is repeated 3 times, these phrases are in ()
As I was walking ( down the street)
A pretty girl I chanced to meet under the silvery moon

I asked her if she'd ( stop and talk)
Her feet covered up the whole sidewalk, she was fair to view

I asked her if she'd stop and dance, Have a dance, care to dance
I thought that I might get a chance to shake a foot with her

I asked her if she'd (be my wife)
Then I'd be happy all my life if she'd marry me
ALT. (I'd be so very happy all my life, if she were by my side)

I danced with the dolly with a hole in her stocking
And her feet kept a-rocking & her knees kept a-knocking
O I danced with the dolly with a hole in her stocking
And we danced by the light of the moon.

note: The song was a popular play party or square dance song in many
parts of the country. The following verses are some of the varaiants
that were used directly in the dance calling. RR

Break and bounce with (the couple on the right)
Break and bounce with the couple on the right and swing four hands around.

Everybody wait ('til we get all around)
Everybody wait 'til we get all around and swing four hands around.

First lady swing with the right hand gent, with the right hand round,
with the right hand round
Partner with the left and the left hand round, lady in the center and
seven hands round
ALT....(birdie in a cage and seven hands round.)

Ain't you coming out tonight, ain't you comin out tonight?
and birdie hop out and a crow hop in
lady swing out and the gent swing in
and join your hands (paddies) and go round again.

from ""Folk Song USA"" John and Alan Lomax
@minstrel
filename[ BUFFGALS
RB, RR
OCT98


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Subject: Lyr Add: LUBLY FAN WILL YOU CUM OUT TO NIGHT
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Sep 99 - 07:37 PM

I think it's interesting to compare the two:

LUBLY FAN WILL YOU CUM OUT TO NIGHT
(composed by Cool White, 1844)

As I was lumb'ring down de street,
Down de street, down de street
A pretty gal I chanced to meet
Oh she was fair to view

Den lubly Fan will you cum out to night
Will you cum out to night, will you cum out to night
Den lubly Fan will you cum out to night
And dance by the light ob de moon.

I stopt her and I had some talk…/
But her foot covered up de whole side walk
and left no room for me.
(chorus)

She's de prettiest gal ibe seen in my life…
An I wish to de Lord she was my wife
Den we would part no more
(chorus)

Her lips are like de oyster plant…
I try to kiss dem but I can't
Dey am so berry large.
(chorus)

Oh, make haste Fan don't make me wait…
I fear you've kept me now too late
Yes dere's de obening gun.

Yes lubly Fan will cum out to night…
Yes lubly Fan will cum out to night
An dance by de light ob de moon.

Lubly Fan is cumming out to night
Cumming out to night
For to dance by de light ob de moon.

JRO


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Wally Macnow
Date: 11 Sep 99 - 09:26 PM

I've always thought that it was a canaller's song that, if it didn't start out there, got the most prominence from the Erie Canal boatman heading into and out of Buffalo, NY. I can't think of a single citation that causes me to believe this; maybe it just pleases me to have this great image in my head.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: DonMeixner
Date: 11 Sep 99 - 09:40 PM

My understanding is that Buffalo Gals were hookers. Its possible that they were called that because of canallers heading for Buffalo NY which is the last stoop on the Erie Canal. I really doubt this.

I would guess they where called Buffalo Gals because they followed the men in the buffalo camps who where shooting the herds. The camps would set up as a small, movable city and ship out hides, bones, tongues and salted meat back east. With lots of commerce came money and the men on the shoots needed places to spend it. Saloons, gambling houses, and prostitutes where the most likely places.

The herds would be shot out and the camps would move further out on the prairie. The prostitutes would the buffalo hunters. Hence the name.

I suspect that Buffalo Gals was chosen as a name because nobody at that time knew what an Independent Sub-Contract Hostess is.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: raredance
Date: 11 Sep 99 - 11:29 PM

The information in the Frank C Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore supports the these that "Lubly Fan" was a direct antecedant of "Buffalo Gals". The former was copyrighted in 1844 by Cool White, whose real name was John Hodges. The Bowery Girls version was in the Christy Minstresl repertory. The Buffalo Gals version was copyrighted in 1848 with no composer or author listed. It took off as a hugely popular play-party song and many of the verses offer specific dancing instructions. Its popularity at community socials would seem to indicate that hookers were not the source of inspiration, but rather a town name that fit the meter. It would also seem to predate the attempted bison extermination on the Great Plains. The cowboys likely brought it with them from back east. The Frank C Brown text that it may have been inspired by an old English singing game "Pray, Pretty Miss" which also involves a bouncy rhythm and an invitation to dance and adds that "any place-name may be substituted for Buffalo. It cites versions with "Alabama Gals", "Round Town Gals", "Down Town Girls" and says that the tune is basically the same as an old German music hall song,"Im Grunewald, im Grunewald ist Holzauktion". Botkin in "treasury of American Folkore" says that he had been "told that this song originated on the old Erie Canal and landed early on the Mississippi in the keel-boat days." He doesn't offer any specific evidence but it is plausible and Wally will be pleased by this. Botkin also includes a couple of verses from the upper Mississippi called "Corn-Fed Girls" and a long story of the supposed origins of that particular text. Versions in "Cowboy and Western Songs" by Austin and Alta Fife include some pretty detailed dance instructions, e.g "break and bounce with the couple on the right, and swing four hands around" and "partenr with the left and the left hand round- Lady in the corner and seven hands round" etc. Vance Randolph in "Ozark Folksongs" references a "Cincinnati Girls" version and ancludes one of the sweeter gentler sets of lyrics:

I says, my angel, would you lide to walk,
Like to walk, like to walk,
And have with me a little talk,
And shake those feet I view?

And would you like to take a dance,
Take a dance, take a dance,
Quadrille or polka fresh from France,
They're all alike to me.

For I will love you all my life,
All my life, all my life,
And you shall be my happy wife,
If you will marry me.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: DonMeixner
Date: 12 Sep 99 - 01:02 AM

Dedlyperil didn't ask specifically about a song. There is no doubt that the song Buffalo Gals has a lot of varients and documentation is everywhere in that regard. I am amazed at myself for not even thinking of the song when I made my first post.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: dedlyperil
Date: 12 Sep 99 - 04:44 AM

Well, thank you one and all! We try to be "authentic" in the versions we chose, but I think "Lubly Fan" would be a bit too politically incorrect to perform at family shows.

We have similar challenges with much of Steven Foster.

Yes, my question was in reference to the song. The answers have opened up a few avenues of research. Well done.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Banjer
Date: 12 Sep 99 - 05:31 AM

Ah, again the dreaded PC is allowed to rewrite tradition, what a shame! What a wonderful day it will be when we can just accept our heritage and move on! Oh well, don't get me started.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Sep 99 - 11:06 AM

yep, banjer..... music is not like the hallowed halls of Congress, where a speech can be given one day, and printed in the "Congressional **Record**" the next after being 'revised and extended' bearing little resemblance to what was said....we at least have the ability to track down 'most' of the original and preserve it among those who care....As long as Mudcat survives, we just may make some difference...*grin*


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 12 Sep 99 - 03:49 PM

1) Weren't the Buffalo Soldiers the 10th US Cavalry, primarily a black regiment from AFTER the Civil War? (In James Michener's book TEXAS I know it is, but I have learned not to rely on Michener's research; too bad cause he told some great stories) this would seem to preclude a song written before the "late unpleasantness" ((my g-grandfather marched with Sherman to the sea)) from being about the Buffalo Soldiers and their sweethearts. 2) I also would adapt the song to the locale. I first heard the song on Oscar Brand's radio show on WNYC in about 1960 where he would sing New York Gals. So I decided that was a good idea, later heard the Skillet Lickers sing Alabama Gals which I decided scanned MUCH better) and have sung , while in Florida, first chorus: Gainesville Gals second chorus: Florida Gals third chorus: Micanopy Gals (you have to be from there. It's pronounced Mick-kuh-no-pie with the first syllable accented. Like all northerners, I first said My-canopy) anyway welcome, dedlyperil


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: K~~
Date: 12 Sep 99 - 04:31 PM

I love tangents like this arising from legit forum questions. But Michner had it partly correct, the so called Buffalo Soldiers were formed in 1866 into the 9th and 10th Cavelry and the 24th and 25th Infantry units. Prior to their formation black soldiers were only recruited during war time and were not much appreciated during peace time. The units were sent to the western frontier to serve int he constant Indain wars that were coming. The story goes that they got their name 'Buffalo Soldiers' from the AmerIndians due to a)their hair which was thought to resemble the coat of the buffalo or b)the courage and stubborn cussedness of their fighting style, take your pick. They served with distinction in Cuba in 1898 and in the Phillipines in 1899 and became the first black soldiers to escort an American President in 1903 (T.R.). (I'm full of semi-relevant trivia like this.)

The first time I ever heard the song Buffalo Gals was when I was a kid watching the Capra classic "It's a Wonderful Life" George and Mary sing it to each other while their courting.


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Subject: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,JasGriffin@worldnet.att.net
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 06:24 PM

Someone asked me how the term "buffalo" was attached to a particular group of "gals". I assumed they were like saloon gals, but probably associated more closely to buffalo hunters. I could be wrong and I would appreciate someone putting me straight. jas


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Buffalo Gals
From: Tinker
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 06:42 PM

If you type Buffalo Gals in the Blue box at the top of the page it will bring you right to the lyrics. Then click on the super search box there are several threads of discussion on this song. Have fun...

Tinker


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Buffalo Gals
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 03:14 AM

This thread addresses your question. Apparently, it was first a minstrel song called "Lubly Fan Will You Cum Out Tonight," published in 1844. It became New York Girls, Philadelphia Girls, and Buffalo Girls. I wonder why Buffalo is the one that stuck, instead of Youghiogheny or something like that...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,Jas
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 10:01 AM

I thank you all for the lively discussion about the question that I orignally asked concerning the song Buffalo Gals. I'm sure that somewhere within all of these answers is the truth, for that matter all of them are probably true to some extent. At least I have a better idea of the origin of the song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Gypsy
Date: 10 Nov 01 - 08:42 PM

Joe, thanks for the post. The only recollection i had was the explanation that Lomax made about reference to the town. Never occurred to me that it could have different ramifications.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 06:12 AM

I came across an old photocopy of a chapter from a book by, I believe, Roy Palmer, the UK Folk Historian. (I can't believe that I didn't write a reference on my copy!!!!)
Anyway, the 7th chapter is called "The Life of a Man : Seasons and Ceremonies" and in it is a song entitled "Bell Tune" from Lancashire, UK. (there was some thought that the title MAY have been a corruption of "Beltane" the Celtic May festival).
It bears a striking similarity to "Buffalo Gals" (the first line is "I danced wi' a girl wi' a hole in her stockin' an' her heel kep' a-rockin' ...")

I'll type in part of the preface (and hope I don't lose my connection!):

"The meaning of the song seems to be that a girl is tempted to join in a witches' orgy, but is saved by the young man who agrees to marry her. It was sung at Stockenbrig, St Michael's-on-Wyre, in the Fylde, a remote part of Lancashire, between 1849 and 1853, both on May Days and at Lammas (1 August, 3 months later). It was first published in 1936, and caused some eyebrows to be raised by its exoticism.
The collector, M.W.Myers, added this information two years later, partly in response to the suggestion that his tune was surprisingly similar to that of "Buffalo Girls", an American song popular in the mid 19th century (which, incidentally, enjoyed a new vogue in the late 1940's.) : I "collected" it in this way. I have a friend with, fortunately, a particularly retentive memory. She had often heard her father sing this song, and was told by him how he and several others used to sing it at St Michael's-on-Wyre, in the Fylde. I have the names of several of them. I knew that the tune is said not to be the original one ... Some of the singers came from families that had come from Sutherlandshire, for horse breeding or to bring sheep and cattle to the fells. This may push the origin back into Scotland, but the song was sung at St Michael's. Old John Crampton, the singer that I knew well, was descended on his mother's side from the Raes. ... As regards date of singing, I gather that May-day and Lammas were regular times ..., but it was also sung when the young fellows got together at other times."

I'll type in the 8 verses of the song at a later date (I have to go now!) ... Cheers R-J


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 08:53 AM

Isn't the tune also known as "Old Johnny Walker"?


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 12:03 PM

A friend of mine who teaches fiddle had a student who really had trouble with this song. From listening to her off-beat timing he was inspired to come up with a version with a Calypso beat, which he has dubbed "Bermuda Gals"! It's actually quite fun to play.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Dicho
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 01:37 PM

According to Dichter and Shapiro, "Early American Sheet Music," 1941, p. 141 (quoted in Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 3, p. 332) "Buffalo Gals" was published by William Hall and Son, NY, 1848. Richr (early post) quotes from Brown about its similarity to a German tune and to "Lubly Fan...." which was published in 1844.
It was certainly widespread by the mid-19th century, in many guises, and tying down its origins will be difficult.
Looking forward to the verses Rich-Joy has.

The 1844 minstrel tune, "Lubly Fan Will You Cum Out To Night?," by Cool White (Hodges) in the DT and in Joe Offer's post above, lacks one verse from the original sheet music (5, just before the oyster plant verse):

I lub to taste dem lubly lips,
Lubly lips,
Lubly lips,
Oh den I sure would lose my wits,
An' drop down on de floor.
Cho.:
Den lubly Fan will you cum out to night, etc.

Sheet music reproduced in: Three Centuries of American Music, vol. 1, American Solo Songs Through 1865, Ed. Nicholas Tawa, G. K. Hall & Co, 1989, pp. 107-108.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 05:10 PM

I was nearly right, just spelled it wrong. In Michael Raven's One Thousand English Country Dance Tunes it is given as:
    Old Johnnie Walker
    Buffalo Girls

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 07:50 PM

Therre are some early copies under the 'Buffalo' title on the Bodleian Ballads website.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Dicho
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 09:50 PM

Two songs at Bodleian; one is about going west to chase the buffalo, etc., of the first quarter of the 19th c., the other is the Buffalo Gals minstrel ballad of the 1840s.
Looked up Walker(see Snuffy, above) and found, with Walker the Two-Penny Postman, one called "The Flea," which is amusing. I can spend hours at this site.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: masato sakurai
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 10:56 PM

Notes to "Round Town Gals" performed by Henry Reed (fiddle) at Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection (Library of Congress) say:

"Accounts of the history of American popular song often cite the composer of the song and tune as a minstrel performer, Cool White, whose song "Lubly Fan" was published in 1843. But a set in Knauff's Virginia Reels (1839), vol. 4, #8, bearing the title "Midnight Serenade: Varied," suggests that it was already in circulation, with similar verses, before it found its way onto the minstrel stage. Indeed, it may be international in origin, for similar tunes have turned up in central Europe (see Bayard, Hill Country Tunes, #1a and 1b)."

From The Fiddler's Companion: Buffalo Gals:

"In America it is one of the most frequently mentioned fiddle tunes of the entire repertory. It appears listed in the early 20th century repertories of such geographically disparate Arizona fiddler Kenner C. Kartchner and Union County, Pa., fiddler Harry Daddario. Musicologist/Folklorist Vance Randolph recorded the tune from Ozark Mountain fiddler for the Library of Congress in the early 1940's. Cauthen (1990) says the tune had folk origins but was published in 1848 as a minstrel tune. "It was already well known in the gulf town of Mobile, Alabama, in 1846, where a woman who had once been "a flower, innocent and beautiful but long since turned from its stem, trampled, soiled and desecrated" was arrested for drunkenly singing 'Mobile gals, won't you come out tonight' on the streets" (pgs. 13-14). Bronner (1987) says that although the tune had a long traditional history its popularity in America stems from its use in the 19th century popular theater. In the 1840's one Cool White (real name: John Hodges), a blackface performer, sang a tune called "Lubly Fan, Won't You Come Out Tonight" with the popular minstrel troupe the Virginia Serenaders. He claimed to have composed it, and credit is often given to him, but it was first printed on sheet music in New York in 1848 with "author unknown." Alan Jabbour found a tune called "Midnight Serenade" in George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels, volume IV, printed in Baltimore in 1839, that is a set of "Buffalo Gals," and since it preceeds the minstrel era or at least publication of "Lubly Fan," he suggests the tune was at the time in oral tradition at least in the Upland South.
***
"Overseas the song can be found in English songsters of the 19th and early 20th centuries; in Scott (1926) it appears as sung by the Ethiopian Serenaders. The tune briefly entered the British top 20 (rising as high as #9) at the end of 1982 when Malcom McLaren, promoter of the punk bands Sex Pistols and Bow Wow Wow, recorded a version consisting of himself vocalizing dance calls to a music track by East Tennessee's Roan Mountain Hilltollers (led by septugenarian fiddler Joe Birchfield) and assorted synthsized sounds, scratching and other arranged noise. Bayard (1944) reports that a German version may be seen in Burchenal's volume Folk-Dances of Germany (p. 21), while three Jugoslav sets he finds strongly resemble his American (Pennsylvania-collected) versions, which serves for his to heighten the suggestion that the tune originally came from Germany (these latter are located in Fr. S. Kuhac, Juznoslovjenske Narodne Popievke (Zagreb), II, (1879), pp. 222-224, Nos. 686-688, to a song entitled "Liepa Mara"). That the melody has also spread into France is evinced by its presence in J. Tiersot, Chansons Populaires Recueillies dans les Alpes Francaises, p. 532. tune 1, a 'Monferine.' Cf. also J.B. Bouillet, Album Aunergnat, p. 25, first part of the 'Bourree d'Issoire'". In East Lothian, Scotland, "Buffalo Gals" was the tune invariably played for the country dance called The Lads of Glasgow, which was performed at regional kirns until the 1930's and in some isolated areas until World War II (Flett & Flett, 1964). The melody was better known in East Lothian as tune for the bothy ballad "Whar'll bonnie Annie lie."

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 12:29 AM

The tune "Whar'll Bonnie Annie Lie" in the John Peel thread doesn't seem to be it, and I don't know what the bothy ballad could be. It isn't in John Ord's 'Bothy Songs and Ballads', or in the Greig-Duncan collection.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 12:44 AM

"Lubly Fan", 1844, is on the Levy sheet music website. Search for "Buffalo Gals" to find it and the others, of uncertain date.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 01:10 AM

S. P. Bayard in 'Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife", #167 (where he gives 10 tradiional versions of the tune), refers readers for the history of the tune to Alan Jabbour, 'American Fiddle Tunes from the Archives of Folk Song', Lib. of Congress, 1971. It's apparently a booklet that came with the phono record AFS L62, which I don't have. Andrew Kuntz in his 'Fiddler's Companion' takes data from just about any source (including my website), and not all of it is reliable.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: masato sakurai
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 01:14 AM

"Midnight Serenade" in Knauff's Virginia Reels is Virginia Reels: Transcribed for Guitar by Joseph Weidlich (Centerstream/Hal Leonard, 1999, pp. 76-78; "arranged by Joseph Weidlich"; with CD). The book is based on the one "Originally arranged for pianoforte by George P. Knauff and Published in 1839." The tune (without words) resembles "Buffalo Gals".

The reproduced sheet music of "Lubly Fan" is also in S. Foster Damon, Series of Old American Songs (Brown University Library, 1936, No. 39).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: masato sakurai
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 01:40 AM

From Alan Jabbour's notes to "Buffalo Gals" (on American Fiddle Tunes, Rounder 18964-1518-2):

"Going under a wide variety of titles that substitute various localities for Buffalo, the tune "Buffalo Gals" is known to old-time fiddlers in every part of the United States. In the North the tune is usually called "Buffalo Gals," but older musicians of the Appalachian upper South frequestly call it "Round Town Gals," and some musicians under the influence of Nashville recordings and broadcasts have adopted the title "Alabama Gals." Spaeth (A History of Popular Music in America, pp. 100-101) and others have attributed authorship of the song and tune to the minstrel Cool White (John Hodges), whose version appeared in 1844 under the title "Lubly Fan." But the set of the tune in Knauff's Virginia Reels (1839), entitled "Midnight Serenade," clearly preceded the song's vogue on the minstrel stage. In 1839 Knauff was residing in Farmville, Virginia, and his collection as a whole is redolent with tunes traditional in the upper South. It is thus reasonable to assume that the tune to "Buffalo Gals," associated with the usual "Won't you come out tonight" verses, was already popular on the minstrel stage. Bayard (Hill Country Tunes, No. I) cites several Continental sets suggest that the tune originated in Germany." (pp. 45-48)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 01:47 AM

Many thanks for the quotation from Jabbour, Masato.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: masato sakurai
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 02:02 AM

Joyce H. Cauthen (With Fiddle and Well-Rosined Bow: Old-Time Fiddling in Alabama, University of Alabama Press, 1990) says:

"'Buffalo Gals, (Won't You Come Out Tonight?)' is another tune that had folk origins though it was published in 1848 as a minstrel tune. It was already well known in Mobile in 1846, where a woman who had once been 'a flower, innocent and beautiful but long since torn from its stem, trampled, soiled and desecrated' was arrested for drunkenly singing 'Mobile Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight?' on the streets." (pp. 13-14; the documentation is "Alabama Planter, 10 December 1846").

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Stewie
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 02:26 AM

As well as 'Round Town Girl(s)/Gals', 'Alabama Girl' etc mentioned above, it was also recorded under titles such as 'Ain't You/Ya/She Comin' Out Tonight' (Vernon Dalhart, Bill Boyd'), 'Dance In the Light of the Moon' (Emmett and Aiken String Band), 'Maxwell Girl' (Aulton Ray), 'Brownstown Girl' (Kessinger Brothers), 'Arkansas Girl' (Bob Miller and His Hinky Dinkers). The very popular 'Dance All Night (With a Bottle in Your Hand)' tune, originating in Georgia, is possibly derived from 'Buffalo Gals'. [Info from Meade, Spottswood, Meade biblio-discography).

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: masato sakurai
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 02:46 AM

This might be part of the answer to the original request by dedlyperil.

'The "Buffalo Gals" or "Lubly Fan" melody is probably the source tune used for most of the texts quoted, although "De Boatman's Dance" may have been used for "Charleston Gals" since the latter's text does not fit "Lubly Fan" very well. But what does the title mean? "Buffalo Gals" and the other "gals" songs are not harmless nonesense numbers. They are not to be read just as humorous invitations to the women in the audience. The word buffalo had some specific meanings, and its appearance in the title of this song is not mere chance. Buffalo sometimes referred to black women, just as yaller gals also identified women of mixed race.' -- William J. Mahr, Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture (University of Illinois Press, 1999, p. 276).

~Masato


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Subject: Lyr Add: BELL TUNE (from Lancashire)
From: rich-joy
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 01:52 AM

further to my post of August 2nd :

BELL TUNE
from Stockenbrig, St Michael's-on-Wyre, Fylde, Lancashire …

I danced wi' a girl wi' a hole in her stockin'
An' her heel kep' a-rockin', An' her heel kep' a-rockin'
I danced wi' a girl wi' a hole in her stockin'
A' NIGHT BY THE LIGHT O' THE MOON, O.

We'd a mind to tak the wood, but she dang it were accursed
An' she dang it were awakken, An' she dang it were awakken
We'd a mind to tak the wood, but she dang it were accursed

We dangled on a stane an' it lifted an' it thwacken
An' it lifted an' it moaned, An it lifted an' it moaned
We dangled on a stane an' it lifted an' it thwacken

She shivered on my shooder an' she clung my necken closer
An' she clung my soul to freeten, An' she clung my soul to freeten
She shivered on my shooder an' she clung my necken closer

She ran me 'hint the clearin' an' we watched the folk a-dancin'
An' her mither was a-prancin', An' her mither was a-prancin'
She ran me 'hint the clearin' an' we watched the folk a-dancin'

Their heids were clad as beasties an' she cried her fayther nozzlin'
An' she speired her brither ruttin', An' she speired her brither ruttin'
Their heids were clad as beasties an' she cried her fayther nozzlin'

She had soul as white as Mary an' nae sinner yet had touched her
An' she clung 'til me to wed her, An' she clung 'til me to wed her
She had soul as white as Mary an' nae sinner yet had touched her

'Fore the light wi' dark had striven I had dang her for my wife
An' I took her soul for life, an' I took her soul for life
'Fore the light wi' dark had striven I had dang her for my wife
GOD HA' BENISON UPON THE MOON, O.

There is a melody line score given, in 2/4 time, but I don't read music, so I can't comment further ...

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: masato sakurai
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 04:34 AM

As Dicho said above, the entry in Harry Dichter and Elliott Shapiro, Early American Sheet Music; Its Lure and Its Lore, 1768-1889 (1941; reprinted by Dover as Handbook of Early American Sheet Music 1768-1889, 1977, p. 141) is:

*BUFFALO GALS. Wm. Hall & Son. New York. 1848
Author unknown

(asterisk indicates the copy is illustrated)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Kaleea
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 04:32 AM

As Kaleea runs to look up "Buffalo Gals" in her text books aka song books, she recalls being in the Buffalo Soldier Museum many, many moons ago, whilst her dearly departed was stationed in Fort Sill, Oklahoma (which has on the front of the old jail on the fort--where Geronimo was held captive in a tiny cell underneath the building for much of his life--a sign which says, "DO NOT SHOOT BUFFALO FROM HERE." The Buffalo Soldiers were most definately called so as "their skin was the colour of the buffalo's nose and their hair as the buffalo robe . . ." according to one song sung by soldiers of the time. And notes at the museum pointed out that the Oklahoma sun made their skin all the darker. The museum showed pictures of black women who were "brought out west" for the Buffalo Soldiers to attempt to keep them there by providing women for wives &, uh, girlfriends, thus "Buffalo Gals." And some of the "Buffalo Soldiers" did indeed marry the "Buffalo Gals" and begat children who helped to populate Oklahoma. "A Treasury of American Songs" by Elie Siegmeister states, "Another perennial minstrel favorite, Lubly fan took on a number of pseudonyms early in its career. It was composed in 1844 by Cool White, of the Virginia Serenaders, for his banjoist, Jim P. Carter, {{(. . . P. CARTER !?!? could it mean . . .?)} and was sung by him and the 'Virginia Serenaders at their concerts throughout the United States with unbounded applause.' In the same year a black-face comedian brought the song closer to home in New York by singing 'Bowery gals' instead of 'Lubly Fan, won't you come out to-night?' This practice was adopted by other minstrels on tour, and that is how the song became known as 'Buffalo Gals,' 'Lousiana Gals,' 'Pittsburgh Gals,' etc." hmmmmm . . .and Burl Ives sang a verse that goes: "Wichita gals, ain't you comin' out tonight, ain't you comin out tonight, ain't you comin out tonight, Wichita gals, ain't you coming out tonight and dance by the light of the moon?

Oh, ain't you, ain't you, ain't you, ain't you, comin' out tonight, ain't you comin' out tonight? Oh, ain't you, ain't you, ain't you, ain't you comin' out tonight and dance by the light of the moon?"


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Amos
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 12:36 PM

I think the similarities in the auld "Bell Tune" are irrefutable indications of precedent. That's just MHO, though.

A


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,Ian Darby
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 10:29 PM

The Hemlock Cock and Bull Band (U.K.) did a great version of this tune.

I think I've got a MIDI file of it somewhere.

I also seem to remember the above playing in the background of an old cowboy film.

I could be wrong..


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 03:53 PM

There are too many examples of folk tunes being slightly recast and taken over by so-called authors to consider any answer definitive at this point. As Baron Munchausen used to say "Wuz you dere, Sharley?" It's all interesting and it's all speculation.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buffalo girls
From: Richie
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 07:50 AM

Here's some info:

NOTES: The name Buffalo for the New York town derives from the name of a Native American and was first called Buffalo Creek, becoming simply Buffalo as the town grew. The tune is widespread in American tradition, though as Samuel Bayard (1944) points out, the song is widely disseminated and is now an 'international melody'. Curiously, he thinks the air itself probably originated in Germany, but came to America and was assimilated in 'British style'. Instrumental versions, not surprisingly, are more ornate than vocal settings and display much wider variation, as a comparison of the sources listed below will attest. "Version B ('Johnstown Gals') affords a good example of how the influence of common melodic formulae, combined with tendencies toward attaining easy bowing and fingering will modify the outlines of a tune in instrumental tradition. Version A ('Hagantown Gals') is much like some recorded further south; B is in some ways distinctive. Sets from American tradition are Lomax, American Ballads and Folk Songs, pp. 288-289; Ford, p. 53; Adam, No. 12; and three playparty versions from Texas in Owens, Swing and Turn, pp. 45, 54, 103. (Bayard, 1944). See also "O Dear Mother My Toes Are Sore " [3] for a 6/8 version ('A' part only).

In America it is one of the most frequently mentioned fiddle tunes of the entire repertory. It appears listed in the early 20th century repertories of such geographically disparate Arizona fiddler Kenner C. Kartchner and Union County, Pa., fiddler Harry Daddario. Musicologist/Folklorist Vance Randolph recorded the tune from Ozark Mountain fiddler for the Library of Congress in the early 1940's. Cauthen (1990) says the tune had folk origins but was published in 1848 as a minstrel tune. "It was already well known in the gulf town of Mobile, Alabama, in 1846, where a woman who had once been "a flower, innocent and beautiful but long since turned from its stem, trampled, soiled and desecrated" was arrested for drunkenly singing 'Mobile gals, won't you come out tonight' on the streets" (pgs. 13-14). Bronner (1987) says that although the tune had a long traditional history its popularity in America stems from its use in the 19th century popular theater. In the 1840's one Cool White (real name: John Hodges), a blackface performer, sang a tune called "Lubly Fan, Won't You Come Out Tonight" with the popular minstrel troupe the Virginia Serenaders. He claimed to have composed it, and credit is often given to him, but it was first printed on sheet music in New York in 1848 with "author unknown." Alan Jabbour found a tune called "Midnight Serenade" in George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels, volume IV, printed in Baltimore in 1839, that is a set of "Buffalo Gals," and since it preceeds the minstrel era or at least publication of "Lubly Fan," he suggests the tune was at the time in oral tradition at least in the Upland South.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buffalo girls
From: Kim C
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 10:09 AM

Something I read somewhere said that it was common for the singers to insert the name of whatever town they were in at the time, and it just happened to be Buffalo that stuck.

Either way, it's a fun, lively tune. :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buffalo girls
From: Richie
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 11:18 PM

Kim,

Here's more: The "Buffalo" name can be changed to any city's name, and was used as New York Gals. "Round-Town Girls/Gals," "Alabama Girls/Gals," are two of the most popular.

"Portsmouth Airs" and "Bear Creek Hop" have the same melody.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 27 Apr 03 - 08:13 PM

Does anyone know the name of the artist(s) who performed the version of Buffalo Gals on "It's a Wonderful Life." In the movie a 78 RPM record was played. Is there such a record? If so, who was the artist?
Does anyone know where one can buy this 78 RPM record?

Thanks.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUFFALO GALS (1848)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 09:10 AM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

[This is one of 18 songs bound together with a cover that says:]
THE ONLY CORRECT &
AUTHORIZED EDITION.
MUSIC OF THE
ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS [A minstrel troupe.]

BUFFALO GALS
[1848]

1. As I was lumb'ring down de street,
Down de street, down de street,
A handsome gal I chanced to meet.
Oh! She was fair to view.

CHORUS: Buffalo gals, can't you come out tonight?
Can't you come out tonight? Can't you come out tonight?
Buffalo gals, can't you come out tonight
And dance by de light ob de moon?

2. I ax'd her would she hab some talk,
Hab some talk, hab some talk.
Her feet covered up de whole sidewalk
As she stood close to me.

3. I ax'd her would she hab a dance,
Hab a dance, hab a dance.
I taught dat I might get a chance,
To shake a foot wid her.

4. I'd like to make dat gal my wife,
Gal my wife, gal my wife.
I'd be happy all my life
If I had her by me.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 10:20 PM

Lyr. Add: BUFFALO GIRLS
Christy's Nigga Songster
ca. 1850

As I was lumbering down the street,
O down de street,
O down de street,
Dat pretty color'd gal I chanc'd to meet,
O, she was fair to view.

Oh, Buffalo gals, wont you come out to night,
Wont you come out to night,
Wont you come out to night,
O de Buffalo gals wont you come out to night,
And dance by de light ob de moon.

Den we stopp's awhile and had some talk,
O we had some talk,
O we had some talk,
And her heel cover'd up the whole sidewalk,
As she stood right by me.
Oh Buffalo gals, etc.

I'd like to kiss dem lubly lips,
Dem lubly lips, Dem lubly lips,
I think dat I could lose my wits,
And drap right on de floor.
Oh Buffalo gals, etc.

I ax'd her would she go to a dance,
Would she go to a dance,
Would she go to a dance,
I thought that I might have a chance,
To shake my foot wid her.
Oh Buffalo gals, etc.

I danc'd all night and my heel kept a rocking,
O my heel kept a rocking,
O my heel kelt a rocking,
And I balance to de gal wid a hole in her stocking,
She was the prettiest gal in de room.
Oh Buffalo gals, etc.

I am bound to make dat gal my wife,
Dat gal my wife,
Dat gal my wife,
O, I should be happy all my life,
If I had her along wid me.
Oh Buffalo gals, etc.

pp. 96-98, Christy's Nigga Songster, ca. 1850.
Every minstrel troop probably had a version if the Cool White song and dance; new verses frequently substituted.
It wasn't long before the song obtained folk variants in both black and white communities.

http://jefferson.village.edu.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 10:52 PM

I opt for the local-performer's-geographical adatptation.

No notation of "buffalo gal" is in The Randon House HISTORICAL DICTIONARY of AMERICAN SLANG J. E. Lighter, Volume I (A-g)

While the tune varies..... the theme is consistant for all girls in Amsterdan, New York and Buffalo....

We have a master's thesis....going once.....going twice.... (oh hell...no master's needed....nor theory....nor talent....just a well stoned mind capable of dismissing 99.7% of the world thrust in her face.....and working with the "dangerous minds."

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 11:09 PM

Christy's Nigga Songster (pp. 44-45) also has a song called "New York Gals" sung by T. G. Booth's Kentucky Minstrels, but it is not related to "Buffalo Gals."


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 06:49 AM

I don't believe anyone has yet mentioned the pop song of the 1940's/maybe early 50's, same tune:

Dance with a dolly with a hole in her stockin'
Knees keep a knockin'
Toes keep a rockin'
Dance with a dolly with a hole in her stockin'
Dance by the light of the moon


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 01:43 PM

The pop song was just a revival of the play-party song popular from 1900 on and probably earlier. Many verses have been collected.
See Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 3, "Buffalo Gals," p. 332-334, for examples collected 1920-1930, and other collections.

I believe that these songs have been discussed in other threads. There are bawdy versions as well.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 01:56 PM

Should have mentioned that the one in the DT is a good example of a play party version.
Here is a bawdy version:

Lyr. Add: Buffalo Gals (bawdy)

We'll fuck all night till broad daylight,
Broad daylight, broad daylight,
We'll fuch all night till broad daylight,
And go home with the gals in the mornin'.

Country boys all pecker and feet,
Pecker and feet, pecker and feet,
Country boys all pecker and feet,
Go home with the gals in the mornin'.

Swing right and left and stick it in the middle,
Stick it in the middle, stick it in the middle,
Swing right and left and stick it in the middle,
And go home with the gals in the mornin'.

From J. D., Little Rock, Arkansas, in Randolph and Legman, "Roll Me In Your Arms," #134, Buffalo Gals (with music) B, p. 424ff.


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Subject: Another Buffalo Gals play-party
From: Joybell
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 06:08 PM

There's another "dance" I have been teaching, for some time, for this Play-party. I learned it at school and don't know it's origins. It goes:
Formation - Double circle with boys on inside. Start with couples holding hands, facing each other.

Verse
Girls turn and march counter-clockwise around circle. Boys turn and march clockwise.
Chorus
Everyone stop and hold both hands with nearest partner. Swing that partner for the whole of the chorus.

It's very simple but little kids love it. Joy


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Subject: ADD: Dance With a Dolly
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 02:54 AM

In researching a Jimmy Eaton song called "Old Bonebags," I learned that Eaton was one of the writers of "Dance With a Dolly." I think it's worth posting this pop version of the song.

Dance With A Dolly (With A Hole In Her Stocking)
as recorded by Tony Pastor
Words and music by Terry Shand, Jimmy Eaton and Mickey Leader.

As I was walkin' down the street,
Down the street, down the street,
I met somebody who was mighty sweet,
Mighty fair to see.
I asked her would she like to have a talk,
Have a talk, make some talk,
All the fellows standin' on the walk
Wishin' they were me:
Mama, Mama let me dress up tonight,
Dress up tonight, dress up tonight,
I've got a secret, gonna 'fess up tonight
Gonna dance by the light of the moon.
Gonna dance with a dolly with a hole in her stockin'
While our knees keep aknockin' and our toes keep arockin'
Dance with a dolly with a hole in her stockin'
Dance by the light of the moon.

Mama, Mama put the cat out tonight.
Cat out tonight, cat out tonight.
Worked all day I'm gonna scat out tonight
And I won't be home until dawn.
Gonna dace with a dolly with a hole in her stockin'
While our knees keep a knockin' and our toes keep a rockin'
Dance with a dolly with a hole in her stockin'
Dance by the light of the moon.
Gonna dance by the light of the moon,
Dance by the light of the moon,
By the light of the moon.


Adapted from the 1844 minstrel song by Cool White, "Lubly Fan;" also known as "Buffalo Gals."
Featured in the 1945 film "On Stage Everybody."

Also recorded by Bill Hailey and the Comets in the 1950's.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 12:54 AM

Regarding the recording used for the film - I noticed on the screen, it shows a Velvet Tone 78 by an Arthur Black and his Orchestra - I couldn't read the number though and haven't found any references to it anywhere. I'm relatively sure they dubbed in the music anyways (odd mixture otherwise) but I too would like to find that particular variation on a 78..


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,Linda M
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 09:32 PM

My 5 year old granddaughter cracks up at the song. She saw it on a version of "Little House on the Prairie" where father played it on his fiddle in the evening and the girls danced to it. Actually it was the dance that made her laugh. So I was interested to know what "buffalo gals" were. I like the less bawdy version and think that probably the Native American name for the black soldiers and by inference their "gals" is most accurate. It was enlightening to read the threads. Thanks


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Kaleea
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 11:50 PM

Various "scholars" & "experts" often forget that there are people who have lived the history of which they wax. On both sides of my family, my ancestors have been in North America for over 3 centuries, some were indigenous. I grew up mostly in Oklahoma, where one can still find a wealth of information about the "Buffalo Soldiers" from their relatives, some of whom have told many stories of the Buffalo Soldiers & their Buffalo Gals. As a child, I never tired of hearing the story an elderly lady told me of being a "Buffalo Gal" who came out West on the train after the civil war was over, to hopefully find a husband & a better life. After the war, she had nothing, no relatives, no place to go, but wanted to live where her "African blood" (her words, not mine) was not the measure of a woman or a man-where she could live a free woman.
A visit to museums at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma (adjacent to Lawton) could show the observer informative displays of Buffalo Soldiers, as they were assigned there.

   Oh yes, and I grew up singing the song, too.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 11:58 PM

I was kinder and gentler in the past - but since you probe deeper.

A fat - homley woman.

Later evolved into buffolorilla - Big, fat, ugly, ... bigger than a buffalo, uglier than a gorilla.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Little accademic remaining in the forum - consult past threads for references.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 05:23 PM

Most of the time I ignore Gargoyle.

But if this was a discussion forum that rated comments on a scale of 0 to 4 {with 4 being the best}, I'd give his last one a 0.

****

FWI, Bob Marley has a great song about buffalo soldiers.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 06:17 PM

Kaleea,

Thanks for that interesting information.

I agee that the origin of the term "buffalo gal" was as you wrote, and that term later became most closely associated with the city Buffalo, New York though the song's title could be changed to feature another city.

Changing a geographical name is a common occurance in folk music, including children's rhymes.

This is a bit of a tangent, but....

In the late 1980s my daughter was a camp counselor at Lillian Taylor Camp in Pittsburgh. This camp drew its African American attendees from various Pittsburgh, Pa neighborhoods. Every other week the camp would have a talent show featuring the different groups of campers. Invariably the girl groups would do a foot stomping cheer for their part of the show.

One of the cheers that they performed was called "Chocolate City".
"Chocolate City" is an African American nickname for Washington, D.C. [so named because so many Black people live there]. "Chocolate City" is less often used as a nickname for other American cities that have large Black populations.

"Chocolate City" was pronounced like Chock-let City". Probably because they weren't familiar with the term "Chocolate City" my duaghter told me that sometimes the girls would say "Chop the city". Other groups of girls changed the name altogether to "Pittsburgh City".


For the historical record, here's the words to that cheer:
All                Chock-let City
                Chock chock-let City
                Chock-let City
                Chock Chock-let City
Soloist #1        My name is Ralene [use soloist's name]
                And I'm walkin
Group                She's walkin
Soloist #1        I'm talkin
Group                She's talkin
Soloist #1        I'M TALKIN TO [girls stop using first step beat]
                All the boys in Chock-let City [begin new step beat]
                Get down to the nitty gritty
                Long time no see
                Sexy as I wanna be.
                Some hittin me high
                Some hittin me low
                Some hittin me on my
                Don't ask what
Group                What?
Soloist #1        My b-u-tt butt
                That's what.

{repeat from the beginning with the next soloist who says her name or nickname. Continue this pattern until every girl in the group has had one chance as the soloist with this cheer}.

BTW #1: "Chocolate City" used two step beats. Initially the girls used the second most widely used step beat "Stomp Clap. Stomp Stomp Clap" . They then slowed down the tempo a bit and used the most widely "used step beat "Stomp Stomp Clap. Stomp Stomp Clap".

{"clap" means clap your own hands. There are no partner handclaps in the performance of foot stomping cheers}.

BTW #2 , I collected the exact same words to "Chocolate City" in 1999 from two pre-teen African American girls from Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, it appears that this cheer may have disappeared {at least in the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh where I live and work with children}.

"Long time no see" until the end of the cheer is a floating verse that was used in other foot stomping cheers and shows up at the end of a foot stomping rhyme from the 1980s "Hollywood Goes Swingin". that appears to have survived because it morphed into a partner handclap rhyme.


****

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Kaleea
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 08:02 PM

I've also seen "Chocolate City" as the name of a candy shop as well as a beauty/barber shop which advertises that haircuts are available for "all nationalities." The owner refers to himself as being of the "Chocolate nationality." I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried! His sister is a friend of mine who told me that she considers her nationality to be "American." I'm still trying to figure out what kind of haircut is appropriate for a gal of the Choctaw/Irish/Cherokee/English/Scottish/whatorwhoeverelsemyancestorsdid nationality.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 08:25 PM

Kaleea-

Love the end of your description of yourself:
"whatorwhoeverelsemyancestorsdid nationality"

LOL!


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 08:33 PM

I guess that was your dscirption or maybe it was the description that your girl friend uses, the same girl friend whose brother describes himself as "Chocolate".


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 08:50 PM

The old 1840s minstrel songs "New York Gals" and "Buffalo Gals" spawned a passel of imitators in the next 20 years. In California, "Hangtown Gals" and Sacramento Gals," and others elsewhere.
The women who migrated west, however, were not those sung about in the minstrel shows; the Sacramento and Hangtown Gals largely were a different kind of woman. The Buffalo Gals were different still,

The troops called Buffalo Soldiers, authorized in 1866, did not receive the name from the minstrel dittys, but from their occupation as troops of the frontier (as mentioned by Azizi).

The "Buffalo Gals" mentioned by Kaleea, different still, indubitably helped to bring change to the west. Similar white women, also searching for a life beyond the back-breaking labor of starvation farms and the cesspools of the cities, were important to the west- dance hall gals and biscuit shooters and all the others. Descendants of the Hangtown and Sacramento gals are found in many California and other western families.

John A. Stone (Put's Golden Songster of 1858) was a bit back-handed, but there was admiration for these tough, independent women in his verses:

To church they very seldom venture-
Hoops so large they cannot enter;
Go it, gals, you're young and tender,
Shun the pick and shovel gender.

Hangtown gals are lovely creatures,
Think they'll marry Mormon preachers;
Heads thrown back to show their features-
Ha, Ha, Ha! Hangtown gals.

More of the same in "Sacramento Gals."


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 04 Nov 05 - 01:11 PM

Anybody got a decent PM3 of Buffalo Gals (Can't you come out tonight) that they'd email me?

My wife needs to learn it to play Mary...


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,richard
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 02:48 AM

number on the 78 'buffalo gals' by arthur black and his orchestra, that mary puts on in 'it's a wonderful life' is 87256 hope this helps...


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: BuffaloChuck
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 10:59 PM

Much of the reported history I've seen about 'Buffalo Gals' is wildly contradictory. It's amazing how obscure the origins of this song are, especially given how deeply embedded it has become in American culture.

There is some firm consensus that the origin of the melody is an old German music hall song, "Im Grunewald, im Grunewald ist Holzauktion," and the tune itself was a commonly known oral tradition. As for the title and lyrics, there is much more ambiguity and disagreement. More often than not, however, research identifies 'Buffalo' as referring to the city, not the animal or soldier. This seems the most plausible origin for many reasons:

(1) The word 'Buffalo,' while always associated with the song, also became interchangeable with other place names (such as "Charleston Gals" or "Pittsburgh Gals," in order to appeal to the local audience), so any reference to the animal or soldier would be entirely inconsistent;

(2) "Christy's Minstrels," the group most associated with popularization of the tune, was started in Buffalo circa 1842-3 by E. P. Christy (originally under the name "Virginia Minstrels"), and there are accounts that they played this tune in the city's notorious canal district in those early years, during the heady days of the Erie Canal;

(3) There is consensus that 'Buffalo Gals' was adapted from the tune 'Lubly Fan, Will You Cum Out Tonight' by Cool White (John Hodges), copyrighted 1844, so the dates roughly correspond;

(4) Buffalo may have become the primary city name attached to the title because it was a common terminal point for the minstrel circuit stretching from New York city to Albany to Buffalo, and the city's name and frontier reputation made it an easy and appropriate substitute for performances of 'Lubly Fan.'

(5) The "Ethiopian Serenaders" minstrel group published their version of 'Buffalo Gals' in 1848, and Christy's Minstrels almost certainly had it in their repertoire by that year; and

(6) The sheet music for 'Buffalo Gals' was copyrighted quite early in 1848, by William Hall & Son, NY (author unknown).

Also, although this is anecdotal, Christy and White were both nationally famous (Christy being considered the most renowned of the early minstrels, with White being a close second), and even if they hadn't met during their groups' extensive travels, they would have certainly known about each other's work. Furthermore, it's interesting that Cool White and E.P. Christy both had the same hometown (Philadelphia).

I realize that, being from Buffalo, I'm inherently biased. But I believe the preponderance of evidence points to the city as the origin of the song's title and lyrics. Locally, there is cultural lore to support the theory; I've even heard the colorful rumor that the song refers to the, um, 'ladies' who worked in Buffalo's notorious Canal District. But this may be attributed to the embellishments of local legend.

In any case, I reserve the right to be wrong about any of this. I humbly invite corrections or comments!


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 06:14 PM

The Ethiopian Serenaders came over to Britain after about a year of their successful touring in the States and here they were also a great sensation. They were the Beatles of their day. That would have been about 1844 but I could easily confirm the date. I believe it is from this early impact many of the minstrel tunes were adopted for various uses in this country, perhaps even the Lancashire song posted above. Two minstrel tunes at some point in the mid 19thc became the staple tunes for the Flamborough Sword Dance in Yorkshire, near to where I live. One is 'Buffalo Gals' and the other is 'De Blue-tail Fly' which is one of the widest used tunes in England for all sorts of songs and ditties. They also in Flamborough have set words to these tunes and some of the comic words to 'Old Johnny Walker' (set to Buffalo Gals) are from much older songs adapted to the 'new' tune. 'Old Johnny Walker' can be heard on the Yorkshire Garland website
www.yorkshirefolksong.net where if I remember it is sung by the Cross family who were lifeboat members in Flamborough. The other tune will be uploaded onto the website in a few weeks, under the title 'William Brown'.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 08:29 PM

The UK dates for the Ethiopian Serenaders, has, I think been posted in another thread, but your c. 1844 is close enough.
Copies are in the Bodleian Collection, one printed in Birmingham c. 1845.
One set of broadsides with "Buffalo Gals" (G. Walker, Durham) is given the date range 1797-1834, but this is incorrect.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 09:07 PM

RE...(G. Walker, Durham) is given the date range 1797-1834, but this is incorrect. WHY?



We are blind and cannot see...



Please reveal your better source to me...



and the rest of the world


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 11:30 PM

I wonder if this link (click) to Bodleian Library Ballads will work. I was surprised to see an American song at Bodleian Ballads, and hadn't thought of looking there for American songs. The questioned G. Walker entry is at the bottom. I also question the 1797-1834, Q, but how are you certain it is incorrect?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 06:54 AM

Buffalo Girls is the name taken for a dance band here. Specifically American Squares and Contra. One of the band used to run a session in the West Country that was styled "American".


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 06:03 PM

Buffalo Gals, as with many minstrel songs, spread rapidly around the English-speaking world as troupes, English and Australian as well as American toured the world.

The G. Walker entry date of --1834 doesn't fit since that is before any known performances of the song. As noted in threads linked above, it is based on the 1843 Cool White song, "Lubly Fan."


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 06:08 PM

I'm definitely with Q on this one. I'll check my dates for Walker though. Interesting!


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,craig
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 07:36 PM

i have a old minstrel songster book full of cool white and e.f.dixey photos and lyrics pretty neet stuff. dixey's songster published in 1860 in Philadelphia. it says cool white performed alot of these in sanfords opera house.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 04:11 PM

Here's my take on the 'Walker' problem. The Bodl has him finishing in 1834 because that's when he died/retired (not sure which) but his son, George Walker Junior then continued the business. Somewhere I have the 1839 catalogue of ballads obviously put out by his son. Walker jr was at Sadler Street, Durham from 1834 to 1886.
Addresses might help with dating. The father was at 'Market Place'.
The father was also at 'Claypath, Durham, c1827-28. Stock numbers used by Walker can also help, and associate printers like Livesey of Manchester and Williamson of Newcastle. He may also be related to William Walker printer of Otley, not a million miles away. There was also a William R Walker printing in Newcastle c1856-67 who may be related. Just to confuse the issue further there were also contemporary Walkers printing in Preston, Bradford and Norwich!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 11:27 AM

I have not had the time to read all the perceptions, comments and/or explanations of what Buffalo girl is but from what I could read, they are all incorrect, some come close.

Buffalo Gal is a woman who is small, short, stocky and has heavy fat on her sholders, thick waisted with short, fat legs and when you look at her she reminds you of a buffalo. They may have been indian women in the old west that white men would sleep with for beads, drink, food, blankets or some other form of payment for services rendered. I am not trying to say bad things about native indians as I am part indian myself but please, if it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck and looks like a duck than call it a duck.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 01:21 PM

Guest DTM:

That's a very authoritative statement. How did you come by this knowledge? Is it part of a cultural legacy? If so, where? Or did you find it in some obscure tome? If so, which?

Inquiring minds want to know.


A


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 02:45 PM

DTM
Whatever your sources for this are doesn't make it the definitive answer. The place name has a hell of a lot going for it despite what you say here.

If this is to be considered as a possibility it will need better verification than your say-so.

As for the Lancashire dialect piece/bothy ballad this also would need clear verification if anyone is claiming precedence for this. The greater likelihood is that these pieces are derived FROM Buffalo Gals/Lubly Fan.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 04:45 PM

Seems unlikely that the singer wants only chunky gals should come out.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 06:07 PM

I believe that it has been pointed out that touring minstrel shows changed the name and content of songs like this to please the audience in their current performance stop.
I'll go along with that.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Jan 12 - 06:18 PM

Sorry for the bad grammar. Typed in a hurry.


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Subject: buffalo girls
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 05:42 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kx1qsuHwplk&list=UU-GtPNIEDLICv5yKnirJAPghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kx1qsuHwplk&list=UU-GtPNIEDLICv5yKnirJAPg


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 04:46 PM

I've had a look at the Walker broadside and it proves to be more significant in that its stock number is 3. Normally this would make it among the earliest of Walker's output. If it is c1844 then it has repercussions for dating of this Durham printer. I intend, when I have time, to look at other items printed by Walker that might be easily dated. I should I suppose start with the 1839 catalogue.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 05:16 PM

Found the catalogues for both Walker and his son, the son's dated 1839 and the father probably c1830 which are almost identical so GW Jr was mainly reproducing his father's stock at this point. Neither catalogue contains any copy of Buffalo Gals and stock number 3 has 2 different songs. The copies in the Bodleian flagged up by Joe have a look of about 1850 in print style and I would guess they are from a later series produced by GW Jr using a new set of stock numbers. The encasing of these stock numbers in square brackets may be significant. We are currently working on broadside printer dating and this should all be sorted out when we get round to it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 01:16 AM

Understand it was revue song and Buffalo reference was the only version of the song that survived


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 11:36 AM

A buffalo gal was sought after in the pioneering days.

She had broad shoulders and could pull the plow when the mule was sick.
She had big jugs and wide hips and could drop ten kids before she was thrown away.


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Subject: RE: Help: Buffalo Gals
From: GUEST,Bette
Date: 27 Nov 15 - 02:49 PM

The tune for "Buffalo Gals" was related to the old Virginia tune "Midnight Serenade" (which has already been mentioned). Years ago I read that M.S., in turn, was related to an English song, "D'Ye Ken John Peel," but I can't find that reference now. The words for "John Peel" were written by John Woodcock Graves. I read in Wikipedia (my "source," ha) that JWG set it to a Scottish folk tune called "Bonnie Annie." But years ago I read somewhere that JWG said he'd set "John Peel" to a lullaby he had heard an old Scottish granny sing, something to the effect of "Go to Sleep, Annie." Of course it's possible that the granny was singing "Bonnie Annie" as a lullaby, but I would really like to know if there was another song that was a lullaby. I will say that the Scottish folk lullaby "Coulter's Candy" has a similar structure. ... I'm very interested in what the commenter said about "Bell Tune" from Lancashire. I can't find that anywhere either.


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