Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


'Coon Songs' Revisited

Related threads:
Lyr Add: Minstrel Coonjine Songs (6)
Offensive lyrics- edit? (54)
Steamboat coonjine songs (62)
What is the etymology of 'Pattyroller'? (39)
(origins) Origins: Free at Last/I Thank God I'm Free at Last (8)
Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright) (23)
Chord Req: Josh White - Run Mona Run (4)
Tune Req: Fiddle tune 'The Patter Roll' (6)
Lyr Req: Oh, Mona (24)
'Coon Songs' Your Thoughts About Them (145)
Lyr Req: Run, Nigger, Run (92)
Ethics for Performers (35)
Tune Req: I'd Rather be a Nigger than a Poor White (11)
Singing In Dialect (70)
Slavery-Era Song, 'Run, ======, Run' (74)
Racist songs .... arghhhh! (115)
Minstrel Shows, Part Two (78)
Minstrel Shows (117) (closed)
Advice Please? - use of offensive words in songs (113)
Trad lyrics that are not PC (17)
Are lyrics offensive (69)
Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs??? (73)
Is 'Piccaninnies' Non-PC ? (94)
'Offensive' words in song lyrics (73)
darkeys - offensive term, or not? (49)
Lyr Add: Run, Jimmie, Run (4)


IamNoMan 23 Nov 14 - 04:07 PM
Thomas Stern 23 Nov 14 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 24 Nov 14 - 11:58 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Nov 14 - 12:13 PM
Betsy 24 Nov 14 - 06:45 PM
Thomas Stern 24 Nov 14 - 08:18 PM
Vic Smith 25 Nov 14 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 25 Nov 14 - 01:57 PM
Joe Offer 11 Oct 18 - 11:29 PM
Acorn4 12 Oct 18 - 04:32 AM
topical tom 13 Oct 18 - 12:14 PM
topical tom 13 Oct 18 - 12:38 PM
keberoxu 13 Oct 18 - 03:05 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: 'Coon Songs' Revisited 2014
From: IamNoMan
Date: 23 Nov 14 - 04:07 PM

The Topic of "Coon Songs" is one that should be revisited from time to time. 'Coon Songs' Your Thoughts About Them was started in 2000. Perspective changes overtime. I suspect Performer's Ethics do too. When I sing "Coon Songs" I try to change the more offensive lyrics to some extent. Such "whitewashing" makes good sense from a performers point of view but masks a more important issue.

George Santayana said: 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'

There is truth in Folksong no matter how unpleasant it may be.

"Coon Songs" concern more than racial issues. Songs like WHY BOB YOUR HAIR, GIRLS are just as much in this genre as is "Whar Did You Cum From". One song that is treated as a "coon song is DIXIE'S LAND, attributed to Daniel Emmett. The song is condemned variously as a "blackface minstral" song and a song that reminds us that there was a war fought in which a million Americans died because a disagreement in principal.

Well damn it; Dixie is a good song. It was probably written by Ellen Snowden, born a slave in Maryland. The values and sentiments in the song sure don't come from some yankee in New York City who was inspired one night. Dixie was a favorite song of Abraham Lincoln who claimed it as an American song by right of conquest.

Anyway this should be enough material to start a fresh look at a touchy subject.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited 2014
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 23 Nov 14 - 05:38 PM

There was an article (multi part iirc) about COON SONGS in the short lived, large format (newspaper size) publication "LISTEN". I think when the magazine failed, it was taken over by one of the recording publications (HI FI Stereo Review, High Fidelity) ?????
If anyone can find that article, I'd much like to have a copy.
Thanks!
Thomas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited 2014
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 24 Nov 14 - 11:58 AM

There's some confusion here. There was a craze for so-called "coon songs" during the 1890s-1900s (out of roots in the 1880s), and these were songs for the popular market that used the word "coon" in the lyrics to refer to black protagonists. At the time, "Dixie" was a decades-old song that was not considered part of that "coon songs" fad, and Emmet hadn't included the word "coon" in it because he had had no idea that fad would happen later. Blackface minstrelsy lasted a long time; not all the fads that came and went during it are coextensive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited 2014
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Nov 14 - 12:13 PM

I well remember this guy on BBC Home Service Saturday night Music Hall &c:-

"G. H. Elliott (November 1882–19 November 1962) was a British music hall singer and dancer. He was born George Henry Elliott in Rochdale, Lancashire in 1882. Known as the "Chocolate Coloured Coon..." - Wikipedia

who went on with the same nickname, which iirc nobody thought in any way odd, till the 1950s.

≈M≈


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited 2014
From: Betsy
Date: 24 Nov 14 - 06:45 PM

Strange subject - but I suppose we need to be careful about the Stalin method of obliterating History and many other Politicians would like to re-write history .
These songs EXIST and it is great reference material for interested ethnic scholars and those likewise inclined. We can't throw these songs away as if they didn't exist, in the same way we throw old photos away - (in any scenario) and no one remembers what / who it was all about.
With the passage of time - I would think you must be very sensitive of how you handle such songs and the company in which they're sang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited 2014
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 24 Nov 14 - 08:18 PM

http://parlorsongs.com/insearch/coonsongs/coonsongs.php

Thomas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited 2014
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Nov 14 - 06:53 AM

In the same way that there were stage Irish and Jewish performers who performed a parody of their nationality, there were black performers who had elements of playing what they thought a white audience would think of as stereotypical black behaviour. Some of them were very talented and some of their songs were very interesting. There is now a small number of black performers, notably the Carolina Chocolate Drops who have shown an interest in this 'black hokum' and have looked beyond the hideous racist implications to find some fine performers and material and have carefully selected the best of it to form part of their repertoire.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited 2014
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 25 Nov 14 - 01:57 PM

"there were black performers who had elements of playing what they thought a white audience would think of as stereotypical black behaviour." At a white-run medicine show selling mostly to whites, for instance, a white or black man might wear blackface and sing material that drew on stereotypes about blacks. That's why there's an important overlap between the lyrics Frank Stokes (probably born 1888) had picked up as an entertainer and the lyrics Chris Bouchillon (born 1893) had picked up as an entertainer, roughly that sort of thing. It's not a verbal coincidence at all that there is a documentary about Peg Leg Sam Jackson called Born For Hard Luck and a Bouchillon recording called "Born In Hard Luck," that stuff was all connected.

Many of the people who simply accepted "coon songs" as such (a fad for a while in the popular sheet music industry, on cylinder, in vaudeville -- much like the mambo was big in the '50s) were roughly the age of songwriter Bob Cole, who was black and born in 1868 (and even he distanced himself from them before his death in 1911).

Then you've got people about the age of Georgia Tom (born 1899) and Bill Broonzy (born 1903), who made "hokum" aimed directly at black consumers around the time of the Depression, hokum that didn't particularly sound like "coon songs" as such. Bob Wills was still wearing blackface on stage when he took an interest in that wave of black entertainment. To understand the era, we have to understand that this was a time when Wills could decide that Bessie Smith in person was definitely "the greatest thing I had ever heard," and go on wearing the blackface. (In fact Roy Acuff, who historically integrated his C&W band by hiring Bobby Hebb in the early '50s, for instance, had worn blackface when he was younger.)

Anyway, to belabor the point, "coon songs" refers to a particular kind of song that had a fad popularity for a while, like the mambo did, and not to the much larger category of entertainment that drew on stereotypes about blacks more generally, both decades before and decades after the "coon songs" fad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 11:29 PM

I'm taking a "Racial Healing" class. The recommended video for next week's class on stereotypes is this:Title of the video is Racism.....The Origins Of The Sambo, The Coon & Mammy. Very interesting presentation.
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited
From: Acorn4
Date: 12 Oct 18 - 04:32 AM

Interesting to trace the evolution in the opening chorus of "Showboat" over the years:-

"N*****s all work on the Mississippi" (sung by a black chorus in tongue in cheek style referring to themselves)

"Black Folks work on the Mississippi"

"Coloured Folks work on the Mississippi"

"We all work on the Mississippi"

To the point where no one works on the Mississippi and the opening chorus is omitted.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited
From: topical tom
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 12:14 PM

Tommy Dorsey's version of a coon song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKwcm0-cUjI


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited
From: topical tom
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 12:38 PM

A slightly longer version of "If the man in the moon were a coon":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bas1rvfiUwU


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Coon Songs' Revisited
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Oct 18 - 03:05 PM

When Cole Porter wrote a number for Sophie Tucker
called 'Most Gentlemen Don't Like Love
(They Just Like To Kick It Around),'
all the Broadway reviewers exclaimed in unison:
"it's a COON SONG."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 October 2:04 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.