The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58293   Message #921905
Posted By: Charley Noble
30-Mar-03 - 02:17 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Whoop Jamboree-Minstrel Song
Subject: Lyr Add: Whoop Jamboree-Minstrel Song
My old friend Capt. Stevens Bunker of China Sea Marine Trading Co. lent me a copy of a 1850's minstrel songster and I've been having fun looking for precursors to sea shanties. Well, this minstrel song was inspired by a worksong of the Mississippi boatmen, the original of which we unfortunately don't have, but the title is also identical to the sea shanty "Whup Jamboree," making allowances for how to spell "whup;" the verse lyrics do not overlap at all with the sea shanty. The composer, Dan Emmett, is credited with performing the first minstrel show in New York City in 1843 with his Virginia Minstrels, all of whom were white with black-face make-up.

There's a 1994 Rounder CD (ROUN 0321), MINSTREL BANJO STYLE, an anthology of ante-bellum tunes on which Joe Ayers performs a jig called "Whoop Jamoreee" which is probably the same.

The term "bullgine" appears to be a reference to any steam engine, in this case the main power plant of the boat.

WARNING; offensive N-word in lyrics!


(As sung by Daniel Decator Emmett and the Virginia Minstrels at White's Melodeon in New York City , circa 1850, in imitation of the Mississippi riverboatmen; in CHRISTY'S PANORAMA SONGSTER, published by William H. Murphy, NYC, pp. 135-136)

I went down to New Orleans, I tink myself a man,
De first place I fotched up was on board de Talleyrann.


Whoop, jam-bo-ree!
Whoop, jam-bo-ree!
Vinegar shoes and paper stockings,
Git up, ole hoss!

When I get on board de boat, de captain look aroun'-
"O put de nigger's heels on shore, dey've got de boat aground." (CHO)

Den I look about de boat, to see what I could see –
When de nigger 'gin to laff, he stopped de she-na-ree (machinery)! (CHO)

Den dey punch de fires up, to make de bilers burn –
De ingineer he went behind to gib her anudder turn. (CHO)

De captain on de biler deck, a-scratchin' ob his head –
An' jawing ob de deck hand, a-heavin' ob de lead. (CHO)

Den dey hoist de dish-cloth, and spread it to de breeze,
It floated like de udder haff ob tudder haff a cheese. (CHO)

De nigger an' de bullgine, dey running in cahoot –
De nigger pass de bullgine gwine through de shoot (chuite). (CHO)

I gits upon de cook-house, I call for glass ob gin,
De nigger nearer heaben den I eber was agin. (CHO)

Charley Noble