Cover: drawing of a well dressed African American couple dancing; Publisher: Jos. W. Stern and Co. (New York)
Subject Headings (Library of Congress)
Songs -- United States -- 19th Century; Popular Music -- United States
Sheldon Harris Collection (MUM00682), Archives and Special Collections, University of Mississippi Libraries
Up in de sky dars a yaller moon abeamin', And froo de trees dars a lot of lights agleamin'; What's goin' on? What's goin' on? Swell coons are all turnin' out. Gay little gals wif dere pretty eyes arollin', Down froo de grove wif de darkies am a strollin; All hands dressed in their best, What's de rumpus all about? Dis am around dat de coons are celebratin', Down to cakewalk they're all a congregatin'; My, what style! See dem smile! Chuck full of fun and delight.Dis is de time ev'ry nigger is a dandy, feels just as sweet as a stick of yaller candy; Extra fine, Right in line, All a feelin' out of sight, O!
Swing round and show yo' clothes my lady, Don't you take yo' peepers off dat cake, We'll make these other coons shady. Da is no mistake, Say gal, you is a red hot member! Goodness won't we make the people talk, Dat cake will make us bofe remember Eli Green's cakewalk
There comes a coon wif a mighty reputation, Wins ev'ry cake dat he tackles in de nation; My don't talk! Watch him walk! Aint he a picture of grace. Some people say he is certainly a wonder, He's got a face dats as black as any thunder; But when he looks at me, He'll turn yaller in the face; He come around fo' to gobble up de prizes, But I'se a coon dat he very much despises; Dis swell knows right well He aint a marker to me. Dis am s chance fo' to gain a reputation, We'll be de talk of de colored population. Oh you Lize, Roll dem eyes, You's sa pretty as can be. O!
The derogatory terms, images, and ideas that appear in some of this sheet music are not condoned by the University of Mississippi. They do represent the attitudes of a number of Americans at the times the songs were published. As such, it is hoped that the sheet music in this collection can aid students of music, history, and other disciplines to better understand popular American music and racial stereotypes from the 19th- and early 20th-centuries.