Cover: drawing of a red-headed African American boy; supplement to the N. Y. World. Jan. 14, 1900 description reads a coon lullaby; Publisher: Harry Tillmann 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
Far away down South right near the Swanee river you can find A happy colored couple and their boy; The baby ain't so handsome and his hair is kind o' red But still he is his parents' pride and joy; His mammy thinks of how some day he'll be a grown-up man, Half wishing that a babe he could remain; And, as she rocks his cradle, To get that chile to sleep, She softly sings this lullaby refrain:
Close your eyes in sleep you laughing little, red-head coon, May your baby dreams be ever bright; Till you fall asleep yo' mammy will not go away And Angels fair will guard you thro' the night, my darling; Close your eyes in sleep and don't you wake until the morn, Daylight will be here now very soon, And you have no need to fear For yo' mammy is right here, You laughing little red-head coon.
In the early morning when that little pickaninny wakes, His dad gets up and with him loves to play; Of course he has to leave and go to work but just the same He's thinking of his baby boy all day; He's happy when the ev'ning comes and always hurries home, He's longin' for to kiss that little coon, And, when it comes to bedtime, He sits beside the cot, And listens while his mammy sings this tune:
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.