The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #120638 Message #2637637
Posted By: Jim Dixon
21-May-09 - 10:51 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Old Abner's Shoes - What's the story?
Subject: Lyr Add: I CAN WHIP THE SCOUNDREL / ABNER'S SHOES
I pieced these lyrics together from several sources.
I CAN WHIP THE SCOUNDREL a.k.a. OLD ABNER'S SHOES
1. The Yankees came to Baldwin; They came up in the rear;
They thought they'd find old Abner, But old Abner was not there.
CHORUS: So lay ten dollars down, Or twenty if you choose,
For I can whip the scoundrel That stole old Abner's shoes.
2. The Yankees took me prisoner, They used me rough 'tis true.
They took from me my knapsack and stole my blankets too.
3. The Yankees took me prisoner, but if I could get parole,
I'd go right back and fight them, I will, upon my soul.
4. Jeff Davis was a gentleman; Abe Lincoln was a fool.
Jeff Davis rode a dapple gray; Abe Lincoln rode a mule.
[The last verse is probably a "floater".]
From: Florida in Poetry: A History of the Imagination by Jane Anderson Jones and Maurice O'Sullivan (Sarasota, Fla: Pineapple Press, 1995), page 46:
"This Civil War ballad refers to a February 9, 1864 raid by the Fortieth Massachusetts Infantry on Confederate supplies at Baldwin, a railroad junctionThese books also contain versions of the song, but none of them can be fully viewed with Google Books:
town twenty miles west of Jacksonville."
A History of Music & Dance in Florida, 1565-1865 by Wiley L. Housewright (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1991)
Songs of the Civil War by Irwin Silber (New York: Dover, 1995)
Palmetto Country by Stetson Kennedy (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1942), page 86