The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37834 Message #1472859
Posted By: Reiver 2
27-Apr-05 - 07:43 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Rufus Rastus Johnson Brown
Subject: RE: Rufus Rustus Johnson Brown
The lyrics as posted by Masato Sakurai are the ones I'm familiar with. They can be found in "The Gray Book of Favorite Songs" published by Hall & McCreary Company, Chicago, 3rd Revised Edition. (No date that I could find. I've had the book since sometime back in the late 1930s or early 40s.) A note after the song says, "Used by special permission of Harry Von Tilzer, owner of the copyright. Complete song with words and music, 50 cts., postpaid."
The song is printed in between two others, "Tangled Tunes" (Dat Am De Way To Spell Chicken) and "By The Watermelon Vine" with a note at the bottom of the page, "The three numbers on this page may be sung simultaneously and, given in that way, they make a fine stunt number for recreational singing. The few harmonic clashes will not detract from the fun of singing three different songs at the same time." Perhaps that's how the "Chicken" song got linked to "Rufus Rastus, etc."
I think the post above by Charlie Noble and the note in The Gray Book re. Harry von Tilzer, establishes the authenticity of this version, and that the lyrics you posted, Charlie, are the ones referred to as being available for "50 cts., postpaid." The other versions, I would guess are later adaptations. Thanks, Charlie.