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Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs

pavane 14 Aug 01 - 04:55 AM
pavane 14 Aug 01 - 05:07 AM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Aug 01 - 09:52 AM
masato sakurai 14 Aug 01 - 11:17 PM
masato sakurai 15 Aug 01 - 04:26 AM
pavane 15 Aug 01 - 07:55 AM
raredance 17 Aug 01 - 10:38 PM
masato sakurai 18 Aug 01 - 03:08 AM
raredance 18 Aug 01 - 09:11 AM
pavane 18 Aug 01 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Susan B. 19 Sep 10 - 07:42 PM
pavane 20 Sep 10 - 10:36 AM
pavane 20 Sep 10 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Fooldude 20 Sep 10 - 11:14 AM
pavane 20 Sep 10 - 11:31 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Sep 10 - 07:08 PM
pavane 21 Sep 10 - 03:39 AM
JHW 21 Sep 10 - 05:27 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 10 - 09:35 AM
pavane 22 Sep 10 - 09:50 AM
GUEST, Sminky 22 Sep 10 - 09:51 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 10 - 09:56 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 10 - 10:38 AM
pavane 22 Sep 10 - 10:41 AM
pavane 22 Sep 10 - 10:43 AM
open mike 22 Sep 10 - 04:08 PM
GUEST, Sminky 23 Sep 10 - 05:04 AM
Billy Weeks 25 Sep 10 - 10:46 AM
Jim Dixon 25 Sep 10 - 01:06 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Sep 10 - 01:42 PM
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Subject: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 04:55 AM

I have been looking for the full song to the Headington Morris Dance 'Getting Upstairs', which has the snippet :


Some likes coffee, some likes tea
Some likes a pretty girl, just like me [Just like I do, I suppose that means]
Such a getting upstairs and a playing on the fiddle]
Such a getting upstairs I never did see
I have tracked down two songs, both in the Bodley Library, which seem to be connected, but neither looks like the original, both appear to be parodies. Can anyone add anything?
Such a getting out of bed:
Oh is it not most strange to think
All night long I can't sleep a wink
Some constant care my mind perturbs
And all my downy sleep disturbs
 For I've such a getting out of bed
 For some cause or other
 Such a getting out of bed
 You never did see
Sich a gittin upstairs (minstrel song)
At Kentuck last night a party met
Dey say dem goin to hab a treat
From de old town dere come de great and small
To hab a dance at de Nigger Ball
 And dere was sich a gitting upstairs
 And playing on de fiddle
 Sich a gitting upstairs
 I never did see


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 05:07 AM

And there is one more,
The Wedding of England's Queen
(To the tune Sich a Gittin Upstairs)


There'll be such a running round the palace
And playing on the fiddle
When the Queen gets married
You never did see


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:52 AM

I looked into this some time ago and found nothing conclusive, though I haven't yet been able to check Steve Roud's Indexes; my impression at the time was that the Minstrel song was the earliest of the available examples; though it may perhaps have been based on an earlier stage or vaudeville piece, it could equally well be the original.  I certainly suspect that its widespread popularity in both England and America derives from its currency as a Minstrel song. You might like to look at the entries at  The Fiddler's Companion:

GETTING UPSTAIRS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: masato sakurai
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 11:17 PM

A little more info on the music, but not on the lyrics. Henry Reed's fiddle playing of "Such a Getting Upstaris" can be heard here with some notes. "Sich a Gittin Up Stairs" in George Knauff's Virginial Reels (1839) is transcribed for guitar in Joseph Weidlich, Virginia Reels (Centerstream, 1999) [CD included].


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 04:26 AM

Bits of info (not in The Fiddler's Companion) #2. There is a song sheet (without music) containing "Sich a Gitting Up Stairs" in America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets, Libray of Congress. This was "Sold by L. Deming, wholesale and retail, No. 62, Hanover Street, 2d door from Friend Street, Boston, and at MIDDLEBURY, Vt.," and begins with:

ON a Suskyhanner raft I come down de bay,
And I danc'd, and I frolick'd, and fiddled all de way.
Sich a gitting up stairs I never did see, &c.

Trike he to and heel--cut de pigeon wing,
Scratch gravel, slap de foot--dats just de ting.
Sich a gitting up stairs, &c.

"Such a Getting Upstairs" as a going-up-to-bed song from Indiana is in Ruth Crawford Seeger's American Folk Songs for Children (Doubleday, 1948, p.53) with music:

Such a getting upstairs I never did see,
Such a getting upstairs it didn't suit me.

In her notes, Ruth says: "It is the refrain of a play-party tune whose second section can be whistled or hummed or played, or sung with varying words like the following from Virginia: Some love coffee, some love tea, But I love the pretty girl that winks at me." The Indiana version is sung by Mike and Peggy Seeger in their Rounder album with the same title as the songbook's (LP & CD).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 07:55 AM

Well, that is the first reference to the 'tea, coffee' words as sung to the Morris dance, anyway. We are getting closer, I think.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: raredance
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 10:38 PM

B A Botkin in "The American Play-Party Song" (1937, 1963 Frederick Ungar Publishing) has a couple unusual lyric versions and the following note:
Based on a minstrel song. See "Sich a Gittin Upstairs," in "The Negro Forget-Me Not Songster' (Fisher and Brother, 18?)

GETTING UPSTAIRS

C
First gent out,
Swing that lady with a right hand about,
Partner by the left as you come around,
Lady in the center and you'll all run around.
Such a kitten (sic) upstairs,
Well I never did see.
Such a kitten upstairs,
Well she don't suit me.

D
I got up in the morning, the rain was pouring down.
I saddled up old Grady and bound for -----[name] town.
Honor to your right, honor to your left,
Swing your next partner and promenade to your left.
Such a getting upstairs I never did see.
Such a getting upstairs don't suit me.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 03:08 AM

pavane, I've come across one more "coffee and tea" words, this time with music. It is recorded in Cecil J. Sharp's English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians (1932; 1966), no. 272 (the last song of the volume):

Some loves coffee, some loves tea,
Some loves money, but they don't love me.
Singing in the lonesome cowboyee,
Singing in the lonesome sea.

This was "sung by Mrs. Laurel Jones at Brurnsville, N.C., Sept. 17, 1918." The same version is also in his Nursery Songs from the Appalachian Mountains [1st series] (Novello, n.d.) with piano accompaniment, with copyright year 1921. The title given by both books is "Some Love Coffee" (with grammatical agreement corrected). The nursery song book version has the "Some love coffee" line; the rest is the same.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: raredance
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 09:11 AM

Leah Jackson Wolford in "The Play-Party In Indiana" (1916 Indiana Historical Commission) has four variants of "Getting Upstairs". They all are mostly dance instructions and do not mention any beverages, so I won't type them in unless there is a clamor to do so. What is more interesting is a comment she made which I will quote.

"It is interesting to find "Hunt the Squirrel" and "Getting Upstairs" as morris dances in "The Morris Book" of Sharp and Macilwaine. (C. J Sharp and H C Macilwaine, Novello and Co., London, no date) We have also the game, "Hunt the Squirrel"...but it has no music. this play-party game, "Getting Upstairs", may be connected with the English dance of that name. The movements are not very different. The unusual complexity of this in comparison with most of the other games also suggests that a relationship exists."

Maybe somebody can find a copy of "the Morris Book" to see what it has.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 01:06 PM

I have a copy of the Morris book, (which is still in print) and I will check it out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: GUEST,Susan B.
Date: 19 Sep 10 - 07:42 PM

My g-g-grandfather, (Conf.) Major Henry Archer Edmondson, is remembered by my 89 year old uncle to have sung, "Some like coffee, some like tea, I like the girls and the girls like me. Some like cabbage, some like kale, I like the girl with the short shirt-tail!" as he rode his horse through Houston (now Halifax), Virginia.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 10:36 AM

I never did remember to check the Morris book - sorry. But thanks for the extra info.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 11:11 AM

The phrase, and song, must go back to before 1830:

The Extravaganzas of J. R. Planch, Esq., [Somerset Herald] 1825-1871 By James Robinson Planche

(In a play - the Sleeping Beauty)

"Such a getting upstairs and playing Old Harry
Such a getting upstairs I never did see"

Such-a-getting-upstairs-to-the-Great-Exhibition-of- 1851, Painted in Fresco by Mr George Augustus Sala

"Notes and queries", 1909
I can remember ' Such a getting Upstairs ' being sung as a street ballad as far back as 1840. Thackeray incorporated the refrain in one of his short but amusing papers ' A Visit to some Country Snobs,' contributed to Punch circa 1845-6

Another play, 1873
(Drawing room Dramas, William Wills)

Some like Princes bold and free
Some like Chamberlains just like me
Such a getting upstairs to find her in a prison
Such a getting up stairs I never did see

There is a bawdy verse in
Unprintable Ozark Folksongs and Folklore: Blow the candle out By Vance Randolph, p769 which says
"getting upstairs, euphemism for sexual intercourse, because bedrooms in private houses are on the upper floors. The 2 dollar bill is called "upstairs money" because formerly (till WWII) it was the price..."


A sailor's life under four sovereigns: Volume 1 (1899)
1831.
.. through the bow-port, dropped into my boat, was up the wooden steps of the landing-place ; then there was " such a getting upstairs and a playing of the fiddle."

But it is still not clear whether this song originated in the UK or USA.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: GUEST,Fooldude
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 11:14 AM

Kennet sing:

Three blind donkeys,
Three blind mares,
Three blind horses getting upstairs.
Such a getting upstairs you never did see.
Such a getting up stairs you never did see.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 11:31 AM

Attributed by some to Dan Emmett, of the Virginia Serenaders, who appeared in Boston in 1840. "Whole Hog or None" was also attributed to him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Sep 10 - 07:08 PM

It predated Dan Emmett who rose to fame in the 1840s. Emmet was an essential part and instigator of the Minstrel TROUPES, but there were plenty of SOLO blackface performers both in the UK and US before this even going back to the 18thc. I have 'Sich a Gittin' Upstairs' as from Daddy Rice in the early thirties at Baltimore. It gets a mention in Nathan's 'Dan Emmett and The Rise of Early Minstrelsy' but not in connection with Emmett himself.
I have a copy of the song sheet music as performed by Sam Cowell later in England but no doubt he picked it up while in America in his youth as a performer with his family, possibly from T D Rice himself.

Pavane, why do you say it is before 1830? I can't see anything that predates 1831. If Daddy Rice wrote/performed it in 1830 such things spread like wildfire. Look how quickly TV catchphrases catch on.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 03:39 AM

Actually, on re-reading, there is no evidence of it being played in 1831, it was just a figure of speech used by the author much later, so we can scrap that one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: JHW
Date: 21 Sep 10 - 05:27 AM

There's a new High Speed Stannah Stairlift.
Gets you upstairs before you've forgot what you came for.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 09:35 AM

The oldest reference to the song I can find with Google Books is in The New-York Mirror, Volume 16 (Feb. 2, 1839), page 256:
    By late London papers before us, we perceive that Race has found out a new way to please John Bull. The popularity of "Jim Crow" seems to be eclipsed by the "new fancy song" of "Sich a gittin up stairs."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 09:50 AM

That would certainly seem to add weight to the theory that it originated in the USA


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 09:51 AM

A song with the title Such a Getting Out of Bed (quoted in the original post) appears in Gaskel's Comic Songs, volume 2, 1843. I'll check if the words are the same.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SICH A GITTIN UP STAIRS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 09:56 AM

From The Quaver; or, Songster's Pocket Companion (London: Charles Jones, 1844), page 164:


1. On a Suskehannah raft I cum up de bay,
And I danced, and I frolick'd, and I fiddled, all de way.
Sich a gittin up stairs I neber did see,
Sich a gittin up stairs I neber did see.

2. Trike de toe an heel, cut de pigeon wing,
Scratch gravel, slap de foot, dat is just de ting.
Sich a gittin, &c.

3. I went to de play, an' I seed Jim Crow,
Oh, nigger Isam den swell, for Jim he was no go.
Sich a gittin, &c.

4. I look him in de face, until I make him grin,
And then I trow a backa quid, and hit him on de shin.
Sich a gittin, &c.

5. Oh! I is dat boy dat knows to preach a sarmon,
'Bout temperance, and "seven up," and all dat kind of varmin.
Sich a gittin, &c.

6. Niggers held a meetin, 'bout de clonization,
And dere I spoke a speech about amalgamation.
Sich a gittin, &c.

7. To Washington I go, dere I cut a swell,
Cleanin' gemman's boots, and ringing auction bell.
Sich a gittin, &c.

8. I called on yaller Sal, dat trades in sausages,
And dere I met big Joe, which made my dander ris.
Sich a gittin, &c.

9. Says I, "You see dat door? just mosey nigga Joe,
For I'm a Suskehannah boy, wot knows a ting or two."
Sich a gittin, &c.

10. And den I show my sciance,?prenez gardez vous,
Bung he eye, break he shin, split he nose in two!
Sich a gittin, &c.

11. Sal beller out?den she jump up between us,
But guess he no forget de day when Isam show his genus.
Sich a gittin, &c.

12. Den big Joe went out, he gwan to take de law,
But he no fool de possum?I cut my stick for Baltimore.
Sich a gittin, &c.

13. Two behind and two before,
Wait till you get to the watch-house door.
Sich a gittin, &c,

14. Sal is sassy, I know what she means,
She's been to school, and is up to beans.
Sich a gittin, &c.

15. If you want a song, get one dat's fat,
"The gallant Hussar," or "All round my Hat."
Sich a gittin, &c.

16. Turner and Fisher, dey go de hole figga,
Dey's de chaps what mortalize de nigga.
Sich a gittin, &c.

17. When you buy dis, and know it right well,
Fetch along de change, and get de "Singer's Jewel."
Sich a gittin, &c.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 10:38 AM

From Monarchs of Minstrelsy, from "Daddy" Rice to Date by Edward Le Roy Rice (New York: Kenny Publishing Company, 1911):

[page 7:]

"DADDY" RICE.

Thomas Dartmouth Rice was the original "Jim Crow," the story has been told in many ways, but the authentic version appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in 1867, and herewith is reproduced verbatim; it is from the pen of Robert P. Nevin.

* * *

As his engagement at Cincinnati had nearly expired, Rice deemed it expedient to postpone a public venture in the newly projected line until the opening of a fresh engagement should assure him opportunity to share fairly the benefit expected to grow out of the experiment. This engagement had already been entered into: and accordingly, shortly after, in the Autumn of 1830, he left Cincinnati for Pittsburg [sic].

* * *

[page 10:]

Jim Crow was repeated nightly throughout the season at the theatre; and when that was ended, Beale's Long Room, at the corner of Third and Market Streets, was engaged for rehearsals exclusively in the Ethiopian line. "Clar de Kitchen" soon appeared as a companion piece, followed speedily by "Lucy Long," "Sich a Gittin' up Stairs," "Long-Tail Blue," and so on, until quite a repertoire was at command from which to select for an evening's entertainment.

Rice remained in Pittsburg some two years. He then visited Philadelphia, Boston, and New York, whence he sailed for England, where he met with high favor in his novel character."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 10:41 AM

We even have a reference which states that it was sung by PT Barnum!

Monarchs of minstrelsy, from "Daddy" Rice to date (1911), p 23

<< PT Barnum, the great circus man, in the fall of 1836 while traveling with a small show of his own, had the misfortune to lose the services of Jim Sandford, one of his principal "cards," who was doing "nigger" business; but rather than disappoint his audience, Barnum "blacked up" and sang "Such a Gittin Up Stairs," and other songs that were popular that day.>>


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: pavane
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 10:43 AM

Snap!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: open mike
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 04:08 PM

is the reference to the fact that the bedroom is often up the stairs
and singing about what it takes to make it up stairs to do whatever
one might hope to do in the bed (room)?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 05:04 AM

Such a Getting out of Bed in Gaskel is indeed the same as the Bodleian Broadside.

In the same volume (dated 1843) are two similar compositions by Gaskel himself: Such a Getting into Bed (Tune; Getting Up Stairs) and Such a Stopping Out at Night (no tune given but same metre).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 25 Sep 10 - 10:46 AM

I have sheet music of 'Sich a Getting Up Stairs' published by Purday in London, probably before 1840. This 'only authentic edition' gives no author credit but it is 'as sung by' T D Rice, with the music 'arranged by' W West. The front has a striking uncoloured lithograph of Rice dancing and playing an invisible fiddle.

The sheet can be confidently dated to 1836 (when Rice first appeared in London) or perhapsthe a year or so later. I find it interesting that Rice did not claim authorship of the song on its first publication here.

Whatever might have been claimed and by whom, it is always difficult to establish authorship of earliest minstrel songs. There was an ungoverned trade in musical material at this level of popular entertainment and there were no enforceable copyright procedures. A few singers,including Rice, said that they had taken or adapted some of their songs from slave originals. I can't see much advantage in making such claims if they were untrue.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Such a Getting Upstairs
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Sep 10 - 01:06 PM

The Levy sheet music collection has 10 copies of different editions of "The Crow Quadrilles." Most say, "Arranged with Figures [i.e. dance instructions] for the Piano Forte by John H. Hewitt"; some editions credit others. Most are dated 1837; the rest have no date. These are tunes only, no lyrics. The list of tunes that make up the suite varies, but in toto they include:

BACK SIDE OF ALBANY
BONE SQUASH DIABOLO
CLARE DE KITCHEN
COAL BLACK ROSE
DINAH WALTZ
GUMBO CHAFF
JIM BROWN
JIM CROW
LONG TAIL BLUE
LONG TIME AGO
MY LONG TAIL BLUE
SAMBO'S DRESS TO HE BRED'REN
SICH A GITTIN UP STAIRS
SITTIN ON A RAIL
ZIP COON

A typical edition is this one. Beyond these sets of quadrilles, the Levy collection has no other sheet music for SICH A GITTIN UP STAIRS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SICH A GITTING UP STAIRS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Sep 10 - 01:42 PM

Brown University has this sheet music, undated:


SICH A GITTING UP STAIRS
Sung by Mr. Bob. Farrel,
The original Zip Coon.
BALTIMORE Published and Sold by GEO. WILLIG JR.

1. On a Suskehanna raft I come down de bay,
And I danc'd, and I frolick'd, and fiddled all de way

[CHORUS] Sich a gitting up stairs I never did see.
Sich a gitting up stairs I never did see.

2. Trike he toe an heel?cut de pigeon wing,
Scratch gravel, slap de foot?dat's just de ting.

3. I went to de play, and I see'd Jim Crow,
Oh! nigger Isam den he swell, for Jim was no go!

4. I look him in de face until I make him grin,
And den I trow a backa quid an' hit him on de chin.

5. Oh! I is dat boy dat know to preach a sarmont
Bout Temperance and seven up an all dat kind of varmint.

6. Nigger hold a meeting about de Clonization,
An dere I spoke a speech about Amalgamation!

7. To Washington I go?dare I cut a swell,
Cleaning gemmen's boots and ringin auction bell.

8. I call on yaller Sal dat trade in sassenges,
An dare I met big Joe, which make my dander ris.

9. Says I you see dat door? just mosey, niggir Joe,
For I'm a Suskyhanner boy what know a ting or two!

10. An den I show my science?prenez gardez vouz,
Bung he eye, break he shin, split de nose in two.

11. Sal holler out?den she jump between us,
But guess he no forget de day when Isam show his genus.

12. Den big Joe went out, he gwoin to take de law,
But he no fool de Possum?I cut stick for Baltimore.


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