The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55931   Message #871831
Posted By: Nigel Parsons
21-Jan-03 - 07:28 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: De Camptown Races (Stephen Foster)
This is in the DT as "Camptown Races" but in a shorter version, with no source quoted.
There is also a version quoted by Pene Azul in This thread. As The Camptown Ladies.
The following version, which differs slightly from that one, was sourced from the Stephen Foster Sesquicentennial Song Book" which includes a reproduction of one of the versions shown in the Levy collection.
(Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864))

De Camptown ladies sing dis song Doo-dah! doo-dah!
De Camptown race-track five miles long Oh! doo-dah day!
I come down dah wid my hat caved in Doo-dah! doo-dah!
I go back home with a pocket full of tin Oh! doo-dah day!

Gwine to run all night!
Gwine to run all day!
I'll bet my money on de bobtail nag -
Somebody bet on de bay.

De long tail filly and de big black hoss Doo-dah! doo-dah!
Dey fly de track and dey both cut across Oh! doo-dah day!
De blind hoss sticken in a big mud hole Doo-dah! doo-dah!
Can't touch bottom wid a ten foot pole Oh! doo-dah day!


Old muley cow come on de track Doo-dah! doo-dah!
De bob-tail fling her ober his back Oh! doo-dah day!
Den fly along like a rail-road car Doo-dah! doo-dah!
Runnin' a race wid a shootin' star Oh! doo-dah day!


See dem flyin' on a ten mile heat Doo-dah! doo-dah!
Round de race track, den repeat Oh! doo-dah day!
I win my money on de bob-tail nag Doo-dah! doo-dah!
I keep my money in an old tow bag Oh! doo-dah day!


Notes: published in "The Stephen Foster sesquicentennial Song Book"(1976)
The source is a copy of the sheet music published by F.D.Benteen of Baltimore and marked "Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1850 by F.D.Benteen in the clerks office of the District Court of Maryland"
Here are the Digital Tradition lyrics for comparison.
-Joe Offer-

(Stephen Foster)

De Campptown ladies sing this somg,
Doo-da, Doo-da
De Camptown racetrack's two miles long
Oh, de doo-da day

cho: Gwine to run all night
Gwine to run all day
I bet my money on a bob-tailed nag
Somebody bet on the gray.

Oh, de long tailed filly and de big black horse,
Doo-da, doo-da@00-da,
Come to a mud hole and dey all cut across,
Oh, de doo-da day.

I wnt down South with my hat caved in,
I came back North with a pocket full of tin.

@horse @race
filename[ CAMPTWN

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And the entry from the Traditional Ballad Indes:

Camptown Races

DESCRIPTION: "De Camptown ladies sing dis song, Doo-da! Doo-da! De Camptown racetrack five miles long... Gwine to run all night! Gwine to run all day I'll bet my money on the bob-tail nag...." The singer describes the races and how he won a "pocket full of tin"
AUTHOR: Stephen C. Foster
KEYWORDS: racing money nonballad horse
REFERENCES (12 citations):
RJackson-19CPop, pp. 39-42, "Gwine to Run All Night or De Camptown Races" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownIII 419, "Camptown Races" (1 fragment)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 41-42, "Camptown Races" (1 text, 1 tune, plus the parody "'Lincoln Hoss' and Stephen A.")
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #239, p. 17, "The Camptown Raxer, or, Gwine to Run All Night" (2 references)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 40, "The Camptown Races" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 34, "Camptown Races" (1 text)
Saunders/Root-Foster 2, pp. 477-478+496, "Camptown Races Arranged for the Guitar" (1 text, 1 tune, probably not arranged by Foster)
Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 270, "Camptown Races" (1 text)
Emerson, pp. 10-11, "'Gwine To Run All Night,' or De Campton Races" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 158-159, "(De) Camptown Races--(Sacramento)"
ADDITIONAL: Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, part III, p. 44, "Camptown Races" (1 text, 1 tune)

ST RJ19039 (Full)
Roud #11768
Kanawha Singers, "De Camptown Races" (Brunswick 337, 1929)
Pete Seeger, "Camptown Races" (on PeteSeeger24)

cf. "Lincoln Hoss and Stephen A." (tune)
cf. "De Six-Bit Express" (tune)
cf. "Ho for California (Banks of Sacramento)" (tune)
cf. "The Du Dah Mormon Song" (tune)
cf. "Du Dah Day" (tune)
Lincoln Hoss and Stephen A. (File: SRW042)
De Six-Bit Express (File: NiMo212)
Ho for California (Banks of Sacramento) (File: E125)
The Du Dah Mormon Song (File: Hubb236)
Du Dah Day (File: Hubb237)
NOTES: Spaeth (A History of Popular Music in America, p. 107) notes that a "folk-song" called "Hoodah Day" is very similar to this song, and speculates that it or "Sacramento" could have been the original of the Foster song. Fuld, however, notes that no verifiable printing of either piece predates the Foster song.
Ken Emerson, Doo-Dah! Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular Culture, Da Capo, 1997?, reports an interesting bit of folk processing applied to this song in the late twentieth century: He came across a man who was singing the chorus, "Gwine to WORK all night, Gwine to WORK all day," which Emerson says suggests the laborer saw himself in the role of the (work)horse.
According to Deems Taylor et al, A Treasury of Stephen Foster, Random House, 1946, p. 63, "Within a few years [of the publication of the song] the town of Camptown, New Jersey changed its name to Irvington. A newspaper writer suggested that Foster's race-track song had brought the New Jersey town so much notoriety that its citizens changed the name of their town in self-defense." This appears not to be the reason for the change, but it makes good folklore. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.8
File: RJ19039

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