The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220 Message #3030947
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
13-Nov-10 - 05:39 AM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Well now. Here's a song that's quite a lot like "Blow, Boys, Blow".
NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK, pp239:
ORIGINAL OLE TAR RIVER
Banjo and ance accompaniments.
Sung by the Virginia Minstrels.
Its way down in ole Carolinar,
Oh, ah, oh, ah
'Twar on de bank ob ole Tar riber,
Dah, da, tiddle dum de da.
'Tis dar I met Aramintah Glober
She wanted me but I choose anudder.
Jim Carron katch a turkey buzzard
Black Betsy charmed dis nigger's gizzard
Her figure set dis heart a trotting
Her shabe war like a bale ob cotting
I ride upon de rolling riber
Wid a sail made ob a waggon kiver
Ole fat Sam died ob de decline
An dey dried him for a bacon sign
Is dere any one here loves massa Jackson
Yes I's de nigga loves General Jackson
He had a wife and a big plantation
De odder one in de choctaw nation
He thrashed the red coats at Orleans
He gib Packenham all sorts of beans
He is growing old, and will hab to leab us
His going will make a nation griebous
Along come a nigger wid a long tail coat
He wanted to borrow a tend dollar note
Says I go away, nigger, I ain't got a red cent
If the Virginia Minstrels sang this -- perhaps circa 1843 -- would they still be that obsessed w/ Andrew Jackson enough to make a new song? Or could we guess that they were performing a much older song? Jackson died in 1845, so it was created before then. And the line about "he's going to leave us" makes perfect sense for 1843-ish. But still I wonder if the subject matter wasn't original developed back just after the War of 1812. Notably, no composer is credited.
It does have the form of a halyard chantey/ rowing song, but there's no way to tell if that's what it originally was.