Cotton Eyed Joe, 1939

Another version taken from the LoC collection of dust bowl music.

Elmo Newcomer on fiddle, taken during The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip. For more about them and their recordings, see here.

This is a different set of lyrics than the Rednex version, and I found a couple of the vocal effects rather, um, startling. Here’s one of the verses, as near as I can tell (I found it really hard to distinguish the words in this old recording):

I’d a got married ’bout twenty years ago
had it not a been for Cotton-Eyed Joe

I’d a got married fifty-seven years ago
had it not a been for ???? (some sort of doe?)

Some folks say that a n—– won’t steal
but I found three in my corn field
One had a bushel
One had a peck
T’other had a roastin’ ear
around his neck

That line startled me, as I had always heard it ‘some folks say that a preacher won’t steal…’ Folk songs are malleable, so I imagine you could insert whatever group you either don’t like (Politicians), or just want to rib a little bit.

Other lyrics from this version (I really had trouble distinguishing words, and I wondered if Elmo Newcomer of Texas hadn’t just randomly added snatches of lyrics from other songs for the Lomax Recording:

Rawhide, fiddle, and….?
A gal over there for Cotton-eyed Joe

How in the devil does the old folks know
that I like sugar in the coffee-oh?

A long tailed buck and a short tailed doe
but I’ll take sugar in muh coffee-oh

According to mudcat there are some R rated versions (there always are), and then there are some almost like lullabyes- Burl Ives recorded a version in the 50s:

Where did you come from, where did you go?
Where did you come from, old Cotton-eyed Joe?

Come for to see you, come for to sing,
Come for to show you my diamond ring

There’s a great version linked here– no lyrics, just good fiddling (keep listening- the first few seconds you’ll be sure there’s a mistake somewhere).

The Boy and I discovered last night that Cotton Eyed Joe is a good laundry folding song.

What I really should have found is a good ironing song, since they had been sitting in laundry baskets on my floor since the clothes we folded, hung up, and put away last night were taken off the line three days ago, and I might be fudging about that.

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The HG and Her Charges

The HG writes that she was taking the children for a walk- the youngest set, which means one 6 year old, four five year olds (the Quads), a three year old, and a one year old in the stroller.

Two of the quads go on their walks holding onto the stroller on either side of the HG, right where she can see them and touch them at all times. Guess which two.

Before setting off for the walk she asked the children “And what is the rule for going on walks?”

Quad A: PLAY

Quad B: Obey the HG

Quad C: Obey The Quads!

Quad D: Obey you.

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Color Test

Here’s something you might not want to try until you’ve had your coffee.


Fifty percent on my first try
, 100 percent on the second.

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Cotton-Eye Joe From a 1940 Collection

Sound only

That’s the King Family in a Library of Congress collection “Voices from the Dustbowl.”

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Just Stopping By

The Equuschick is back this way for the afternoon, having had some errands to run.

She has been very busy and very well occupied of late, she takes Zeus for long walks every day and then she returns to take a cool bath in the Ginormous Jacuzzi Bath that is Complete with Two Toy Boats and A Rubber Ducky.

(Oils? Bath Salts? Beads? Bleh. The Equuschick doesn’t need those to relax, just give her a rubber duck.)

She has two questions for the Blog Populace:

*What is your recommendation on best baby sling brands, and why?

*What’s a good source for good quality pre-folded cloth diapers? (And please don’t send The Equuschick a pattern telling her how to make them herself, because she can’t. The investment of time will not be worth the mental anxiety. She will cry and commit suicide with her sewing needle. If you can have fun making your own, that’s lovely for you. The Equuschick doesn’t sew. Not a thing.)

(Some of you are going to leave patterns anyway, of course. You’re going to assure The Equuschick that “these patterns are fabulously easy, sure I could do it, you don’t know what fun you’re missing!” ARE YOU NOT LISTENING? The Equuschick does not make things. She only makes food.)

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