Sheet Music, 1834-1899


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MUM00682, 0274


Cover: description reads pickaninny ballad; Publisher: M. Witmark and Sons (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
Lilac tees a-blooming in the corner, by the gate, Mammy in the little cabin door. Curly headed pickaninny comin' home so late, Cryin' cause his little heart is sore; All the children playiing round have skin so white and fair, None of them with him will ever play, So Mammy in her lap takes the little weeping chap, And says, in her kind old way:
Now honey, yo'stay in yo' own back yard, Doan min' what dem white chiles do; What show yo' suppose dey's a gwine to gib A black little coon like yo'? So stay on dis side of de high boahd fence, An honey, doan cry so hard, Go out an' a-play, jes' as much as yo' please, But stay in yo' own back yard.
Second verse
Ev'ry day the children as they passed old mammy's place, Roomping home from school at night or noon, Peering thro' the fence would see this eager little face, Such a wistful, lonesome little coon; till one day the little face was gone forever more, God had called this dusky little elf, And Mammy in the door sat and rocked as oft before, And crooned to her old black self:

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.

Stay in Your Own Back Yard / music by Lyn Udal; words by Karl Kennett



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