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Origins: Old Dan Tucker

DigiTrad:
OLD DAN TUCKER


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Old Dan Tucker (from Grandpa Jones) (4)
Old Dan Tucker (7) (closed)


Lonesome Gillette 02 Nov 00 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 02 Nov 00 - 10:20 PM
Lonesome Gillette 03 Nov 00 - 08:17 AM
GUEST 03 Nov 00 - 09:40 AM
Bud Savoie 03 Nov 00 - 04:27 PM
Thonolan 28 Apr 02 - 10:02 PM
masato sakurai 28 Apr 02 - 10:22 PM
Blackcatter 28 Apr 02 - 10:54 PM
masato sakurai 28 Apr 02 - 11:11 PM
CapriUni 29 Apr 02 - 12:32 AM
masato sakurai 29 Apr 02 - 06:49 AM
Dani 29 Apr 02 - 07:42 AM
JedMarum 29 Apr 02 - 09:14 AM
Sorcha 29 Apr 02 - 11:02 AM
Sorcha 29 Apr 02 - 11:11 AM
GUEST 29 Apr 02 - 02:34 PM
Dani 29 Apr 02 - 08:30 PM
ciarili 29 Apr 02 - 08:46 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Apr 02 - 09:36 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Apr 02 - 09:56 PM
Sorcha 30 Apr 02 - 10:53 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 30 Apr 02 - 11:55 AM
Bat Goddess 30 Apr 02 - 01:01 PM
ciarili 30 Apr 02 - 08:32 PM
Sorcha 30 Apr 02 - 09:03 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 04 Jun 02 - 10:53 PM
Sorcha 04 Jun 02 - 10:59 PM
GUEST,Eileen Smith 05 Jun 02 - 01:50 AM
masato sakurai 05 Jun 02 - 09:51 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Jun 02 - 01:40 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Jun 02 - 01:44 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 06 Jun 02 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,Q 30 Dec 02 - 05:05 PM
Stewie 30 Dec 02 - 09:29 PM
Nathan in Texas 30 Dec 02 - 10:02 PM
Richie 30 Dec 02 - 11:15 PM
ex-pat 30 Dec 02 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 31 Dec 02 - 09:34 AM
BUTTERFLY 13 Jan 03 - 07:59 AM
Charley Noble 13 Jan 03 - 08:24 AM
BUTTERFLY 02 Feb 03 - 06:37 AM
Don Firth 02 Feb 03 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Q 02 Feb 03 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Q 02 Feb 03 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,Q 02 Feb 03 - 03:16 PM
Bill D 10 May 03 - 12:14 PM
Joe Offer 21 Feb 04 - 05:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Feb 04 - 06:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Feb 04 - 06:24 PM
Billy Weeks 22 Feb 04 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,Rex on the work 'puter 23 Feb 04 - 11:23 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Feb 04 - 01:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Feb 04 - 05:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Feb 04 - 05:26 PM
Billy Weeks 24 Feb 04 - 11:55 AM
Billy Weeks 24 Feb 04 - 12:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Feb 04 - 01:42 PM
Billy Weeks 24 Feb 04 - 04:40 PM
catspaw49 21 Feb 09 - 04:42 PM
Megan L 21 Feb 09 - 04:51 PM
Jack Blandiver 22 Feb 09 - 12:34 PM
Don Firth 22 Feb 09 - 01:25 PM
Stringsinger 22 Feb 09 - 03:51 PM
GUEST 01 Mar 17 - 05:04 PM
GUEST 01 Apr 17 - 10:44 AM
GUEST 08 Apr 17 - 10:09 AM
Joe Offer 11 Apr 17 - 08:10 PM
Joe Offer 11 Apr 17 - 08:22 PM
Joe Offer 11 Apr 17 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,Joy Williams 23 Apr 17 - 07:00 PM
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Subject: Old Dan Tucker
From: Lonesome Gillette
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 08:58 PM

When I was in grade school we had to sing "Old Dan Tucker" in music class. I've been thinking of doing the song now but had a question about it.
Why don't I ever hear this song at old time or bluegrass jams. Is it one of those songs like Oh Susannah, Rocky Top, This Land Is Your Land, you know... that people just don't play because they got overplayed to death OR is is just not played much? Either way I'm going to play it.
Also was there a famous popular recording(s)of it?


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 10:20 PM

Don't know about recordings, but there are many early printed copies in the Levy sheet music collection (Mudcat's Links). Note that one was in London, and a version "Old Ann Tucker" is in Alfred Williams's 'Folk-Songs of the Upper Thames'.

In Richard Walser's 'North Carolina Legends', 1980, is the legend of 'Old Dan Tucker', where it is said that he was born in London in 1714, and moved with his parents to Bath Town, North Carolina six years later. He is said to have married Margaret DeVane in 1740 and moved to what is now Randolph County and built a cabin there.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Lonesome Gillette
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 08:17 AM

Great, thanks


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 09:40 AM

The American "Old Dan Tucker" was written by Dan Emmett in the 19th century. It entered the oral tradition as a play-party game.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 04:27 PM

To the same tune is "Stay all night." This one has been recorded.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Thonolan
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 10:02 PM

I know that this is kinda late, but Burl Ives recorded a nice version of this song.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 10:22 PM

Search results of 'Old Dan Tucker' CDs.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Blackcatter
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 10:54 PM

It was sung on a regular basis on "Little House On The Prairie" by Laura's Dad's best friend (who's name I forget).

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 11:11 PM

Yes, Mr. Edwards' theme song.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: CapriUni
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 12:32 AM

It entered the oral tradition as a play-party game.

Arrrggh! GUEST wrote that over a year and a half ago, and for all I know has toddled on to other surfing grounds...

So I just ask this question to the air in general:

Can anybody say what the rules of this game were/are?


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: masato sakurai
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 06:49 AM

"Old Dan Tucker" was sung by Ruby Wilson as a play-party song during The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip (Click here for the recording).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Dani
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 07:42 AM

One of the funniest movies I have ever seen was "Happy, Texas". Do yourself a big favor and see it. There's a hilarious scene where one of the escaped convicts tries to teach "Dan Tucker" to a group of little beauty pageant girls. It's much funnier than it sounds. Really a terrific film.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 09:14 AM

great old song ... I've heard it done a Civil War era events. The modern modifications of this song don't hold a candle to the old timey versions I've heard. The songs doesn't need the sing songy chorus we've added/modified for our 1950's forward crowd. The older versions stand on their own - and can have a rhythmic flair our modern songsters miss.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 11:02 AM

CapriUni, play party is a generic term--steps are different for each tune. London Bridge and Ring Around the Rosie are play party games. When I am a little more awake I will go check and see if I have the steps for Old Dan.

I do have a fiddle tune called "Young Dan Tucker". It's a nice tune by itsself and makes a nice harmony/second for Old Dan.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 11:11 AM

Ira W. Ford in "Traditonal Music of America" lists Old Dan as a square dance not a play party tune. Dance call is included; if anybody wants I can post the call.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 02:34 PM

Of several copies in the Levy sheet music collection (Mudcat's Links) there are some attributed to Dan D. Emmit, 1843.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Dani
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 08:30 PM

From the "Appalachian Mountain Dance" by Dorothy Shaw:

" And Old Dan Tucker is one of those human sacrifice dances, like London Bridge, and, 1500 years ago, the one who was caught as "Old Dan" in the centre, as the dance ended, really had his head cut off! "

Do ya think?

Dani


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: ciarili
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 08:46 PM

Sorcha, do post the calls! Every once in a million years I'll go to a contradance, and it'd be fun to present this dance to the crowd. I'd have to coordinate that with a band that knows the tune....

ciarili

I always liked this song!


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 09:36 PM

Looking forward to seeing Sorcha's steps, but in the meantime, here is a "playparty" version from Missouri.

OLD DAN TUCKER

"In this game all the players choose partners and form a big circle, holding hands. An odd boy is called "Old Dan," and he stands alone in the center. Everybody sings lustily:
Old Dan Tucker down in town,
Swingin' the ladies all a-round,
First to the right and then to the left,
An' then to the one that you love best.
At the words "first to the right" it is "Old Dan's" privilege to pull a girl out into the ring by her right hand, turn her around once, and thrust her back into her place again. When they sing "then to the left" he takes another girl out by the left hand and swings her as before. At the words "then to the one that you love best" every boy swings his own partner. It is at this moment that "Old Dan" tries desperately to grab a girl for himself, and if he succeeds, the man who has lost his partner must be the next "Old Dan."
The following stanza is a sort of chorus, used to keep "Old Dan" in the ring as long as possible, since he has no opportunity to get a partner while it is being sung.

Git out of the way for old Dan Tucker,
He's too late to git his supper,
Supper's over and breakfast a-cookin',
An' Old Dan Tucker standin' a-lookin'.

If "Old Dan" really wishes to expedite matters he can use one girl for all three movements of the game, and thus be sure of getting himself a partner, but this is not considered the sporting thing, and is not often done- usually not unless "Old Dan" loses his temper. Several other verses are used as filler in this game:

Old Dan Tucker down in town,
A-ridin' a goat and leadin' a hound,
The hound gives a howl an' the goat gives a jump,
An' throwed Old Dan a-straddle of a stump.

Old Dan Tucker he got drunk,
Fell in the fire and kicked out a chunk,
Fire coal got in Dan's old shoe,
Oh my golly how the ashes flew!"

From Mr. Carl Durbin, Missouri, 1927.
Found in minstrel shows as early as 1841. Often credited to Dan D. Emmett. A related piece, "Get Out of the Way, Old Johnny Tucker" (Negro Minstrel's Song Book, 1850), and many other citations.
Vance Randolph, 1982, Ozark Folksongs, Vol. 3, pp. 301-304. Several other sets of verses given from Missouri and Arkansas.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 09:56 PM

Some additional verses:
Pulls his shirt outside his coat,
Buttons his britches around his throat,
Back is bent like an old tin can,
Folks all laugh at poor old Dan.

Old Dan he worked in the cotton field,
He got a stone bruise in his heel,
He left the field and went through the woods
To the little pond where the fishin's good.

And now old Dan is a dead gone sucker,
And never will go home to his supper,
Old Dan he has had his last ride,
And the banjo's buried by his side.

Old Dan Tucker was a fine old feller,
But he would play cards with a nigger in the cellar,
First to the right and then to the left,
And then to the one that you love best.
(I have heard preacher used in the second line)

Vance Randolph, reference as above.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 10:53 AM

OLD DAN TUCKER

Form circle of 4 (or more)couples.In the center are one or more "Tuckers" (gents) without partners.

Balance all to Old Dan Tucker!
Swing your partners! Alamande Left!
Once and a half and Grand Right and Left!
(Tuckers join in on the right and left)
All Promenade! (Tuckers remain in center)
All join hands and forward and back!
Circle to the Left!
Swing your partners! Left alamande!
Once and a half and right and left grand!
(repeat as desired)

(I can't see the point to having the Tuckers--does something in there tell everybody to trade partners for a Tucker?)


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 11:55 AM

Sorcha, see the part of my post about the right and left. The Tucker(s) gets a girl and swings her. As you say, it doesn't look like the Tucker(s) get into the dance after these right and left swings. Or is the call incomplete?

I have a book called Cowboy Dances by Lloyd Shaw, 1939, Caxton Press. Over 400 pages of dances and explanations, but no "Dan Tucker."


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 01:01 PM

The "Old Dan Tucker" that I remember from grade school (1950s) was:

"Old Dan Tucker was a good old man
Washed his face in a frying pan.
Combed his hair with a wagon wheel
And died with a toothache in his heel."

Don't offhand remember any more of it -- or even the tune.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: ciarili
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 08:32 PM

Dear Sorcha,

When you get the grand r&l going, you will have extra men in the loop, and when those 8 or 16 beats are over, some will be left without a hand to hold Thus, there will be a ready supply of new Tuckers - it's musical chicks instead of musical chairs!

ciarili


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 09:03 PM

Ahhh, thanks, ciarili.That explains it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD DAN TUCKER (Daniel D. Emmett)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 10:53 PM

Lyr. Add: OLD DAN TUCKER (original)
Daniel D. Emmett

I come to town de udder night,
I hear de noise den saw de sight,
De watchmen dey were runnin' roun',
Cryin' Old Dan Tucker's come to town,
Git out ob de way! [banjo]
Git out ob de way! [banjo]
Git out ob de way old Dan Tucker,
Your to late to come to your supper.

Tucker is a nice old man,
He used to ride our darby ram,
He sent him whizzin' down de hill,
If he hadn't got up- he'd laid dar still.
Git out ob de way, etc.

Sheep an' de hog walkin' in de pastur
Sheep sez "hog can't ye go a little faster?
Hush! hush honey! hear de wolf howlin'!
Ah, ah, de Lawd- ole bull dog growlin',
Git out ob de way, etc.

Jaybird in de martin's nest,
To sabe he soul he got no rest,
Ole Tucker run in de fox's den
Ou come de young ones- nine or ten.
Git, etc.

Tucker on de woodpile- can't count 'lebben
Put in a fedder bed- him gwine to hebben,
His nose so flat, his face so full,
De top ob his head like a bag ob wool,
Git etc.

Tucker went round hicory steeple,
Dar he met some colored people,
Some was black, an' some was blacker,
Some was de color ob brown tobacur.
Git etc.

High-hold on de holler tree,
He poke his bill in for to see,
De lizzard cotch 'im by de snout,
He call old Tucker to pull 'im out.
Git etc.

Tucker, he had cash a-plenty,
Dressed to death- his old trunck empty,
To kiss de gals he thot was useless,
'Cept he kissed wid a sway-back-looseness.
Git etc.

Here's my razor in good order,
Magnum Bonum- jis hab bought 'er,
Sheep shell de oats, old Tucker shell de corn
I'll shabe you all when de water gits warm.
Git etc.

I went to meetin' de udder day,
To hear old Tucker preach an' pray,
Dey all got drunk, but me alone,
I make ole Tucker- walk jaw-bone,
Git out ob de way, [banjo]
Git out ob de way, [banjo]
Git out ob de way you harden'd sinner,
Your too late to come to your dinner.

"Composed by Dan D. Emmet, and sung by him with unbounded applause in Howe's Amphitheatre of the Republic, New York." Page 622 in "Marsh's Selection, or Singing For the Million, Containing the Choicest and Best Collection of Admired Patriotic, Comic, Irish, Negro, Temperance, and Sentimental Songs Ever Embodied in One Work." Three volumes in one, New York, Richard Marsh, 374 Pearl Street, 1854. Reproduced in Newman I. White, 1928, American Negro Folk Songs, pp. 446-447 (1965 reprint).
Some verses borrowed from Negro song, some Negro folk song verses were borrowed from Emmett. A complete version of a minstrel song. Note: Spelling preserved.
@minstrel @comic @Negro @parody


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 10:59 PM

Reference a comment above--I hear a similarity between Old Dan and Stay All Night but I am not hearing the same tune......it's just that they are both those Old Timey progressions. Take Me Back to Tulsa and Mountain Dew are the same type of tunes also.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST,Eileen Smith
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 01:50 AM

Thanks so much for the orginal lyrics to ODT. I never thought about the fact that he was a Black character, but obviously so! I remember reading some piece years ago remarking on the syncopation of the piece. I always loved it, too. Fun to sing in the car with kids.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: masato sakurai
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 09:51 AM

What is said to be the "first edition" is at the Levy Collection (Click here). Note the misspelling of the name. Image of the cover is lacking.

Title: Old Dan Emmit's Original Banjo Melodies. The Original Old Dan Tucker.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Arranged for the Piano Forte by Rice. Words by Old Dan D. Emmit.
Publication: Boston: Chas. H. Keith, 67 & 69 Court St., 1843.
Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: I come to town de udder night, I hear de noise an saw de fight
First Line of Chorus: So get out de way! get out de way!
Performer: As performed by the Virginia Minstrels

Richard Jackson reproduces this editon, with cover (Popular Songs of Nineteenth-Century America, Dover, 1976, pp. 160-162), saying in the notes: "Though the text of 'Old Dan Tucker' was indeed written by Emmett, the melody was not his composition. Its origin is not known." (p. 278).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 01:40 PM

The sheet music in Levy, found by Masato, has seven verses, of which four are different.
1st verse: Similar, but only one watchman run-nin roun. First line of chorus as posted by Masato, above, "sings" better.
2nd verse, line 4: "....lay dar still (not laid).
3rd verse: This is verse 9 in the Marsh publication of 1854.

4: Old Dan Tucker an I got drunk,
He fell in de fire and kick up a chunk;
De charcoal got inside he shoe
Lor bless you honey how de ashes flew.

5. Down de road foremost de stump,
Massa make me work de pump;
I pump so hard I broke de sucker,
Dar was work for ole Dan Tucker.

I went to town to buy some goods
I lost myself in a piece of woods,
De night was dark I had to suffer,
It froze de heel of Daniel Tucker.

Tucker was a hardened sinner, De ole sow squeel, de pigs did squall
He 'hole hog wid de tail and all.

I hope more verses are added here. Verses changed frequently, and different minstrels made their own contributions. Several of the pioneer songs which developed from Old Dan are posted elsewhere or are in the DT.

It is an easy progression, as Sorcha says. The origin is probably in old fiddle tunes which over time have acquired a variety of verses of all kinds.

Mention of "Take Me Back To Tulsa" brings memories. At the close of WW2 I was stationed near Muskogee. There was a German prisoner of war camp there. In the prison camp kitchen, over coffee and Kaffekuchen, we helped the Germans with the songs they heard on the radio. They liked the country music on the local stations.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 01:44 PM

Foul-up on last verse:

Tucker was a hardened sinner,
He nebber said his grace at dinner;
De ole sow squeel de pigs did squall
He 'hole hog wid de tail and all.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 08:34 PM

Lyr. Add: DAN TUCKER

Dan Tucker owned an ole log hut
An' kept it clean as a cocoanut
"A tarnation appetite I've got," said Dan
"So I'll borrow a supper wherever I can."

Chorus:
Heigh ho, out ob de way
Old Dan Tucker.
You're to late to hab your supper
(Repeat).

Dan Tucker look at a pig runnin' by
An' smack his lip an' wink his eye
But the pig he look in a knowin' way
And give a grunt as if to say

Heigh ho, out ob de way
Old Dan Tucker
You're too late, etc.

De pig run away but a fowl goin' by
Look at ole Dan so terrible sly
As I can't get de pig, Dan Tucker cried
If I hab de fowl, I'll be satisfied.

Den after de fowl Dan Tucker ran
But de fowl had longer legs than Dan
He war soon out of breath but he has got away
An' gave a cackle which seemed to say-

I'm stuck(?) for dodging, said ole Dan
So I'll dodge me a supper if I can
He went to his friends all round, oh ho!
He dodged in vain for it war no go

Dan went home wid an aching heart
An' wid out his supper he went to bed
An' dreamed dat de pig an' hen, out ob spite
Cackled and squealed in his bed all night.

This one tells a cohesive story. Most have some verses unconnected with a story. Sung by the Ethiopian Serenaders. Published London, Dan Tucker and Jim Crack Corn. From Levy Collection (see Link provided by Masato Sakurai, above) Box 017 Item 089. No date visible but probably ca. 1860.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 05:05 PM

Found this rather sorry version, lifted from Dan Emmett's song, in Bodleian Library, Harding B 11(927), 1840-1866. Added for completeness. Printed in the British Isles, at Preston by John Harkness.

Ole Tan Tucker

Ole Tan Tucker cum to town one night,
He look around, and see a great sight;
De watchmen dey assemble round,
'Cause ole Tan Tucker hab come to town.

Cho.:
Gar out ob de way--gar out ob de way,
Gar out ob de way, ole Tan Tucker,
You um too late to come to supper.

Ole Tan Tucker him a nice ole man,
He ride on de hoss dey call Ole Bran;
It sent him missin' down de hill,
If he no get up him lie dere still.

Niggers far and near wud go
To hear him play on him ole banjo;
So he used to sit by de light ob de moon,
And fire away at de good ole tune.

Ole Tan Tucker cum home quite drunk,
Him fall in de fire and kick up a junk;
De charcoal get inside him shoe,
And lord gib you honey, how de ashes flew.

Dere was a man on a rail,
He pick him tooth wid de end ob him tail;
He pick it until he was not able,
Till his eyes were large as a kitchen table.

He cum to town to buy some goods,
He lost himself in a lot of woods;
Miss Sambo she look sad and woe,
And she wink at him wid her heel and toe.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Stewie
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 09:29 PM

I have posted Uncle Dave Macon's version to the Uncle Dave lyrics thread - corrections warmly welcomed:

Click for Uncle Dave's version

The earliest oldtimey recording of this was by Fiddlin' John Carson. Clearly, Carson thought Dan Tucker was white. For an interesting discussion of this point, and the song's history, see Gene Wiggins 'Fiddlin' Georgia Crazy: Fiddlin' John Carson, His Real World and the World of His Songs' Uni Illinois Press 1987, pp 207-208.

Here is what I can decipher of Fiddlin' John's rendition - the reissue recording sound is shouse:

OLD DAN TUCKER

Old Dan Tucker was a fine old feller
But he would play cards with a nigger in the cellar

Out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
Out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
You come too late to get your supper

Sheep shell corn by the rattle of the horn
Shave old folks when the water gets warm

Out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
Out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
You come too late to get your supper

[Held ?] that sow all by the tail
Sow did squeal and the pigs did squall
But all Dan Tucker just paid for it all

Out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
Out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
You come too late to get your supper

Old Dan Tucker was fine old man
He washed his face in the frying pan
Combed his hair with a wagon wheel
Died with a toothache in his heel

Out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
Out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
You come too late to get your supper

Old Dan Tucker, he went to town, and he got drunk
Fell in the fire and he kicked up a chunk
Charcoal poured in his shoe
Great God Almighty how the ?   fell through

Out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
Out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
You come too late to get your supper

Source: transcription of Fiddlin' John Carson 'Old Dan Tucker' recorded on 18 December 1924 in NYC and issued as OK 40263 in February 1925. Reissued on Fiddlin' John Carson 'Complete Recorded Works Vol II' Document DOCD-8016.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Nathan in Texas
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 10:02 PM

I don't think anyone's addressed the question that started this thread, 'Why don't I ever hear this song at old time or bluegrass jams?'

I was at a jam just last week and someone asked if we could play it. It occurred to me that I had never heard it at a bluegrass or old-time jam and I wondered why. Then today I find a thread with the same observation and question.

Would YOU play it a jam? Why or why not?


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Richie
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 11:15 PM

Nathan,

My bluegrass group has played it twice in the last five years on request only. I know a couple of verses and the chorus by memory so we can get by playing it.

It's a great song, I don't know why it isn't played more. Maybe because it is considered a popular children's song, jam sessions have avoided it.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: ex-pat
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 11:33 PM

Nathan and Richie:
The 19th Century band I play in has been doing Old Dan Tucker for two years. Folks recognise it and sing along and clap their hands.
It's going on our next CD. Great, great song.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 09:34 AM

Catchy the first time, cute the second, but rather repetitive stale after that.

Sinceerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: BUTTERFLY
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 07:59 AM

Dear All,

When I first heard the song "Old Dan Tucker" on an LP by Cisco Houston about 18 years ago, I wondered if the lyrics below might haev inspired "Desparate Dan", a cartoon character in a British Comic (It may have been the "Dandy" or "Beano" - this will only mean anything to UK readers). Anyway, Desparate Dan usually sported what is now called "designer stubble" and was known I think for feats of strength, etc (mayeb he even did comb his hair with a wagon wheel). I wonder if he or the Dandy, etc, are still going; must pop down my local newsagent to have a look. Any theories on this would be welcome, though I may be barking up the wrong tree.

The album by Cisco Houston also contained "Big Rock Candy Mountain", "Gold Mine Blues" and several other good songs. Does anyone know which one it was, or where I could get it. An Internet search for Cisco Houston has not managed to come up with this particular album.

"Old Dan Tucker was a fine old man
Washed his face in a frying pan.
Combed his hair with a wagon wheel
And died with a toothache in his heel."


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 08:24 AM

Thanks, Dicho, for posting the minstrel version of this song with the notes.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: BUTTERFLY
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 06:37 AM

Desperate Dan still appears in the Dandy (I checked a recent issue), which is published, along with the Beano, by D.C. Thomson of Dundee, Scotland, See the internet, eg http://www.paulmorris.co.uk/beano/strips/desperatedan.htm

Some artists were even commissioned to produce a £45,000 statue of him in Dundee!


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 12:12 PM

Old Dan Tucker was one of the first songs I remember my dad singing when I was a little squirt (this would be in the Thirties). He only knew a verse or two and the chorus. His grandfather, born in the Orkney Islands, came to the San Juan Islands (Washington State) with the Hudson's Bay Company in the mid-nineteenth century. My dad was born on San Juan Island. He said he'd heard it there.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 01:06 PM

The minstrel songs spread throughout the English speaking world in the 19th century, Old Dan Tucker soon after Dan Emmett's(?) original.

Sheet music credited to James M. Deems appeared in December, 1843 ("composed and arranged by James M. Deems," a quick step performed by the Independent Blues band, and published in Baltimore by Benteen. This is the same year as the "Emmit" version posted by Masato. Only one verse preserved of the Deems lyrics (copy incomplete?).

Ole Dan Tucker

Ole Dan Tucker come to town de oder night,
I looked around, I seed a sight,
Watchers dey assembled round
Oh, hark! Ole Dan Tucker is come to town.

Git out de way, git out de way
Ole Dan Tucker you're too late to come to supper.

"Watchers" assembled round seems more logical than "watchmen." Something misheard or a deliberate difference?

What was the National "Blues" Band? Anything to do with the origin of blues music? Doubtful, but interesting.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 02:19 PM

Another version in American Memory, 1845, "By Dan Tucker, Jr.," = "Dan Pucker Jr." Most of the verses have been posted in other lyrics. Don't believe this one has appeared yet.

Here's my razor in good order
Magnum bonum, jis hab bought 'er;
Sheep shell oats, Tucker shell de corn,
I'll shabe you soon as de water get warm.

Lyr. Add: HOP LITE LOO
(as sung by Frank Lunn, the celebrated Ethiopian commedian)

Ole Bull and ole Dan Tucker
Played a match for an oyster supper;
Ole Bull did Tucker beat,
An', of course, he had to stand de treat.

Cho.
With a hop lite loo,
De Devil's in de big I am;
Oh, Oh! de hop lite loo:
Don't take it all, but just leave me some, an'
Ram, jam de hoo da.

Daniel Tucker went out for to skate;
He fell down on the ice and broke his pate;
He fell down on the ice a little harder than he oughter;
The ice broke through and the poor old devil fell in the water.

Nix Comarous with the Sourkrout;
Hit a Negro on his shin and nock his eye out;
Slock block, try hussac; oh! Jenny, come along
With a good beefsteak and a boll of shu-shong.

Published by H. De Marsan, New York, n. d. (1860s?).
American Memory, item 28 of 500 under Dan Tucker (America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets).


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 03:16 PM

Arrangement for Spanish guitar:
Philip Ernst, pub. Christman, N. Y., 1844. Words the same as the "Dan Tucker Jr. version of 1845.
American Memory, search Dan Tucker.
Another 1844 version published with sheet music for "Dandy Jim of Caroline."


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Bill D
Date: 10 May 03 - 12:14 PM

My wife was just looking thru some old newspapers saved by her aunt in Georgia in 1945 and found an entire article on Rev. Daniel Tucker, with photographs of the gravesite, and of Fiddlin' John Carson. ...I will try to scan the article, which claims the the original song was begun by the local Negroes, who adored Rev. Tucker...the implication being that Dan Emmett merely added to it and popularized it. (not surprising, given the loose way 'ownership' and credit was treated in those days)......THe article in the Atlanta Journal gives a LOT of history of Rev. Tucker and the area and culture

In the meantime, search found this page with this quote in it:

"Old Dan Tucker"
Rev. Daniel Tucker owned a large plantation on the Savannah River and is buried near his old hometown, "Point Lookout", six miles from here. Born in Virginia, February 14, 1774, Daniel Tucker came here to take up a land grant. A revolutionary soldier, planter and minister, he owned and operated Tucker's Ferry near his home. He died April 7, 1818 - but not "of a toothache in his heel". Esteemed by his fellow planters, he was loved by the Negroes who composed the many verses of the famous ditty, "Old Dan Tucker", a favorite song at corn shuckings and social gatherings. Marker is on GA 72 southeast of Middleton.


also, this page

with a couple of pics and some history

stand by to see how scanning of this almost 60 year old newspaper article goes..


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 05:31 PM

AS I was looking for Johnny Booker, I ran into Old Dan Tucker, who also had a toothache in his heel. Bill D has the same story I found, but this one has some additional details:
    "Old Dan Tucker's Grave" is the burial site of Reverend Daniel Tucker who came to Elbert County (Georgia) to take up a land grant and became one of the county's most useful and best known citizens. Rev. Tucker died April 7, 1818. His grave site is located off Highway 72 east of Elberton.

    The Reverend Daniel Tucker was born in Virginia on February 14, 1740. As a young man he came to Elbert County to take up a land grant and served as a Captain in the American Revolution. Farming the rich land along the Savannah River, he became a very capable farmer. Records show that at least one man was bound to Daniel Tucker to learn how to farm. One of his closest friends and neighbors was the former Governor of Georgia, Stephen Heard.
    Another important job that Daniel Tucker had was ferrying people back and forth across the Savannah River between the states of Georgia and South Carolina. Records in the Elbert County Courthouse show that in 1798, Tucker bought from Mr. John Heard for $1,000 in cash, part of the "Cook's Ferry Tract" with a ferry and all the items that went with it. The ferry was well situated and continued to serve the traveling public until bridges were built for the coming of automobiles.
    Besides farming and carrying travelers across the river, Daniel Tucker was probably best known for his role as a Methodist minister who cared very deeply for the slave population. He spent much of his time teaching them and praying with them. The slaves adored him, writing verse after verse about him to show their appreciation for all that he did for them. Their song about "Old Dan Tucker" has become a famous part of American folk music.
    Daniel Tucker died in 1818 and was buried near his home. Today, his grave lies on a hill overlooking Lake Russell.

    "Old Dan Tucker"

    Old Dan Tucker was a mighty man;
    He washed his face in a frying pan;
    He combed his hair with a wagon wheel,
    And died with a toothache in his heel.

    Get out o' the way Ol' Dan Tucker
    Get out o' the way Ol' Dan Tucker
    Get out o' the way Ol' Dan Tucker
    You're too late to get your supper.

    Directions:
    From Elberton, travel Highway 72 East approximately 6.6 miles. Turn left on Pearl Mill Road. Continue for 3 miles, turning right on Heardmont Road. After 1.7 miles, veer right, following signs to Dan Tucker's Grave.

Source: http://www.elbertga.com/attractions/dan_tucker.html


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 06:08 PM

Any connection of the song "Dan Tucker" to the Rev. Daniel Tucker is probably coincidental. The evidence is strictly anecdotal.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 06:24 PM

Lyr. Add: Old Dan Tucker (Texas)

Old Dan Tucker's back in town,
Swinging the ladies all around;
First to the right and then to the left,
And then to the girl that he loves best.

Refrain:
Get out of the way for Old Dan Tucker;
He's too late to get his supper;
Supper's over and dinner's cooking.
Left Old Dan standing looking.

Old Dan Tucker, big and fat,
Washed his face in my straw hat,
Dried his face on a wagon wheel,
Died with a toothache in the heel.

Old Dan Tucker's mother-in-law
Was the ugliest thing I ever saw;
Her eyes stuck out and her nose stuck in,
Her upper lip hung over her chin.

Old Dan Tucker was a fine old man,
He washed his face in a frying pan;
He combed his hair with a wagon wheel
And died with the toothache in his heel.

Refrain:
Clear the track for Old Dan Tucker,
He's too late to get his supper;
Supper's over and dinner's cooking,
Left Old Dan standing looking.

Wm. A. Owens, Texas Folk Songs, Second Edition, SMU Press, 1976 (not in the first edition of 1950).


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 07:21 AM

A rather late, pernicketty correction to Dicho's June 02 posting of the Serenaders' 'Dan Tucker', dated in London, 'probably 1860s'. The Ethiopian (or Aethiopean) Serenaders first appeared in London in 1846 and this seems the more likely date for this version.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST,Rex on the work 'puter
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 11:23 AM

The bit of text that Joe included of the song itself has the chorus the way we have found it in early examples of the sheet music. (See the Levy sheet music collection)
Get out de way,
Get out de way,.....
That is the way we recorded it on our cd:
thread.cfm?threadid=61498&messages=18#1043982

I haven't seen this form of the chorus represented very much even though it seems to be way Emmett himself played it.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 01:12 PM

Hi! Billy Weeks. Do you mean "Hop Lite Loo"?
The comedian's name should be Frank Lum, not Lunn, my mistake.

My 1860s? date is based on the images on the border of this Masran (NY) sheet, and the address, No. 54, Chatham St. It could have appeared in earlier printings, and certainly the song was an 'Ethiopian' hit from 1843 onwards. No certain knowledge about the time Masran occupied those premises, but somewhere I saw the date 1850s-1860s.

Also on the sheet is the fake Irish "Little Pigs," which, with the line "Lilipulari, my dad was a bonny wee man," suggests "Lilibularo."

I will try to find out when 'Frank Lum' was active, but it is not easy to track these old minstrels down.

Rex, 'Get out de way' does seem to be the earliest- on the 1843 sheet music credited to James M. Deems and others.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 05:26 PM

The "Ethiopian Serenaders" shared the same name with other troupes.
Ethiopian Serenaders ("The Only Correct and Authorized Edition")
Sheet music cover shows five men, 1 with clackers, 2 with banjos,1 with squeezebox and 1 with tambourine. Printings with this picture:
1845 Philadelphia Gals
1847 My Old Aunt Sally (17 titles listed on cover, can't read)
1847 Old Dan Tucker
1847 Chloe Is My Wife
1848 Buffalo Gals
1848 Lucy Neal
1848 De Boatmen's Dance
1848 Uncle Gabriel
1848 Negro Fishermen
1848 The Old Gum Tree
1848 De Color'd Fancy Ball
1848 My Skiff Is By the Shore
1847 I Wish I Was in Ole Varginny

Nightingale Ethiopian Serenaders
1848, The Yaller Gal with the Josey On

Campbells Ethiopian Serenaders
1848, I See Her At the Window.

Dumbolton's Ethiopian Serenaders
1849, The Female Slave's Lament

Billy Weeks, which of these troupes appeared in London? Or was it another one?


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 05:26 PM

Sorry, the above from American Memory.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 11:55 AM

Hi Q! (sounds like a measure of intelligence, don't it)

I didn't quite get the reference to Hop Lite Loo. Am I missing something?

The original American troupe known as the Ethiopian Serenaders (Pell, Harrington, White, Stanwood and Germon - left to r ight, in the order they are usually shown) are the same ones who appeared in London in 1846.   Pell played the bones ('clackers' sounds outway rude to my innocent ear). There is a music front of around the same date showing a superb likeness of G W White, with a banjo that seems to me so well drawn as to bear examination by experts.

The Nightingale and Campbells' ES I'm not sure about but will check my sources. I've seen at least one London front with Dumbolton mentioned, so presumably his ES also appeared here.

As a matterof interest (drifting away from Old Dan T a bit) a troupe called the Original Female American Serenaders appeared regularly at Renton Nicholson's Tableaux Vivans (sic) in Bow Street, London in 1848-9


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 12:08 PM

I forgot to say that the Ethiopian Serenaders were hugely successful in London, partly because they wore evening dress. T D Rice and other pioneer soloists ten years earlier enjoyed immense popularity, but their plantation slave dress did not have the resonance here that it had in the States.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 01:42 PM

The five you name are the original. On their 'authorized editions' their pictures appeared with their instruments.
"American Memory" is the online name of the US Government's Smithsonian Museum website which covers history, music, photographs and about anything else you could name- seven million items in their catalogues- and material from other collections as well. Just enter a subject- in this case Ethiopian Serenaders- in 'Search' and you will find the songs I mentioned, plus others: American Memory

(Ignore the first item in the list- there was a later Chautaqua (sp?) circuit group which took that name)

"My Old Aunt Sally," 1847 is the first listed sheet music found with a Search for Ethiopian Serenaders (front cover showing Pell et al.). "Rosa Lee," 1847, is another in their collection, which I forgot to put on my list.

"Hop Lite Loo," which I posted 02 Feb 03 was the 1860s(?) song to which I mistakenly thought you were referring. It is not by them.


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 04:40 PM

Hello again Q. I'm beginning to think we should really be in a new Ethiopian Serenaders thread. I have a number of their song sheets and related items by T D 'Jim Crow' Rice, Piccaninny Coleman and others.

One further thought. The standard group lithograph of the ES shows Pell on bones at one end and Germon on tambourine at the opposite end. Were they possibly the first minstrel 'endmen' ('cornermen' in Britain) to fix the names 'Tambo and Bones' to the principal crosstalk artists in a troupe?


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 04:42 PM

Ain't it amazin' how a song gets misused and abused? I always thought Dan Tucker was a reasonably crappy song but even poor old Dan doesn't deserve this!

Old Dan done in by the Wiggles


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Megan L
Date: 21 Feb 09 - 04:51 PM

Spaw that wis jist doon right scarry


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 12:34 PM

You'll find the antidote right here:

http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/08/365-days-214---.html


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 01:25 PM

Thank you, Mr. Beard! You've made my day.

(I can't stop laughing!!)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Old Dan Tucker
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 03:51 PM

The DiZurik sisters were well-known in early country music. They are really exquisite.


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Subject: Tune Add: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 17 - 05:04 PM

Here is the ABC file:

T: Old Dan Tucker
C:Dan Emmett (1843)
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G G G E | G G G3/2 D/ | G G A B | D D E2 | G G G E | G/G/ G G2 |$ G G A (B/B/ | D) D E G | %8
B/ B B/ B2 | A G E G | A/ A A/ A2 | D D E G |$ B/ B B/ B2 | A G E G | A A A B/ z/ | D D E/ G3/2 |]

Please add this tune to old Dan tucker that would be helpful!


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Subject: Lyr Add: Old Dan Tucker (Children Version)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 17 - 10:44 AM

Now Old Dan Tucker is a fine old man,
Washed his face in a frying pan,
Combed his head with a wagon wheel,
Died with a toothache in his heel.

Get out the way old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper,
Supper's over, and dinner's cookin',
Old Dan Tucker just stands there lookin'.

Now Old Dan Tucker is come to town,
Riding on a billygoat, leading a hound,
Hound dog bark and the billygoat jump,
Landed Dan Tucker on top of a stump.

Get out the way old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper,
Supper's over, and dinner's cookin',
Old Dan Tucker just stands there lookin'.

Now Old Dan Tucker, is come to town,
Swinging the ladies round and round,
First to the right and then to the left
And then to the one that he loves the best.

Get out the way old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper,
Supper's over, and dinner's cookin',
Old Dan Tucker just stands there lookin'.

Source:Songs for teaching


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Subject: Lyr Add: Old Dan Tucker (Original Version)
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 17 - 10:09 AM

1.
I come to town de udder night,
I hear de noise an saw de fight,
De watchman was a runnin roun,
crying Old Dan Tucker's come to town,

CHORUS
So get out de way!
get out de way!
get our de way!
Old Dan Tucker
your to late to
come to supper.

2.
Tucker is a nice old man,
He use to ride our darby ram;
He sent him whizzen down de hill,
If he hadn't got up he'd lay dar still.

(Gran' CHORUS)

3.
Here's my razor in good order
Magnum bonum--jis hab bought 'er;
Sheep shell oats, Tucker shell de corn,
I'll shabe you soon as de water get warm.

(Gran' CHORUS)

4.
Ole Dan Tucker an I got drunk,
He fell in de fire an kick up a chunk,
De charcoal got inside he shoe
Lor bless you honey how de ashes flew.

(Gran' CHORUS)

5.
Down de road foremost de stump,
Massa make me work de pump;
I pump so hard I broke de sucker,
Dar was work for ole Dan Tucker.

(Gran' CHORUS)

6.
I went to town to buy some goods
I lost myself in a piece of woods,
De night was dark I had to suffer,
It froze de heel of Daniel Tucker.

(Gran' CHORUS)

7.
Tucker was a hardened sinner,
He neber said his grace at dinner;
De ole sow squeel, de pigs did squall
He 'hole hog wid de tail and all.

(Gran' CHORUS)

===========================
[Source: pages 150-151 from
"Minstrel Songs, Old and New" (1883)]

And now ole Dan is a gone sucker,
And neber can go home to supper;
Old Dan he has had his last ride,
And de Banjo's buried by his side.

CHORUS
So get out de way, Ole Dan Tucker,
get our de way, Old Dan Tucker,
get our de way, Old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to come to supper.

Source:pdmusic

Old Dan Tucker Midi File

Old Dan Tucker Sheet Music


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Dan Tucker
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Apr 17 - 08:10 PM

Here's the version of "Old Dan Tucker" that we have. Anybody know where it's from?

OLD DAN TUCKER (from DT)
(Daniel Decatur Emmett)

cho: Get out the way for old Dan Tucker,
He's too late to have his supper,
Supper's over, dinner's a-cookin',
(alternate: Pot's on the fire and dinner's cooking)
But Old Dan Tucker's just standin' there lookin'.

Old Dan Tucker's a fine old man,
Washed his face in a frying pan,
Combed his hair with a wagon wheel,
Died of toothache in his heel.

Old Dan Tucker he come to town,
Riding on a billygoat, leading a hound,
Hound dog bark and the billygoat jump,
Throwed Dan Tucker on top of a stump.

Old Dan Tucker, he got drunk,
Fell in the fire and he kicked up a chunk,
Red hot coal got in his shoe,
Oh my Lawdy how the ashes flew.

Old Dan Tucker, he come to town,
Swinging the ladies round and round,
First to the right and then to the left
And then to the gal that he loved best.

I come to town the other night,
To hear the noise and see the fight
The people, they was running around (or: watchman, he was..)
Cryin' Old Dan Tucker's come to town.

Ol' Dan and me we did fall out,
An' what do you reckon it was about?
He stepped on my corn, I kicked him on the shin,
An' that's the way this row begin.

(And 3 less well-known verses:)

Ol' Dan Tucker clumb a tree,
His Lord and Master for to see,
The limb it broke and Dan got a fall,
Never got to see his Lord at all.

Ol' Dan Tucker went to the mill,
To git some meal to put in the swill;
The miller swore by the p'int of his knife
He never seed such a man in his life.

Dan Tucker begun in early life
To play the banjo and the fife;
He'd play the boys and gals to sleep
And then into some bunk he'd creep.

@banjo @minstrelshow
filename[ DANTUCKR
AJS
oct97


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry for this song:

Old Dan Tucker

DESCRIPTION: Vignettes: Old Dan Tucker arrives to court the girls, sell his produce, and/or get drunk. Example: "Old Dan went down to the mill / To get some meal to put in the swill. / The miller swore by the point of his knife / He never seen such a man in his life."
AUTHOR: attributed to Daniel Decatur Emmett
EARLIEST DATE: 1841? (Emerson says 1843)
KEYWORDS: bawdy playparty talltale
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,Ro,SE,So) Australia
REFERENCES (24 citations):
Randolph 521, "Old Dan Tucker" (3 texts plus 2 excerpts, 1 tune)
Randolph-Legman I, pp. 431-433, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 tune, 3 texts)
BrownIII 82, "Old Dan Tucker" (6 texts); 509, "Nigger in the Woodpile" (1 two-line fragment, probably this though the vulgar idiom of the title is obviously common to many songs)
BrownSchinhanV 82, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 tuns plus a text excerpt)
Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 188, (no title) (2 fragments, one clearly this and the other a Dan Tucker stanza but with "Ole Aunt Dinah" in Dan's place); also p. 199, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, with a verse from this song though it has a chorus about "Sambo")
Brewster 86, "Old Dan Tucker" (4 short text)
Wolford, pp. 78-80=WolfordRev, pp. 180-182, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, 1 tune)
ThompsonNewYork, p. 274, "(Old Dan Tucker)" (1 short text, probably localized)
Fuson, p. 163, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text)
Cambiaire, p. 140, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 fragment)
Boswell/Wolfe 81, pp. 130-132, "Walk, Tom Wilson" (1 text, 1 tune, about half "Old Dan Tucker" and half "Walk Tom Wilson," with probably a few other stray elements as well)
Owens-2ed, p. 155, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard, #200, "Old Dan Tucker" (3 texts)
Meredith/Anderson, p. 263, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
RJackson-19CPop, pp. 160-162, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSUSA 27, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 258-262, "Old Dan Tucker" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Coleman/Bregman, pp. 28-29, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Emerson, pp. 34-35, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 52, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 240, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text)
Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 81, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text)
DT, DANTUCKR
ADDITIONAL: Richard M. Dorson, _Buying the Wind: Regional Folklore in the United States_, University of Chicago Press, 1964, pp. 382-384, "Old Dan Tucker" (2 texts, 1 tune)

ST R521 (Full)
Roud #390
RECORDINGS:
Bentley Ball, "Old Dan Tucker" (Columbia A3087, 1920)
Harry C. Browne "Old Dan Tucker" (Columbia A1999, 1916)
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Old Dan Tucker" (OKeh 40263, 1925; rec. 1924)
Pat Ford, "Old Dan Tucker" [fragment] (AFS A 4211 B2, 1939; in AMMEM/Cowell)
Al Hopkins & his Buckle Busters, "Old Dan Tucker" (Brunswick 295, 1929; rec. 1928)
Charlie Jones & his Kentucky Corn Crackers, "Old Dan Tucker" (Rondo R-168, n.d., prob. late 1940s)
Uncle Dave Macon, "Old Dan Tucker" (Vocalion 15033, 1925)
Pete Seeger, "Old Dan Tucker" (on PeteSeeger17)
Judge Sturdy's Orchestra "Old Dan Tucker" (Victor 20102, 1926; rec. 1925)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "Old Dan Tucker" (Columbia 15382-D, 1929; rec. 1928)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 15(227a), " Old Dan Tucker" ("Dan Tucker lived in a nice little hut"), Birt (London), 1833-1851; also Harding B 11(3639), Harding B 15(227a), Harding B 15(84a), "[Old] Dan Tucker" ("Dan Tucker lived in a nice little hut"); Harding B 11(952), "Old Dan Tucker" ("I came across de ocean wide"); Harding B 11(927), Firth b.28(38) View 2 of 2)[some words illegible] , "Ole Tan Tucker"("Ole Tan Tucker cum to town one night"); Harding B 15(227b), Firth c.17(70), "Old Dan Tucker" ("I came ober here de oder day")
LOCSheet, sm1843 031800, "Old Dan Tucker" ("I come to town de oder night"), F. D. Benteen (), 1843 (tune); also sm1845 791510, "Old Dan Tucker"("I come to town de udder night"), (tune)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Clear the Track" (tune)
cf. "Johnny, Get Your Gun (II)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "The End of Big Bill Snyder" (tune)
cf. "Old Ann Tucker" (derivative: female version)
SAME TUNE:
Clear the Track (I) (File: SCW48)
Bryan Campaign Song (File: Wels078B)
The End of Big Bill Snyder (Greenway-AFP, pp. 30-31)
The Workingman's Train (Greenway-AFP, pp. 87-88)
Henry Clay (Hudson, p. 211; cf. "Henry Clay Songs," File: SRW039)
A Song for the Campaign (File: TPS061)
Riot in the City Hall Park, June 18, 1857 (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 135)
Our Flag Is Up ("Come Whigs and Patriots, one and all, Our Suffering Nation gives a 'call'") (Lawrence, p. 320)
The New Party ("Come all ye who're fond of singing, Let us set a song a-ringing) (Lawrence, p. 323)
John Merryman ("John Merryman, the Marylander") (WolfAmericanSongSheets, p. 190)
Position and Call to Start a Tucker/Old Dan Tucker (square dance call) (Welsch, p.. 110-111)
The Pastor's Daughter Oh! Boatman Haste (words by George Pope Morris, 1844; cf. Jon W. Finson, _The Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song_, Oxford University Press, 1994, p.31)
NOTES: Randolph-Legman I offers a few bawdy verses to this otherwise immaculate dance tune. - EC
This was originally published as by "Dan Tucker Jr.," but it is generally believe that it was by Dan Emmett -- his first significant work. For a description of the sheet music, see Harry Dichter and Elliott Shapiro, Early American Sheet Music: Its Lure and Its Lore, 1768-1889, R. R. Bowker, 1941, p. 52. - RBW
The broadsides are more varied than usual. Note the differences in titles and first lines. - BS
This was apparently the first song ever sung by Dan Emmett and the Virginia Minstrels in their very first audition in 1843 (see details in the notes on "Dixie"). The rest, obviously, was history.
There is dispute over Emmett's role in the composition. Jon W. Finson, The Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 178, says that it was first published in 1842 by Millet's Music Saloon, with no attribution. The 1843 version more strongly associated with Emmett has a different form; it makes Old Dan a "a primitive backwoodsman with awesome abilities." Finson's note 39 cites S. Foster Damon to the effect that Emmett wrote the song in 1830.
The most likely explanation for all this, it seems to me, is that Emmett originally wrote the song but had no way of publishing it. Someone put out what amounts to a bootleg edition. This may have been rewritten, or perhaps Emmett himself, once the bootleg came out, rewrote the song to allow a separate copyright. But I can't prove any of this. And I would certainly admit the possibility of earlier folktales about Old Dan. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: R521

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Subject: ADD Version: Old Dan Tucker
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Apr 17 - 08:22 PM

OLD DAN TUCKER

Ol' Dan Tucker's a fine old man,
Washed his face in a fryin' pan,
Combed his head wid a wagon wheel
And died with a toothache in his heel.

CHORUS:
Git out the way, ol' Dan Tucker,
You too late to git yo' supper,
Supper's over an' dinner's cookin'
— An ol' Dan Tucker jes' standin' there lookin'!

I come to town the other night,
To hear the noise and see the fight,
The watchman he was a-runnin' around,
Cryin', "Ol' Dan Tucker's come to town."

Ol' Dan Tucker come to town,
Ridin' a billygoat an' leadin' a houn',
Houn' barked and the billygoat jumped,
Throwed ol' Dan right straddle of a stump.

Ol' Dan Tucker dumb a tree,
His Lord and Master for to see,
The limb, it broke an' Dan got a fall,
Never got to see his Lord at all.

Ol' Dan Tucker went to the mill,
To git some meal to put in the swill;
The miller swore by the p'int of his knife
He never had seed such man in his life.

Ol' Dan Tucker he got drunk
Fell in the fire and he kicked up a chunk;
Red hot coal got in his shoe,
Lord godamighty, how the ashes flew!

Ol' Dan Tucker he come to town,
Swingin' the ladies round an' around;
First to the right an' then to the left,
An' then to the one that you love best.

Ol' Dan an' me, we did fall out,
An' what do you reckon it was about?
He stepped on my corn,
I kicked him on the shin,
An' that's the way this row begin.

Ol' Dan Tucker begun in early life
To play the banjo an' the fife;
He'd play the boys and gals to sleep
An' then into his bunk he'd creep.


Source: Best Loved American Folk Songs (Folk Song U.S.A.), by John A. & Alan Lomax, 1947. #27, pp. 92-93


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Subject: ADD Version: Old Dan Tucker (Seeger)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Apr 17 - 08:35 PM

Here's a modernized and abridged version from Pete Seeger:

OLD DAN TUCKER

Now, old Dan Tucker's a fine old man,
Washed his face in a fryin' pan,
Combed his head with a wagon wheel
And died with a toothache in his heel.

CHORUS:
Get out the way, old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper,
Get out the way, old Dan Tucker,
You're too late to get your supper,

Now old Dan Tucker is come to town
Riding a billy goat — leading a hound
Hound dog bark and the billy goat jump
Landed Dan Tucker on top of the stump.

Now old Dan Tucker he got drunk
Fell in the fire and kicked up a chunk
Red hot coal got in his shoe
And oh my lawd how the ashes flew

Now old Dan Tucker is come to town
Swinging the ladies round and round
First to the right and then to the left
Then to the girl that he Loves best.

Source: American Favorite Ballads, by Pete Seeger, page 52
Oak Publications, 1961, 1970

Seeger's notes: By Dan Emmett, who also composed "Dixie." It was the big bit song of 1844 ("Oh Susanna" came in 1848) and and is another example of a minstrel tune that got taken back into folk tradition and further changed.


Click to play (joeweb)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Old Dan Tucker
From: GUEST,Joy Williams
Date: 23 Apr 17 - 07:00 PM

Old Dan Tucker was my great grandmother's great grandfather. He lived in Elbert Co, Ga. He owned a large plantation and operated a ferry. He was a Methodist minister who took a great interest in the nearby slaves, teaching them and praying with them. They loved him. They would often offer him supper when he visited late in the afternoons. Family history passed down says they started singing a song about him that they would sing while working the fields. They ended their verses with "Get out of the way Old Dan Tucker, you too late to get yo supper". The song was passed down through generations and lyrics continued to change from different ones wanting credit for writing the song. Old Dan Tucker died in Elbert Co, GA in 1818. My information came from family stories my great grandmother told my father. My father used to love to sing about Old Dan Tucker.


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