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California Bloomer

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Lyr Add: Miss Lucy Long (minstrel) (21)

Bug Girl 19 Oct 12 - 12:16 AM
Joe Offer 19 Oct 12 - 12:27 AM
GUEST,999 19 Oct 12 - 10:50 AM
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Subject: California Bloomer lyrics meaning
From: Bug Girl
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 12:16 AM

We know that "California Bloomer" is based on an older song called "Miss Lucy Long", but what is the meaning of the lyrics? I would like people to post their interpretations for discussion. What is the singer's feeling towards Miss Ella. Is she a former lover? Is he bitter? At the end of the song, he says he is going to leave her. This is the only indication that they have been "together". Mostly the song sounds like he is mocking her. History Bluffs may be able to explain this song.

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Subject: RE: California Bloomer
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 12:27 AM

For the record, here are the lyrics I posted in another thread:
Thread #107642   Message #2233657
Posted By: Joe Offer
11-Jan-08 - 02:51 AM
Thread Name: Online Songbook:Put's Original California Songster
Subject: ADD: California Bloomer (John A. Stone)

California Bloomer
[AIR—Lucy Long.]

Miss Ella she is twenty-nine,
Has taken two degrees,
And torn her shirt-tail off behind.
So she can show her knees.

So take your time, Miss Ella, take your time, Miss Ella,do,
And I will rock the cradle, give the oro all to you.

Miss Ella is a gallus nag,
Miss Ella she is neat,
Her eyes look like a saffron bag,
And, Lord, what awful feet!
So take your time, etc.

I saw Miss Ella on the Platte
Wher she got alkalied,
Her jackass he was rolling fat,
And straddle she would ride.
So take your time, etc.

She's from Lumpkin County, Georgia,
I know her like a book;
I used to see her wash her feet
In Johnson's saw-mill brook
So take your time, etc.

Miss Ella has a claim, they say,
She works it all the while;
She creviced round the other day,
Panned out a little pile.
So take your time, etc.

She'll get it all after awhile,
If patiently she waits;
I'll leave her when I make a pile
And vamose for the States.
So take your time, etc.

Put's Original California Songster, p. 34

Lyrics and tune in Dwyer & Lingenfelter, The Songs of the Gold Rush, p. 125

Click to play (

[Tune notes by Artful Codger]
"Miss Lucy Long" is a blackface minstrel song from ca. 1842, authorship apparently unknown.
Sheet music [PDF] in the Lester S. Levy Collection.
Mudcat thread
Wikipedia entry

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Subject: RE: California Bloomer
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 10:50 AM

Some info there, too.
    Miss Ella
    This song appears in Put’s Original California Songster by John A. Stone under the title of “California Bloomer” but we can’t help but call it “Miss Ella” for obvious reasons. Women were rare in the gold fields; women miners were rarest of all. The melody we use is “Nelly Bly, ” from a song by Stephen C. Foster. It was common practice to put new words to existing well-known tunes–this is where the term “broadside” comes from in a musical context. The Songster, in fact, doesn’t contains musical notation, just lyrics with the suggested melodies from tunes of the day.

    Notes: the Platte River is in Nebraska, Lumpkin County is in Georgia. We believe alkalied is a term for the consequences of drinking bad water...or perhaps other strong drink.

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