The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16525 Message #3674891
Posted By: GUEST,Joseph Scott
05-Nov-14 - 06:35 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Mister Boll Weevil / Boll Weevil Song
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mister Boll Weevil / Boll Weevil Song
"A man named Gates Thomas recorded 3 'Boll Weevil' verses in 1897." In the late 1920s, A. Gates Thomas of Texas (born 1877) wrote an article about black folk music he could remember, "South Texas Negro Work-Songs...." The article contradicts itself: it categorizes "Boll Weevil" as a song he had encountered "since 1905," then says explicitly that he encountered it "since 1905," then says he "learned [it] about 1907," and goes on to suggest that he first encountered part of it in "approximately" 1897. (See p. 157 of the article as reprinted in _Rainbow In The Morning_ for the "approximately.") John Lomax of Texas (born 1867) wrote in 1915, "This song we know to have been made by plantation negroes during the last fifteen years...." Thomas specifically mentioned hearing songs from blacks in Fayette County in his article. The boll weevil was first spotted in Fayette County in 1898, and Fayette County reportedly had the third-biggest cotton crop of any county in the United States in 1899.