Sheet Music, 1834-1899


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MUM00682, 0071


Cover: Musical Supplement of the New York Journal and Advertiser. April 3, 1898; Publisher: T. B. Harms and Co. (New York)

Subject Headings (Library of Congress)

Songs -- United States -- 19th Century; Popular Music -- United States

Relational Format

music score

Original Format


Original Collection

Sheldon Harris Collection (MUM00682), Archives and Special Collections, University of Mississippi Libraries


First verse
Eatin' a piece of watermilyum, on der rail fence over yonder, Sits a boy; A little goosey, goosey gander, little yaller boy, With kinky kinkey, kinkey hairy I'se his mammy, Oh, yes, I is, I do declaresy; Name is Ephraim, Gawge Leander, but I always calls him Gawgie. He's ma baby, Is my lilttle Gawgie Pawgie, an' dey say he's mighty like'ly That some day he'll be a sailor, But his daddy do declar he knows enough to be a tailor!
Little yaller boy, come hyah to me, I wants to hold yer right on my knee; For I'se been all day wiv-out yer, Wants ter put ma arms about yer, Yes, mammy wiv her baby wants ter be. Dey calls me nigger, I doesn't car, Dar's ma comfort, rightover dar Little Ephraim, Gawge, Leander; Little goosey, goosey, gander, He's ma sweetness, yes, he are. yes, he are, yes, he are!
Second verse
Now whar yo 'spose he got dat great, big slice of watermilyum? Gawgie boy! De people says you is a villian, says you pilfer, But mammy knows dey falsifies you, knows you's honest, All 'cept when bad old Satan tries yer. Don't yer mind der gossip neighbors, for dey fibbles like der dickens; Youse a angel, And yer never stole no chickens, an' if Satan was to tempt yer Wid a aig, I know you'd mock it. But whats a boy to do when aigs are laid right in his pocket?

Content Disclaimer

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.

Little Yaller Boy / music by Gustave Kerker; words by Hugh Morton



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