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Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie

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In Mudcat MIDIs:
Jim Along Josey (from Sigmund Spaeth's "Weep Some More, My Lady")
Jim Along Josie (From "Tom Glazer's Treasury of Folk songs")
Jim Along Josie (From "Handy Play Party Book")


GUEST,Richie 15 Oct 02 - 01:34 AM
GUEST,Richie 15 Oct 02 - 01:38 AM
masato sakurai 15 Oct 02 - 01:47 AM
masato sakurai 15 Oct 02 - 01:57 AM
Joe Offer 15 Oct 02 - 02:04 AM
masato sakurai 15 Oct 02 - 02:18 AM
masato sakurai 15 Oct 02 - 02:33 AM
masato sakurai 15 Oct 02 - 02:42 AM
Sandy Paton 15 Oct 02 - 03:26 AM
John Minear 15 Oct 02 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Richie 15 Oct 02 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,Richie 15 Oct 02 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Richie 15 Oct 02 - 10:46 AM
masato sakurai 15 Oct 02 - 11:35 AM
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GUEST,Richie 15 Oct 02 - 02:11 PM
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Joe Offer 16 Oct 02 - 02:45 AM
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Subject: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:34 AM

Are the "Jim Along Josie/Josey" lyrics related to several songs including "Limber Jim/Buck-Eyed Jim," "Cotton-Eyed Joe," "Jaybird Died of the Whoopin' Cough?"

Here is a verse of the 1840 Minstrel lyrics:

Now way down south, not very far off,
A bullfrog died wid de hooping cough,
And de other side of Mississippi as you must know,
Dare's where I was christen'd Jim Along Joe.


One 1853 version: "Here come a little gal wid a josey on;" (using the word, josey, as a type of under garment). Any more info on this?

Other versions of Jim Along Josie?

Thanks,

Richie


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Subject: Lyr Add: JIM ALONG JOSIE
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:38 AM

Lyr Add: JIM ALONG JOSIE

I'se from Lucianna as you all know,
Dar whare Jim Along Josey's all de go,
Dem niggars all rise when de bell does ring,
And dis is de song dat dey do sing.

Chorus: Hey get along, get along Josey,
Hey get along, Jim along Joe.
Hey get along, get along Josey,
Hey get along, Jim along Joe.

Oh! When I get dat new coat I expects to hab soon,
Likewise new pair tight-kneed trousaloon,
Den I walk up and down Broadway wid my Suzanna,
And the white folks will take me to be Santa Anna.

Chorus

My sister Rose de oder night did dream,
Dat she was floating up and down de stream,
And when she woke she began to cry,
And de white cat picked out de black cat's eye.

Chorus

Now way down south, not very far off,
A bullfrog died wid de hooping cough,
And de other side of Mississippi as you must know,
Dare's where I was christen'd Jim Along Joe.

Chorus:

De niggers think dey're fine,
Because dey drink de genuine
De southern niggers dey lib on mush,
And laugh when dey say, "Oh hush!"

Chorus:

I'm de nigger dat don't mind my troubles,
Because dey are not'ing more dan bubbles,
De ambition dat dis nigger feels,
Is showing the science of his heels.

Chorus

De fust President we eber had was Gen'ral Washington,
And de one we got now is Martin Van Buren,
But altho' Gen'ral Washington's dead,
As long as de country stands his name shall float ahead.

Chorus

Notes: Minstrel Lyrics of Jim along Josey. New York: Firth and Hall, 1840.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:47 AM

From the Levy Collection:

Title: Jim Along Josey.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Arranged for the Piano Forte, By An Eminent Professor.
Publication: New York: Firth & Hall, No.1 Franklin Sq., 1840.
Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: Oh! I'se from Lucianna as you know, Dar whare Jim along Josey's all de go
First Line of Chorus: Hey get along, get along Josey Hey get along Jim along Joe!
Performer: As Sung by Mr. John N. Smith
Subject: African Americans
Subject: Caricatures
Subject: Clothing & dress
Subject: George Washington
Subject: Martin Van Buren
Subject: Ethnic stereotypes
Subject: Dialects
Call No.: Box: 020 Item: 005

Title: Jim Along Josey! The Very Celebrated & Popular American Melody.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: na
Publication: London S. Duncomble, 10 Middle Row, Holborn, n.d.: , .
Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: I hab cum from Lussianni so straight and slick, Dars where Jim along Joseys all de kick
First Line of Chorus: Hey get along, get along Josey, hey get along, Jim along Joe
As Sung at all the Lond & New York Theatres, Concerts, etc., by every Popular Comedian and Comic Singer with the Encore Verses, Now first Published Subject: African Americans
Subject: Caricatures
Subject: Dancing
Subject: Courtship & love
Subject: Actors
Subject: Ethnic stereotypes
Subject: Dialects

Title: Hey! Get Along Rosy!
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: na
Publication: New York: Firth & Hall, No.1 Franklin Square, n.d..
Form of Composition: strophic
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: The poets say that posies Can wreath love's magic spell But this beats all the roses
First Line of Chorus: Hey get along, get along Rosey; Hey get along get along do.
Performer: The Popular Air Sung by Mrs. Timm, in Beaty & the Beast, To the Air of "Jim Along Josey."
Engraver, Lithographer, Artist: Fleetwoods litho.
Subject: Portraits
Subject: Courtship & love

Title: Ethiopian Quadrilles. (1) Goin Ober De Mountin; (2) Jonny Boker; (3) De Old Jaw Bone; (4) Jumbo Jum; (5) Jim Along Josey.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Arranged By A. Nagerj Onyqjva.
Publication: New York: Firth & Hall, 239 Broadway, 1843.
Form of Composition: sectional
Instrumentation: piano
Performer: Danced and Sung by the Virginia Minstrels
Engraver, Lithographer, Artist: Sett.; Lith. of Endicott
Subject: African Americans
Subject: Caricatures
Subject: Dancing
Subject: Singing
Subject: Musicians
Subject: Flatboats
Subject: Farms
Subject: Bodies of water
Subject: Arguments
Subject: Crocodiles
Subject: Fish
Ethnic stereotypes Call No.: Box: 017 Item: 033
Subject: Clothing & dress
Call No.: Box: 017 Item: 103
Call No.: Box: 017 Item: 111

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:57 AM

From American Memory:

Jim along Josey -- Old rosin the bow -- The log hut.
CREATED/PUBLISHED
Baltimore: F. D. Benteen and Co., 1852.

Jim along Josey. [the same edition as the first of the listed above]
CREATED/PUBLISHED
New York: Firth and Hall, 1840.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JIM ALONG JOSIE (Play-party song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 02:04 AM

Tom Glazer's Treasury of Folk Songs has it as a play-party song:
Hey Jim Along, Jim Along Josie,
Hey Jim Along, Jim Along Jo,
Hey Jim Along, Jim Along Josie,
Hey Jim Along, Jim Along Jo.

Walk Jim Along, Jim Along Josie,
Walk Jim Along, Jim Along Jo,
Walk Jim Along, Jim Along Josie,
Walk Jim Along, Jim Along Jo.

Hop Jim Along, Jim Along Josie,
Hop Jim Along, Jim Along Jo,
Hop Jim Along, Jim Along Josie,
Hop Jim Along, Jim Along Jo.

(Or anything else you can think of,
like crawl, roll, swing, etc.)

Click to play


Somewhat similar text in the Handy Play-Party Book which cites its source as Katherine F. Rohrbough of Greene County, New York, about 1870.
    Hey, Jim along, Jim along Josie,
    Hey, Jim along, Jim along Joe!
    Any pretty girl that wants a beau, sing,
    Hey, Jim along, Jim along Joe!

Click to play


Here are the dance instructions:

FORMATION: The Virginia Reel formation:
four to six couples, boys in one line, facing partners in opposite line.

ACTION: Old Virginia Reel figures used. Preceding the individual action the lines all advance and go through the first 5 movements with partners opposite. All clap the first note of each 8 beats. All clap in time to the refrain.
Movements are summarized here:
  1. First girl and last boy forward and bow (4 measures) All movements repeated immediately by first boy and last girl---another 4 measures.
  2. Turn with the right hand around.
  3. Turn with both hands joined.
  4. Back to back, pass by the right (Dos-a-dos).
  5. Back to back, by the left shoulders.
  6. First couple chassez the center (slide step) to the foot of the set and back to place, with both hands joined.
  7. Right hand to your partner and reel. (Right to your partner, left to the side.)*
  8. Head couple comes back up the center and all follow down the outside.
  9. Join hands with partners, return to place and make an arch.
  10. Head couple goes under arch to the foot. Repeat from beginning with new (second) couple at the head.
Too damn complicated for me...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 02:18 AM

From the Bodleian Library collection:

Printer: Sanderson (Edinburgh)
Date: between 1830 and 1910
Imprint: Sanderson, Printer, Edinburgh
Illus. Ballads on sheet: 1
Note: Imprint defaced
Copies: Firth b.34(153)
Ballads: 1. Jim along Josey ("Oh, I'm from Lusiana, as you must all know ...")
Subject: Blackface minstrelsy
Note: Slip

Printer: Hodges, E.M.A. (London)
Date: between 1855 and 1861
Imprint: Notice - E. Hodges has Removed from 3...
Ballads on sheet: 1
Note: Slip. Part of a sheet of two ballads; see Harding B 11(2186)
Copies: Firth b.25(370)
Harding B 16(130b)
Ballads: 1. London exhibitions ("The names of two great warriers, [sic] whom here you may see ...")
Performer: Sharp, John W.
To the tune of: Jim along Josey
Subject: Entertainments; London (England)

Printer: Pitts, J. (London)
Date: between 1819 and 1844
Imprint: [Pi]tts, Printer, Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials
Illus. Ballads on sheet: 1
Note: Imprint cropped
Copies: Harding B 15(148a)
Ballads: 1. Jim along Josey ("Oh, I'se from Lusiana, as you must all know ...")
Subject: Blackface minstrelsy
Note: Slip. Part of a sheet of two ballads; see Harding B 11(1787)

Printer: Pitts, J. (London)
Date: between 1819 and 1844
Imprint: Pitts, Printer, Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials
Illus. Ballads on sheet: 2
Copies: Harding B 11(1787)
Ballads: 1. Irish Molly, O! ("As I walk'd out one morning all in the month of May ...")
Subject: Rejected suitor; Ireland
2. Jim along Josey ("Oh, I'se from Lusiana, as you must all know ...")
Subject: Blackface minstrelsy; Fashions; Washington, George, 1732-1799; Van Buren, Martin, 1782-1862

Printer: Birt, T. (London)
Date: between 1833 and 1841
Imprint: Birt, Printer, 39, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials
Illus. Ballads on sheet: 1
Copies: Harding B 14(100)
Ballads: 1. Jim along Josey's invitation to the royal christening ("I comes o'er de seas in storms and gales ...")
To the tune of: Jim along Josey
Subject: Blackface minstrelsy; 1842; Royal family; Edward, VII, King of Great Britain, 1841-1910

Printer: Birt (London)
Date: between 1833 and 1851
Imprint: Birt, Printer, 39, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials, London
Illus. Ballads on sheet: 2
Copies: Harding B 11(1872)
Ballads: 1. Jim along Josey ("Oh! I'se from Lusiana, as you must all know ...")
Subject: Blackface minstrelsy
2. Burlington bay ("The rain fell in torrents, the wind whistled shrill ...")
Subject: Shipwreck; Fishermen

Printer: Hodges, E.M.A. (London)
Date: between 1855 and 1861
Imprint: Hodges, (from Pitts) Wholesale Toy Warehouse, [31, Dudley] Street, Seven Dials. Notice, E. Hodges has Removed from 31 Dudley St., to 26, Grafton-street Soho
Ballads on sheet: 2
Copies: Harding B 11(2186)
Ballads: 1. London exhibitions ("The names of two great warriors, whom here you may see ...")
Performer: Sharp, John W.
To the tune of: Jim along Josey [and others]
Subject: Great Exhibition, 1851; Indians of North America; Amusements; Chinese; Americans; Waxworks; London (England)
2. Love in a hayband ("Did you ever hear of one Richard Short's history ...")
Subject: Rural society; Taverns

Printer: Paul, C. (London)
Date: [1841]
Imprint: Paul, Printer, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven [Dials]
Illus. Ballads on sheet: 1
Copies: Harding B 14(133)
Johnson Ballads 692
Johnson Ballads 693
Ballads: 1. The royal rival nurses ("You all recollect well a little time ago ...")
To the tune of: Jim along Josey
Subject: Drinking - women; Servants; Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901

Sheet Title: Elwina
Printer: Pitts, J. (London)
Date: between 1819 and 1844
Imprint: Pitts, Printer, Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials
Illus. Ballads on sheet: 8
Copies: Johnson Ballads fol. 114
Ballads: 1. Irish Molly, O! ("As I walk'd out one morning all in the month of May ...")
2. Jim along Josey ("Oh I'se from Lusiana, as you must all know ...")
Subject: Blackface minstrelsy
3. The robbers of the glen ("Stand! stranger! stand! your jewels give ...")
4. How sweet it is to love ("Oh, how sweet it is to love ...")
5. Hail, to thee, Tyrol! ("Hail to thee, Tyrol! dear native Tyrol! ...")
Subject: Tyrol, the
6. My dear native isle ("Dear native isle, the summer sun is glowing ...")
7. My own dear home ("Wherever I wander, wherever I stray ...")
Subject: Marriage
8. The fisher boat ("No reefer struts upon the deck ...")
Author: Green, T.W.
Subject: Fishermen

Printer: King, T. (Birmingham)
Date: c.1845
Imprint: Printed by T. King, Birmingham, and sold by Mr. Green, at his Music Stall, near the Turnpike, City Road, London
Ballads on sheet: 1
Note: Cropped top edge; lacks title
Copies: Johnson Ballads 1431
Ballads: 1. [London exhibitions] ("The names of two great warriors, whom here you may seee [sic] ...")
To the tune of: Jim along Josey
Subject: Entertainments; Indians of North America; Madame Tussaud's


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Subject: Lyr Add: JIM ALONG JOSEY (Edward Harper)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 02:33 AM

From Public Domain Music (this site has closed):

"JIM ALONG JOSEY" (1840)
Words [and music?] by Edward Harper

New York: Firth and Hall
[Source: pages 118-119 of
"Minstrel Songs, Old and New" (1883)]

1.
I'se from Lucianna as you all know,
Dar whar Jim along Josey's all de go,
Dem niggars all rise when de bell does ring,
And dis is de song dat dey sing.

[CHORUS]
Hey get along, get along Josey,
Hey get along, Jim along Joe!

2.
Oh! likewise a new pair tight-knee'd trousaloons,
Den I walks up and down broadway wid my Suzanna,
And de white folks will take me to be Santa Anna.

(CHORUS)

3.
My sister Rose de oder night did dream,
Dat she was floating up and down de stream,
And when she woke she began to cry,
And de white cat picked out de black cat's eye.

(CHORUS)

4.
Now way down South not very far off,
A Bullfrog died wid de hooping cough,
And de oder side of Mississippi as you must know,
Dar's where I was christen'd Jim along Joe.

(CHORUS)

5.
The New York niggers tink dey're fine,
Because dey drink de genuine,
De Southern niggers dey lib on mush,
And when dey laugh dey say Oh Hush.

(CHORUS)

6.
I'm de nigger that don't mind my troubles,
Because dey are nothing more dan bubbles,
De ambition that dis nigger feels
Is showing de science of his heels.

(CHORUS)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 02:42 AM

From Traditional Ballad Index:

Jim Along Josie
DESCRIPTION: Originally a blackface minstrel piece, now often reduced to odd lyrics held together by the refrain, "Hey jim-along, jim-along Josie; Hey jim-along, jim along Jo." Sample verse: "Any pretty girl that wants a beau, Just fall in the arms of Jim Along Joe"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1840 (sheet music)
KEYWORDS: nonsense lyric playparty
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,So)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Randolph 575, "Jim Along Josie" (2 texts)
Warner 180, "Get Along Josie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 103-104, "Jim Along Josey" (1 text, 1 tune)
RECORDINGS:
Lawrence Older, "Jim Along Josie" (on LOlder01)
Pete Seeger, "Jim Along Josie" (on PeteSeeger3, PeteSeegerCD03)
Notes: Spaeth suggests that this is a minstrel tune, and he's probably right. He suggests that it was written by Edward Harper, who presented it in his 1838 play "The Free Nigger of New York."
But it has entered oral tradition -- though perhaps in a filed-down form; Spaeth's text has a four-line verse while the traditional forms often use two-line stanzas. The choruses are the same. - RBW
File: R575


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 03:26 AM

The ballad index numeric reference to Lawrence Older's Folk-Legacy recording is incorrect. I recorded Lawrence, Adirondack logger, ballad singer and fiddler, back in 1964 and released the recording, with excellent notes written by Pete McElligott, as Folk-Legacy FSA-15 in that year. The recording is currently available as a "custom cassette" (C-15 - with the original booklet) and will soon be available as one of our new "custom CDs" (CD-15).

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: John Minear
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 07:40 AM

Richie, I'm interested in your suggestion of a possible connection between "Jim Along Josie" and the "Limber Jim/Buckeye Jim" tradition. You can find a discussion of "Limber Jim/Buckeye Jim" here. There is obviously a connection between the lyrics about

Now way down south, not very far off,
A bullfrog died wid de hooping cough,

from "Jim Along, Josie" and,

Way down yonder in a wooden trough,
An old lady died with the whooping cough.

which is from "Limber Jim".

But I am more intrigued by the phrase "Jim along, Josie". It reminds me of "go limber, Jim, you can't go". We were never able to really pin down what "go limber, Jim" meant. I wonder what "Jim along" means. And is there any significance to the use of "Jim"? Is it more than a name? It would seem so in the "Jim along, Josie" context.

Masato, I appreciate your thoroughness in laying out the minstrel background of this piece. I've never come across anything similar for "Limber Jim/Buckeye Jim" and would imagine that it is later than the minstrel tradition but draws floating verses/phrases from that tradition. - T.O.M.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 07:51 AM

JIM ALONG JOSIE:
Now way down south, not very far off,
A bullfrog died wid de hooping cough,
And de other side of Mississippi as you must know,
Dare's where I was christen'd Jim Along Joe.

Hey get along, get along Josey,
Hey get along, Jim along Joe!

BUCK-EYED JIM:
Way up yonder above the moon,
A jay-bird lived in a silver spoon.
Way down yonder in a sycamore trough
An old lady died with the whoopin'-cough.

Go limber, Jim; you can't go.
Go weave and spin, you can't go, Buckeye Jim.

JAYBIRD DIED OF THE WHOOPIN' COUGH also BILE DEM CABBAGE:

Jaybird died of the whoopin' cough,
Sparrow died of the colic.
'Long come a frog with a fiddle on his back
Inquirin' his way to the frolic.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 08:06 AM

Turtle Old Man-

Here's more info. It's not clear if this was in the African- American tradition before 1838, which is the date I have for "Jim Along Josie," or the song became part of the tradition after becoming popular.

From Slave Dance Songs (on-line):
"Jim-Along-Josey" appears have been a popular dance song among enslaved African American in the late 19th century. Adults performed this partner dance almost the same way as square dancing is performed. A man who didn't dance called out the moves that the people had to do. A fiddle (violin) and other instruments would play the music for the dancing. The dancing would go on for a long time because the caller would remember as many verses as he could and also would make up (improvise) new verses to chant. "Jim" is a still common nickname for the male name "James". "Josey" was a common man's or woman's nickname (from "Joseph" or "Josephine"). "Josey" was also the name of an article of under clothing. "Josey" was also used as a name of this dance step. "The phrase "all the go" is like the current slang phrase "all that". They are both used to refer to something that is considered the best, or the most favorite, or something that is the done in the latest, most popular style. The sentence "the bullfrog died with the whooping cough" appears in a number of African American slavery and immediate post-slavery folk songs. The "whooping cough" is probably a reference to a disease called tuberculosis. "Jim Along Josie" is found in quite a few American folk songs books. Unfortunately, these books rarely mention the song's African American origin.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 10:46 AM

Here's some info about Jim Along Josie and Cotton Eyed Joe:

A HORSE NAMED ROVER:
The 'B' part is a common strain which can be found in collections from European countries (Germany), and in the chorus of the American minstrel ditty "Jim Along Josey" (1840). A version of the tune is found in Ford (1940, pg. 60) as "Cotton Eyed Joe." (From Ceolas)

COTTON EYED JOE:
Verse: Way back yonder a long time ago
Daddy knew a man called Cotton-eyed Joe
Blew into town on a travelin' show
Nobody danced like the Cotton-eyed Joe.


CHORUS: Cotton-eyed Joe, Cotton-eyed Joe
Where did you come from? Where did you go?
Where did you come from? Where did you go?
Where did you come from Cotton-eyed Joe?

JIM ALONG JOSIE:
Now way down south, not very far off,
A bullfrog died wid de hooping cough,
And de other side of Mississippi as you must know,
Dare's where I was christen'd Jim Along Joe.

Hey get along, get along Josey,
Hey get along, Jim along Joe!
Hey get along, get along Josey,
Hey get along, Jim along Joe!

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 11:35 AM

From "The Journal of an African Cruiser," by An Officer of the U.S. Navy, in The United States Democratic review, Volume 16, Issue 83 (J.& H.G. Langley, etc., May 1845, p. 483) [N.B. the date]:

"August 2, 1843.--Liberia.--We were visited by Governor Roberts, Dr. Day, and General Lewis, the latter being Colonel Secretary, and military chief of the Settlement. They looked well, and welcomed me back to Liberia with the cordiality of old friendship. The Governor was received by the Commodore, Captain and officers, and saluted with eleven guns. He and his suite dined in the cabin, and some of the officers of the Porpoise in the ward-room. In the evening, we brought out all our forces for the amusement of our distinguished guests. First, the negro band sang 'Old Dan Tucker,' 'Jim along Josey,' and other ditties of the same class, accompanied by violin and tambourine. Then Othello played monkey, and gave a series of recitations. [...]" (p. 483)

A parody of "Jim Along Josey," from The Living age ... (Volume 9, Issue 110) (New York etc.: The Living age co. inc. etc., June 20, 1846, p. 627).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 12:01 PM

From S. Foster Damon, "Notes to 'Jim Along Josey' [Firth & Hall edition (1840)]", in Series of Old American Songs (Brown University Library, 1936, No. 24):

"Jim Along Josey" was another sweeping success in the burnt-cork tradition. It was written by Edward Harper, who sang it in his drama, The Free Nigger of New York, about 1838 (E.L. Rice: Monarchs of Minstrelsy, p 24). In February 1839, John Washington Smith was singing it at the Bowery Amphitheater (Odell: Annals IV, 324). Thereafter, everybody sang it. It was developed into a number of extravaganzas and afterpieces: Jim Along Josey (Chatham Theater, 1840); Jim Along Josey, or the Ticket Taker (Bowery, 1840); The Black Ghost, or the Nigger Turned Physician (1841); and The Masquerade (1843).
The stricter sects, which prohibited dancing, whether square or round, admitted "Jim Along Josey" as a game and not a dance, although to uncritical eyes the players seemed to be doing something easily mistaken for a Virginia reel. For the game, see the Journal of American Folk Lore (XXIV, 295 ff): "Play Parties and Games of the Middle West".


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Subject: Lyr Add: JIM ALONG JOSIE
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 02:11 PM

JIM ALONG JOSIE
From: Slavery Dance Song's (On-line)

Caller: Oh, I'm from Louisiana, as you all know
       That's where Jim-Along-Josey's all the go.
       The *Black folk's rise when the bell do ring
       And this is the song that they do sing:

Group:        Hey get along Jim-Along Josey
       Hey get along Jim Along Jo!

Caller:        Away down south, a long ways off,                        
       The bullfrog died with the whooping cough.
       And on the other side of Mississippi, as you know                
Was where I first called Jim Along Jo.        

Group:        Hey get along Jim-Along Josey!
       Hey get along Jim Along Jo!

Notes: *I believe this was edited here for racial content. Chorus is similar (Hey! Black-eyed Susie) also to "Black-Eyed Susie". The phrase "all the go" is like the current slang phrase "all that". They are both used to refer to something that is considered the best, or the most favorite, or something that is the done in the latest, most popular style. (see notes in my above post).

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 02:16 PM

Collections of secular Negro folk rhymes (White, Talley, Odum, etc.) are full of material the Negroes obtained from blackface minstrels. Songs such as Jim Along Josie, Kemo Kimo and Jim Crow quickly entered Negro folk music from the minstrel source. The shipboard vignette provided by Masato is an important illustration of this fact.

Did some of the rhymes, which are used over and over in several different songs (Jaybird, animals with (w)hooping cough, way up yonder, etc.) originate with blacks? Possible, but almost impossible to document because they were not collected until late. When collectors became active, after the Civil War, attention focused on the spiritual songs. The large body of secular songs and dances were ignored until after 1900. By then, it was too late to be certain of origins.
The many sources checked by Dena Epstein for her work on pre-Civil War Negro music ("Sinful Tunes and Spirituals") turned up very little. Interviews for the Slave Narrative may contain some information on the party songs, but too few of the interviewers were interested in music. There are tantalizing remarks in the few I looked at. The former slave will say something like "We used to sing a song about..." but the interviewer will push on to another topic. One of the few was found by Katlaughing (Go tell Aunt Rhoda variant).

One interesting verse in Epstein:

Hurra for good ole Massa,
He give me de pass to go to the city.
Hurra for good ole Missus,
She bile de pot and gie me de licker.
Hurra, I'm goin' to de city.

If there was a minstrel troupe in town, slaves on a pass would pick up the songs and make them their own. As pre-Civil War references show, the slaves were sometimes made to sing and entertain the master and his guests. Unfortunately, there are very few references to song content.
Slaves from different plantations would meet briefly and pass on all sorts of information while carrying out tasks for the master (freighting supplies, taking produce and materials to the mills, etc.). Songs and jokes would certainly be included in the gossip.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 12:17 AM

Thanks to all who have contributed.

As usual Masato, you have contributed some great information in your posts here. I guess I'll have to put the Japanese version of "Home Sweet Home" on my next CD.

Here are some lyrics that have appeared in different places:

Who's been here since I've been gone?
Pretty little gal wid a josey on.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 12:42 AM

TWO MORE EXAMPLES:

1. Yaller Gal with a Josey on, The
Baltimore: F. D. Benteen, 1849. As sung by Nightingale Ethiopian Serenaders

I see'd a dashing yaller gal,
One day upon the levee,
Her form was round her step was light
But wa'nt her bustle heavy!

She cast a tender glance on me,
And my heart was gone Oh!
She was the taring yaller gal,
That had a josey on,

Chorus: Oh yes, we all remember her
She used to hoe the corn,
She's the dashing yaller gal
That had a Josey on.

2. From Bert Mayfield was born in Garrard County, May 29, 1852, two miles south of Bryantsville on Smith Stones place.

One song we would always sing was:

Who ting-a-long? Who ting-a-long?
Who's been here since I've been gone?
A pretty girl with a josey on.

-Richie


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Subject: ADD Version: JIM ALONG JOSEY (from Sigmund Spaeth)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:45 AM

Here's Sigmund Spaeth's version of the song. It's quite similar to some of those posted above.
-Joe Offer-


JIM ALONG JOSEY

Oh, I'se from Lousiana, As you all know,
Dar whar Jim along Josey's all de go.
Dem niggahs all rise when de bell does ring,
And dis is de song dat dey do sing

CHORUS
Hey, get along, get along Josey,
Hey, get along, Jim along Joe!
Hey, get along, get along Josey,
Hey, get along, Jim along Joe!

Oh, when I gets dat new coat which I 'spects soon,
Likewise a new pair tight-kneed trousaloon,
Den I walks up and down Broadway wid my Susianna,
And de folks will t'ink I am Santa Anna.
[CHORUS]

My sister Rose de oder night did dream,
Dat she was floating up and down the stream,
And when she woke she 'gan to cry,
And de white cat picked out de blackcat's eye.
[CHORUS]

Now way down south, not very far off,
A bullfrom died wid de whooping cough;
And t'oder side of Mississippi, and you must know,
Dere's where I was christened Jim along Joe!
[CHORUS]

From "Weep Some More, My Lady," by Sigmund Spaeth (1927)

Click to play


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Subject: ADD Version: GIT ALONG, JOSIE (from Warner coll.)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:59 AM

Here's one more version, from Traditional American Folk Songs from the Anne and Frank Warner Collection.
-Joe Offer-


GIT ALONG, JOSIE

Oh, a jaybird a settin' on a lonesome limb,
He winks at me and I winks at him.
I ups with a rock and I hits him on the shin,
Says he, "Young man, don't you do that agin."

[CHORUS]
Hey, get along, Can't you git along, Josie?
Hey, get along, Can't you git along, Joe?
Hey, get along, Can't you git along, Josie?
Hey, get along, Can't you git along, Joe?

Oh, de woodchucker laughed at de banjo song,
And he axed me to play old Hey Git Along.
And to please dese varmits style up a gum [in high style]
I plays up Jinny, git yo' hoe-cake done!
[CHORUS]

singer: Tom P. Smith, 1949


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 07:46 AM

Here are some of my notes from Warner's web-site on tom P. Smith (Joe's last post):

HEY, GET ALONG JOSIE. (Git Along Josie) Tom Smith, b. Guyandotte, W. VA. NYC, 1952. Damon calls the song "Jim Along Josie", and says it was written by New York minstrel-performer Edward Harper in 1838. Frank Warner remembered the song from his childhood in Tennessee and North Carolina.

Tom Smith was a dignified gentleman and a neighbor in Greenwich Village. Mr. Smith had grown up in the 1890's in Huntington, West Virginia, which had been a stop on the road for those headed west in the nineteenth century. His father had learned songs from a mountain woman hired to sew for the family and his mother's family had brought many English songs to Virginia. Mr. Smith learned songs from African-Americans in town and minstrel era songs too. He was also a polished storyteller and a grand talker.

Peggy And Mike Seeger have a version on American Folk Songs for Children, Rounder. Anyone have those lyrics?

-Richie


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Subject: Lyr Add: JIM ALONG JOSIE (Oklahoma versin)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 08:53 AM

Peggy and Mike's version is from Ruth Crawford Seeger's American Folk Songs for Children (Doubleday, 1948, pp. 72-75; with music):

JIM ALONG JOSIE
(OKLAHOMA)

1. Hey jim along, jim along Josie,
Hey jim along, jim along Jo.
Hey jim along, jim along Josie,
Hey jim along, jim along Jo.

2. Walk jim along, jim along Josie,
Walk jim along, jim along Jo. (Repeat)

3. Hop jim along, jim along Josie,
Hop jim along, jim along Jo.

IMPROVISATION and RHYTHMIC PLAY: Josie may have thoughts or motions other than those in the traditional yext given above.

4. Run, jim along, jim along Josie, etc.
5. Jump, jim along, jim along Josie, etc.
6. Tiptoe along, jim along Josie, etc.
7. Crawl along, jim along, jim along Josie, etc.
8. Swing along, sing along, jim along Josie, etc.
9. Roll, jim along, jim along Josie, etc.

An invitation is sometimes appreciated:

Let's go walking, jim along Josie, etc.
Let's go running, jim along Josie, etc.
Let's sit down now, jim along Josie, etc.

For rhythmic play the music should be repeated many times without stopping. The words will probably be sung only once, or not at all.

ACCOMPANIMENT: Speed and type of accompaniment may be adapted to the various rhythmic activities. The sample variations which follow are suggestions only. Do not use them if you can make your own. In all of them the chordal basis is the same.
The simple dance-song Jim Along Josie is said to be based on an old minstrel song. It is widely known, especially as a game or play-party song. In some versions Josie appears to be the dance itself:

Hold my mule while I dance Josie.

In a very old one, still sung, "Josie" is something to wear:

Who's been here since I been gone?
Pretty little girl with a josey on.

"Hey jim along" is also sung "Hey get along," "Hi come along," "Hey jam along," "Come-a-get along," "Come-a-high, jim along."

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 09:18 AM

Thanks Masato,

Masato has also alerted us that the Public Domain website is now up.
http://www.pdmusic.org/minstrel.html> Click here

There is a keyboard midi of "Jim along Josie" on the site.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 09:26 AM

Richie, the correct link is THIS (MINSTREL SONGS, OLD AND NEW).
~Masato


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Subject: Lyr Add: JIM-ALONG JOSIE (from Vance Randolph)
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:25 PM

A few late-collected verses from Vance Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 3 (revision) pp. 385-386.

Had an old horse, his name was Ball,
Hitched him up but he wouldn't pull at all.

Cho.
Hey jim-along, jim-along Josie,
Hey, jim-along, jim-along Jo.

Swung my hick'ry an' Ball he sprung
We bid fare-thee-well to the wagon tongue.

Fire in the mountain, fun, boys, fun,
Cat's in the cream jug, run, gals, run.

Hogs in the 'tater patch, that I know,
Cows in the cornfield told me so.

First to the white house, then to the jail,
Tore my pants on a rusty nail.

Old dog Towser standin' on the gate,
Smelled meat a-fryin' an' he said he couldn't wait.

1926, Mrs Elizabeth Typer, Arkansas.

Ducks in the mill pond, geese in the clover,
Tell them pretty gals I'm a-comin' over.
How you gittin' 'long, gittin' 'long, Josie?
How you gittin' 'long, gittin' 'long, Jo?

1928, Clyde Sharp, MO


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 11:15 PM

Turtle Old Man-

Here are some thoughts about the meaning of the title, "Jim Along Josey."

In the title "Jim Along Josey" the word- Josey, is used as a name (could be a man's or woman's name) The word "Josey" is an African-American dance step and also a minstrel slang for a type of undergarment. The word, Jim, is not really used for a name. "Get Along Josey" could just as easily be substituted for "Jim Along Josey."

There is one version posted entitled, "Git Along Josie"

Just don't ask me what "King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O" means!

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 12:29 AM

In the older versions, "Sing Song" is used. I believe King Kong is a later change to make it sound more African. Similarly, "won't you try me, oh" seems earlier. "Kitchie" seems to be a later, more nonsensical rendering.
Is Josey an undergarment? I believe that the word comes from joseph, a riding cloak for a woman, and the sort of get-up that well might appear in a minstrel show. Josephs were worn as late as the 1860s (reference to one by George Elliot).


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 07:24 AM

Guest-

I got this info from Slave Dance Songs:

"Jim" is a still common nickname for the male name "James". "Josey" was a common man's or woman's nickname (from "Joseph" or "Josephine"). "Josey" was also the name of an article of under clothing. "Josey" was also used as a name of this dance step.

Does he know something we don't know?

More info please,

Thanks,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: John Minear
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 08:45 AM

Richie, just as "jim along, josie" sounds like dance language, I've suspected that "go limber, jim, you can't go; go weave and spin, you can't go, Buckeye Jim" is also dance language. It may have originated somewhere else, but it feels like dance instructions or encouragement or accompaniment to me.

Another slang use of "jim" is "to jimmy something" meaning to pry it open. I was looking through ancient volumes of the Journal of American Folklore - 1880's - the other day, and each volume had a one page collection of slang words current at the time. Pretty interesting. I was looking for "go limber" and "come to tow". I'll add "jim along". No luck yet, but I didn't reach the 20th century either. Back in those days there was a lot of focus on Native American stuff and a big interest in the "messiah cults", primarily the Ghost Dance religion that was spreading across the Great Plains. It was interesting that there was a review of Child's latest volume of ballads, but nothing on ballads in this country. There was one very derogatory article on music in the mountains of North Carolina, with the lyrics to "Barbara Allen" but no recognition that this was one of "Child's ballads"! This is all "by the way", not intended to open up drifts. T.O.M.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 05:55 PM

Would still like to know what the authority is for josey being an undergarment. www.cocojams.com has that statement under Jim-along-josie, but cite no basis for that statement.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 10:47 PM

Guest-


Perhaps we could try and E-mail the site.

Personally, I really like your info about Josey being derived from a "joseph, a riding cloak for a woman, and the sort of get-up that well might appear in a minstrel show."

That was excellent and it sure makes more sense to me.

Who is George Elliot? Do you have any other info about this?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 11:34 PM

George Elliot was an English novelist. A woman, (Mary Ann Evans, born 1819) she had to publish under a man's name because a Victorian woman couldn't do things like that. She used dialect in some of her stories, most about ordinary people, one of the few to do so.
I have emailed Cocojams to see where they got their information about "josey." Have to check it out because they could be right, or both of us right. Words have a habit of being used in more than one way.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: IanC
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 04:40 AM

GUEST

George Eliot (Marian Evans) did not write under a man's pseudonym "because a Victorian woman couldn't do things like that". In fact, woman novelists were particularly popular in Victorian England - the shining(?) examples being the Bronte sisters.

Unfortunately, most woman novelists in Victorian England were writing books which Evans felt were not sufficiently serious literature, as she indicates in her own essay Silly Novels by Lady Novelists. She wrote under a male pseudonym to get away from this stereotype and did this quite openly (there was never any secret that she was a woman).

She was, in fact, quite radical - having as personal friends many of the women who were later to become suffragettes. She also did one other thing which Victorian women certainly did not do, which was to live openly for 24 years as the mistress of a married man.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 03:28 PM

Azizi Powell of Cocojams kindly answered with these comments:
"Thomas Talley's Negro Folk Songs" is where "Jim Along Josey" is found. Here, "Josie" is a girl's name (nickname for Josephine?). This predates blackface minstrels. I also recall songs that mentioned a girl with a "josey" on or taking off her josey. Your definition is probably the correct one. Mine was a guess. I appreciate the information and I'll write you back with the sources for these songs and will do other research because I saw josey as clothing mentioned in some book about word origins.
I'll check it out, and thanks for contacting. It was my hope that this kind of exchange would occur as a result of the site. Sorry that I haven't had the funding to continue putting new examples on. I don't know HTML and haven't been able to recruit someone to assist me with this project."
I will email back and point out the many threads here at Mudcat, and a little on how to access them. The email address she(?) provided is azizip17@hotmail.com.
I couldn't find "Jim Along Josey" in Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes (1990 ed.). There may be another book called Negro Folk Songs.

Ian, obviously I don't know much about female British authors (except for 20th century crime writers). I pulled my remarks off Google. She came up because she made the latest reference to a joseph that I could find. I was interested in how long that name was used for that kind of cloak and found her quote in the OED.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 02:10 PM

Turtle Old Man, one of the minstrel versions I found referred to Jim along joe as the new dance replacing Jump Jim Crow. You are right about it being dance language.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:58 PM

This verse came a few years after the George Washington verse given by Richie at the start of this thread, (thanks to Azizi Powell (who found it in Scarborough)
Oh, when I gets dat new coat dat I hopes to have soon,
I'll walk my gal by the light ob de moon;
As I walks up and down de road wid my Susanna,
De white folks gwine take me to be Santa Anna.

Martin Van Buren was inaugurated in 1837; the Mexican War and Santa Anna was 1846.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 11:44 PM

It's easy to see the folk process at work here. Compare the above post to the third verse of my original post:

Oh! When I get dat new coat I expects to hab soon,
Likewise new pair tight-kneed trousaloon,
Den I walk up and down Broadway wid my Suzanna,
And the white folks will take me to be Santa Anna.

Thanks to all who have contributed.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: Joybell
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:40 AM

My American husband learned a version from a friend in New York State. It has the lines:

Hitch the wagon to the cart
Go to town to get a load of bart
Some was black and some was blacker
Some was the colour of chawed tobacca

He has always wondered what BART is. I might add that he is a linguist so he has searched around a bit. Any ideas? It can't be bark. You wouldn't go to town for that. And it's big. It comes in loads that you need a cart for. Driving us crazy.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 25 Jul 04 - 12:35 AM

I'm writing this to correct information I made some two years ago on my website cocojams.com that I see have found there way here and Lord knows where else. Let me first apologize and offer the following information as a way of making up for any confusion I caused.

Firstly, I wrote that Jim Along Josey is included in Thomas Talley's 1922 Negro Folk Rhymes. I was mistaken. The versions I was speaking of are found in Dorothy Scarborough's 1925 book on the Trail Of Negro Folk Songs. That Folklore Associates' edition of Scarborough's book, published in 1963 has three different versions of Jim Along Josie {pps 104-106), one called Jim Along, Josey, one called Hold My Mule, and one that Scarborough notes is "a variant of the Josey song".

I also said that a josey was a woman's undergarment. I was wrong. As someone wrote in this thread or another, "Josey" is a woman's coat. See John Russell Bartlett, The Dictionary of Americanisms: New York Crescent Books, originally published 1849. "Joseph, a very old riding coat for women, scarcely now to be seen or heard of-Forby's Vocabulary. A garment made of Scotch plaid, for an outside coat or habit, was wornin New England about the year 1830, called a Joseph by some a Josey.
    Olivia was drawn as an Amazon, sitting upon a bank of
    flowers, dressed in a green Joseph.-Godsmith, Vicar of Wakefield .

I still believe that is "Josey" was {sometimes}used as dance name. See the lines "Hold my mule while I dance Josey
       Hold my mule while I dance Josey
       Hold my mule while I dance Josey
       Oh, Miss Susan Brown."

The other two verses given are: "Wouldn't give a nickel if I couldn't dance Josey". and "Had a glass of buttermilk and I danced Josey".

However it may be possible that an earlier name for the "Josey" dance was "Jim Along, Josey." In that case "Jim Along" probably was the equivalent of the phrase "Get a-long", which Scarborough uses in the chorus of this song "Hey, get a-long, get a-long, Josey
                     Hey, get a-long, Jim a-long, Jo!
                     Hey, get a-long, get a-long Josey,
                     Hey, get a-long, Jim a-long Jo!
   
I find it interesting that Scarborough consistently uses a comma in the title and "Jim Along" lines. This may reinforce the notion that "Jim Along" means the same thing as "Get along". But sometimes a word may have multiple meanings in the same song perhaps because the lines are mixed and matched by different people, and often the song changes over time and space. So the 3rd verse of Scarborough's first version of "Jim Along, Josey" reads "Away down south, a long ways off
                     A bullfrog died wid de whooping-cough
                     And t'other side of Mississippi, as you know
                     Was whar I was called fust Jim A-long Jo.

In that context, anyway, a person {one can assume a man} was given the nickname Jim Along,Jo. Probably then his name was Joe and he got along?? Who?? Where? How? Oh well,I'm not going to continue this speculation...

But, since I don't think that I have seen the variant version that Scarborough shared in your database {though that doesn't mean it's not there}, I'll include it in this message.

"Here is a variant of the Josey song, that combines stanzaas from other well-known favorites, This was sent to me by Virginia Fitzgerald, from Virginia.

As I was going up a new-cut road,
I met a Tarrepin an' a Toad.
Every time the Toad would jump,
The Tarrepin dodge behind a stump.
O! rall, rall Miss Dinah gal,
O! do come along, my darling!
O! rall, rall, Miss Dinah gal,
O! do come along, my darling!

My ole Missis promise me
When she died she'd set me free'
Now ole Missis dead an' gone,
She lef' olde Sambo hillin' up corn.
Hey, Jim a-long, Jam a-long a-Josie,
Hey, Jim a-long, Jam a-long, Joe!
Hey, Jim a-long, Jam a-long, from Baltimo'!

You go round an' I go through
............................
You get there befo' i do,
Tell 'em all I'm comin' too.
Hey, Jim a-long, Jam a-long, Josie
Hey, Jim a-long, Jam a-long, Joe!
Hey, Jim a-long, Jam a-long, from Baltimo'

--
It should be noted that "You get there before I do, tell my friends I'm coming to" is a floating verse found in a number of African American spirituals.

Also, let me take this opportunity to thank you for the interesting information and often insightful comments found on this website!

Ms. Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Guest - Kevin
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 11:30 PM

During the Mexican War, a battalion of 500 Mormon men were enlisted in Iowa to march to northern Mexico (California) as an occupying force. They never had to fight during their year of enlistment (1846-47) and 2,000 mile march.
Sgt. Dan Tyler of the Mormon Battalion wrote in his journal that the sick call music played was "Jim along Joe" which, after reading the contents of the thread, I presume was actually "Jim Along Josie."
Thanks to all who've posted. I'll probably write a short article for the US Mormon Battalion website located at URL:
MormonBattalion.com


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: Joybell
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 07:56 AM

Sam Cowell - the great Sam Cowell said he wrote Jim Along Josie. He claimed to have written lots of songs that he didn't though. He did, however grow up singing with Black Americans. He was born in 1820 and left America in 1840. Nothing conclusive there but a piece of the puzzle.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 11:53 AM

The distinguished actor and vocalist Madame Lucia Vestris sang a parody of 'Jim Along Josey' in an extravaganza based on 'Beauty and the Beast' in Covent Garden in the late 1840s. The song (by Planché) was published as 'The Celebrated Rose Song: Oh get along - get along do!' The lithographed portrait figure on the sheet music front shows Vestris in character in oriental dress with what appears to be a slightly dusky complexion. It would be interesting to know whether she blacked up (even if ever so slightly) for the part.

A collection of minstrel songs published by Turner & Fisher (NY and Philadelphia) about 1840, entitled 'Jim Along Josey Roarer, an entire new collection of negro songs' (running title 'Nigga Songs') testifies to the popularity of JAJ at that time. The title page decoration is of a dancing, barefoot figure in what may be sailor attire. It has all the characteristics of contemporary caricatures of African Americans.

Publishers and performers of early minstrel songs seemed to be happy to blur the origins of their material until such time as primacy and profit became serious issues. Harper, like Cowell claimed JAJ, and no doubt they and other minstrels did invent songs in the genre. I can't myself believe that that genre itself sprang into existence in the 1830s without drawing heavily from African American sources and pre-existing songs. But...


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Subject: Lyr Add: JIM ALONG JOSEY (British version)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 06:52 AM

Here's something I've never noticed before: A British version of a "coon" song! I think I can detect Cockney dialect ("larfabel" and "larfin") as well as British slang ("rolly bolley"), standard terms ("wescot", "one and tenpence"), and topical references ("Hanober Square Concert") – but there are other things I don't understand at all. (Why would anyone drink wine out of blacking bottles?)

The print was very difficult to decipher from the screen images, so I would appreciate any corrections.

From The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music:

JIM ALONG JOSEY!
The Very Celebrated & Popular
American Melody,
as Sung at all the
London & New York Theatres, Concerts &c.
by every
Popular Comedian and Comic Singer,
with the
Encore Verses,
Now first Published
Arranged for the
Piano Forte.
London, Published by S. Duncombe, 10 Middle Row, Holborn
[no date]

1. I hab cum from Lussianni so straight and slick,
Dars where Jim along Joseys all de kick;
An tink it is but right dat you should know,
De cut an de spin ob Jim along Joe;

CHORUS: Hey get along, get along Josey,
Hey get along, Jim along Joe.
Hey get along, get along Josey,
Hey get along, Jim along Joe.

2. Dey try it on at de chalky whites ball
But de indimpendent nigger beat dem all
He can so cum de toe point heel brush fling
An like a riglar roarin hi win sing

3. O berry much I hope my trousaloon you'll scuse
My dish a bill coat an de crab shell shoes
But I'm guoin to hab a newly coat all green
Wid de longes tail dat ever yet was seen

4. To de lubly Dina 'fore him cum away
I'm gib a light sky scraper an dus him say
Take dis rolly bolley gypsey bonnett
Like pancake flat wid der tea cake on it

5. My one berry good fren was Romeo Prescott
Him heart so warm set fir to him wescot
But when in a party—larfabol to see
De ugly go to him an de pretty gals to me

6. To stanimate de influensa
De Lusiana cure I reccommen sir
Gib away your coff an to cure de troat ob trush
Stick your heat in coon fat an swaller scrubbin brush

7. A nigger man der was down a goodway south
Who had de toot ache in de middle ob his mouth
So fill him jaw wid cob sause and wid oil
Den sat upon de fire until he make it boil

8. Its dangres in Englan when you wet your trottles
To drink your wine at dinner out ob blackin bottles
I was challenge toder day by you know who in vain
I say dam your blackin bottle take your card again

De beginnin ob anoder one – Encore.

9. I no mind a snuff what care I hab to feel
While I can sing and dance de break down nigger reel
I cum de pigeon wing please Diana Moon
Catch de fat Oppossum kick de sly Racoon.

10. 'Conomy I find de order ob de day
To make Virginny soup dis de cheapest way
Boil water pour in pot widout a handle
Stir for half an hour wid a taller candle

11. At Lusiana I make de niggar bellar
Representin Romeo, Hamlet, an Ottellar
Him no like dat part greasy corky stuff
For him hab to paint him face to make it black enuf

12. Bill Shikspur was a berry cleber man
He almost write as well as any niggar can
But de poor man lib not long enuff to know
How to polterise de skience ob Jim along Joe

13. Ebery English Actor 'gin to stew himself
Frightful dat de dramma will be laid upon de shelf
But dere neber could be cause for such alarma
If dey'd leab to nigger man rewibal ob de drama

14. I hope you'll pardon me but by way ob spirt
I'm gwoin to de Grand Hanober Square Concert
Doe I'be heard people say when de singers sqall
You must applaud dem parts you no understand at all

15. 'Cademy ob Music make great boderation
For one and tenpence de Lessonise de nation
But some deep nigger say larfin at de button
Dat's de way to gull and get de bread and mutton

["dish a bill" = dis·ha·bille n. 1. The state of being partially or very casually dressed. 2. Casual or lounging attire. (French déshabillé, from past participle of déshabiller, to undress : des-, dis- + habiller, to clothe; see habiliment.)]


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 01:04 PM

I'd say a damn good job of reading. I noticed a couple of places where you mis-spelled a mis-spelled (invented dialect) word, but that don't make no never mind.
The blackface minstrels were very popular on the English stage, with both touring and local troupes performing. This sheet music is not credited to any group of performers, so may be a compilation.

The names Romeo Prescott and Bill Shikspur may belong to actual performers (or their names in slightly changed form) and perhaps could help date the sheet music (I would guess 1840's).

There are several copies in the Bodleian, but I haven't checked them. One has been printed in one of these threads, but I haven't looked for it yet.


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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: Joybell
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 07:50 PM

Interesting version, Jim. Great job of detective work on your part. Joy


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: GUEST,Gibb
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 11:05 PM

I've recently come across a reference to another possible relative of "Jim Along Josey"; thought I'd plug it into this old thread if that's OK.

Well, "Haul Away Joe"/"Haul Away for Rosie" is one of the best known chanteys. I'd never felt that much one way or the other what its source might be. Anyway, JG Jewell, in AMONG OUR SAILORS (1974), wrote about sailor "songs"--apparently, although we do have references back to the 1850s (about events of 1840s), the term "chantey" was not in so wide a use yet. He writes:

//
When hauling taut the weather main-brace they sing a perversion of the old negro melody, "Hey Jim along, Jim along, Josey!" but the sailors put it—
"Way, haul away—haul away, Josey—
Way, haul away—haul away, Joe!"
//

I'd not come across that connection made in print before. ( I know Doerflinger (in his revised text of SONGS OF SAILOR AND LUMBERMAN) consulted Jewell, but there is a gap in his notes to "Haul Away Joe." ) It sounds like a reasonable relationship to me though; wonder what others think.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 09:07 AM

I started posting a response to the last post and comment about other phrases in previous post, but before doing that I feel the need to write this:

When I read threads like this, I have to steel myself to get through the use of the "n" word and the use of the word "Negro" spelled with a small "n" instead of being capitalized like other group referents such as "British", "Jewish", "Chinese", French, Spanish, and "Japanese" are.* I mention this because I feel that it should be a matter of record on threads like this so that present day readers and future readers are/will be aware that some people have/had this reaction. The reason why I continue reading these types of threads is because I find the information interesting. However, I think that quite a few Black people might have the initial (and ongoing) negative reaction to these usages, and as a consequence of that, they stop reading the thread and other threads in this forum. Which is a shame, for a whole host of reasons.

*There was a concerted, hard fought movement by Black Americans in the mid to late 1950s to get newspapers and text books and other public media and private entities to capitalize the "n" in the word "Negro". That movement was successful, but shortly thereafter the formal group referent changed first to "Afro-Americans" and then to (what it is now} "African Americans".

Note that the referent "African American" is always capitalized. There is more leeway with the accepted informal group referent "Black"(people). Some people capitalize the beginning letter, and some people don't. I always capitalize it and also always capitalize the "w" in White (people) because of that practice I mentioned earlier.

I should also note that sometimes African Americans will purposely use the word "Negro" with either a capital "n" or a small "n" to refer to Black Americans who the writers believe are talking and/or acting in ways that are detrimental to overall Black interests and stature (to put it another way, these people are said to be acting like "Toms". "Toms" is a short form of the insulting referent Uncle Tom).

**

With that said for the record, I'll add another post to this thread with my thoughts about the name "Josie" and other comments about some phrases found in a previously posted example of this dance song.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 09:35 AM

"Way, haul away—haul away, Josey—
Way, haul away—haul away, Joe!"

It occured to me when I read Guest Gibs post that I know a woman whose name is "Josie". "Josie" used to be a far more common nickname for Josephine than it is now, probably because the name "Josephine" is rarely given now). As it happens, this African American woman's given name is "Josie" and not "Josephine".

But this thought made me wonder about the name "Josey" as a personal name for a man as found in that old dance song. In particular, I thought of how a non-Spanish speaking person might pronouce tghe name "Jose" as "Joe-see". Given that some crews came from the Caribbean, has the Spanish language influence on chantey songs-and on other African American/Black Caribbean dance songs been identified?

**

With regard to this verses found in Jim Dixon's 15 Sep 06 - 06:52 AM post to this thread:

Dey try it on at de chalky whites ball
But de indimpendent n***** beat dem all
He can so cum de toe point heel brush fling
An like a riglar roarin hi win sing.

I wonder if the "chalky whites ball" is a put down vernacular reference to the creole balls or the quadroon balls.

I've not found this phrase used elsewhere. Is anybody familiar with it?

Btw, here are links to three interesting online articles about the Louisiana Creoles of Color:

Plaçage - Wikipedia article

and

Ph.D in History fails Creole Test

and

Creoles Of Color from Louisiana immigrated to Mexico

Here's an excerpt of that second article:

"I did have to correct Mr.PHD who just finished bragging about being published in some law review over an amendment and spoke for 3 hours on his own resume, that Creoles arrived in Lower South East Louisiana, including Greater New Orleans and up to Central-West La. completely separate from Cajuns. The white French-Creole settlers were the first to arrive and then more white Creoles fled from the slave revolts in the French Caribbean colonies and were followed by the wealthy mixed race-Creoles of Color-and both built the city and state of Louisiana from a swamp into the cultural Southern mecca that it is known by today."

**

In my next post to this thread I'll suggest a meaning for another phrase that is found in that example that Jim Dixon shared.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 10:04 AM

Also from Jim Dixon's 15 Sep 06 - 06:52 AM post to this thread:


8. Its dangres in Englan when you wet your trottles
To drink your wine at dinner out of blackin bottles
I was challenge toder day by you know who in vain
I say dam your blackin bottle take your card again

I'm wondering if there was a practice of blackening bottles of wine to keep the sunlight out and thus preserve the taste of the wine?
I think that this may be a simple explanation for this verse, though I'm tempted to wander off into thoughts of the significance of the color blue in Louisiana "voodoo" culture, and also the significance of "blackened stools" in traditional Ashanti (Asante) culture. Yet I admit that these last two subjects-interesting as they are-probably have nothing to do with that Jim Along Josie reference to "blackin bottles".

**

I'm sure most people reading this thread know this, but for those who don't know "the pigeon wing" as mentioned in verse #9 of that same example, is the name of a Black dance or a specific dance step:

"I cum de pigeon wing please Diana Moon
Catch de fat Oppossum kick de sly Racoon."

-snip-

And I wouldn't be surprised if "Catch the fat Opposum" and "kick the sly Racoon" also are names of Black dances or specific dance steps from those times.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: GUEST,Gibb
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 10:39 PM

Hi Azizi,

You wrote:

"But this thought made me wonder about the name "Josey" as a personal name for a man as found in that old dance song. In particular, I thought of how a non-Spanish speaking person might pronouce tghe name "Jose" as "Joe-see". Given that some crews came from the Caribbean, has the Spanish language influence on chantey songs-and on other African American/Black Caribbean dance songs been identified?"

The thing about chanteys if that, more often than not, their lyrics have nothing to do with the sea! In this case, I see no reason to search for a sea origin of "Josie" since we already have the (hypothesized) pre-chantey origin: "Jim Along Josey." Trying not to exaggerate too much, it seems like half the chanteys were made this way, taking stock, catchy, rhythmic phrases from pop tunes of the day, play songs, older work songs, folk rhymes, and jusr adapting them. To respond to your question though, I don't know of any significant influence of Spanish language on chanteys. As far as a Spanish influence on Black Caribbean dance songs, that is a pretty huge topic, but I think the answer is yes...with qualification. One would have to say where they are drawing lines at "Spanish." Much of the Caribbean dance music shares a common rhythmic sensibility. Stuff you might associate as "Cuban" (and therefore Spanish?) is shared with Jamaican music, for example. The burning question is, why are they similar? Is it because they share a common sensibility back from African music, or is it more recent cross-pollination? Anyways...

Back on topic...kinda....if Jim Along Josie and Haul Away Joe are relatives, that adds some pretty strong irony to our present conundrum. In this light, the use of "Haul Away Joe" on the slave ship in "Roots" is pretty absurd. And due to the Clancy Brothers' schtick, people strongly associate the chantey with the Irish (that's not to say chanteys can't have multiple associations/resonances, and Irish sailors did sing it) -- when I was searching for a thread for "Haul Away Joe," I came across one post where the person said he couldn't stand to hear that chantey sung with an American accent!

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 11:49 PM

Hi Gibb-- great stuff and YES, it is always fine (some would say best) to add to the existing threads rather than start a new one if possible. Feel free any time! :~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: Azizi
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 12:59 AM

Thanks for your response, Gibb.

I appreciate learning that information about shanteys.

I often wondered why "Haul Away, Joe" was used in Roots as opposed to some other song. I suppose it was used because it was already relatively well known, though I wonder how many people knew that it was a shanty. When I watched Roots, I didn't know that term-actually I knew it in the context of huts but didn't know it in the context of songs. :o)

It's good to learn something new.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: GUEST,Gibb
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 10:15 AM

Azizi,

My ~guess~ as to why they would have used "Haul Away Joe" in Roots:

It was set pre-1776. However, we don't have any evidence to exactly what chanteys might have been sung prior to the 19th century. We know there was some kind of chanteying, but it is all conjecture which of the songs (i.e. the ones known to us today) would have been used, if at all. One of the popular ones to conjecture existed back then is "Haul on the Bowline." That one has similarities to "Haul Away Joe." So my guess is that, pressed to speculate on what may have existed, they chose those two.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:22 AM

Hi, Gibbs,

Thanks for that info.

With regard to the song "Haul Away, Joe", you and others may be interested in checking out these links to other Mudcat threads and to the DT song:

"Haul Away, Joe"-Digital Tradition version

Black Jacks: History & Shanties
Lyr Req: leadbelly's haul away joe

Other related threads are listed about this song, including bawdy versions.

None of this should be interpreted to mean that your comment about the example of "Haul Away Joe" that includes the name "Josie" isn't appropriate for this thread. It definitely is.

Best wishes,

Azizi

Btw, Gibbs, so when are you going to join Mudcat? Membership is free and easy to do. Just click on the feature near the top right hand corner, and your almost there. I started to say "and Bob's your uncle", a phrase I must have picked up from some Mudcatters cause I've never heard anybody in "real life" say it :o)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 11:01 AM

Hello, Guest 05 Mar 09 - 10:15 AM.

I like the idea of enclosing "coon song" in inverted commas* when using that phrase in modern writings.

*Is 'inverted commas' what the British call 'quotation marks?. I hadn't heard that term before. I consider learning "real" usages of British English (or should I say UK English? and Australian English etc) is another benefit of this international discussion forum.

-snip-

You wrote that "On the question of blacking bottles, I hope I am not stating the painfully obvious if I say that for most of the nineteenth century boot and stove blacking came in bottles."

That wasn't obvious to me, as I had no clue how these products were packaged.

Thanks!

**

Somewhat off-topic...Okay really off-topic :o)

Earlier this morning (when my cold medicine stopped working and I decided to visit Mudcat while I was waiting for it to kick in again), I wrote a comment about "Shine", the central character in a number of African American adult toasts (narrative rap like poems). The nickname "Shine" is somewhat relevant to "boot blackening" as the name probably refers to the main character's black skin being so dark that it shined like bootblack (what we in the USA nowadays call black shoe polish). It seems to me that using the name "Shine" was probably an example of Black folks taking the sting out of what may have been started by us (or by non-Black people) as a racial putdown.
By using the name "Shine" for the street hero, was/is another way of saying "We're Black and we're proud" or at least "We're Black and we're bad" (with "bad" here meaning "very good").

**

Here's a link to one of at least two Mudcat links that mention "Shine" and those toasts.

It just occurred to me that maybe the word "toast" is used in the sense of "giving a tribute to someone or something". These toasts certainly gave props (the proper respect, compliments) to "Shine".

Who is this "Shine" Guy?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 11:06 AM

I could blame my cold medicine for my typographical errors, but actually it happens when I'm not taking medicine too..

I'm sorry about that. Hopefully, you can get my drift (what I was trying to say) inspite of the errors that I don't have the energy to fix though I see them staring at me.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 04:44 AM

Azizi

You were replying to a guest message which seems since to have been wiped from the record, presumably because my cookie had crumbled.

For the record, I had questioned what might be done about the offensive term 'Coon song', which historians of popular song are quite unable to avoid. I suggested putting it in inverted commas to indicate that the writer is aware of and not intending to perpetuate the insult. I'm glad you agree.

And I have to admit that my use of 'inverted commas' would be regarded as a bit English-teachery, even in England. 'In quotes' is the common usage today, but I am a bit of a relic, having only recently mastered the technology of the retractable ball-point pen.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Jim Along Josey / Jim Along Josie
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:44 AM

Oh, you British!

I like the way you use English.

Is "my cookie had crumbled" another quaint English-teachery saying?

:o)

Just kidding.

And to the Mudcat moderator who deleted your message despite its legitimate content, I say :o(


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