The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8085   Message #2874837
Posted By: Jim Dixon
29-Mar-10 - 02:07 PM
Thread Name: Origins: State of Arkansas
From "Songs and Rhymes from the South" by E. C. Perrow, in Journal of American Folklore, Volume 26 (American Folklore Society, Jan-Mar, 1913), page 173:


(From East Tennessee; mountain whites; from the singing of F. LeTellier; 1910)

My name is John the Bummer, with a budget on my back,
Trampin' daown the railroad, trampin' daown the track;
Trampin' daown the railroad, a village there I saw,
Trampin' daown the railroad, in the State uv Arkinsaw.

I went daown to the station; the agent there I saw,
Selling railroad tickets to ride in Arkinsaw:
Said, "Pitch me daown five dollers, en' a ticket you shell draw
To ride upon the railroad in the State uv Arkinsaw."

I bought me a pint uv licker my troubles to withdraw,
While ridin' on the railroad in the State uv Arkinsaw;
I follerd my conducter to a most inquainted place,
Where hard luck en' starvation wuz pictured in the face.

I got off at the station; a porter there I saw,
Who took me to a hotel, the best in Arkinsaw!
They fed me on corn dodgers, en' beef I could not chaw,
En' charged me half a doller in the State uv Arkinsaw!

University Of Louisville,
Louisville, Ky.

* This song is rather the work of the minstrel than of the folk. Cf. J. A. Lomax, "Cowboy Songs," for an extended version. The State of Arkansas is the butt for many satirical songs.