Category Archives: Music

Thoughts, etc # 16

The minstrel shows of the 18th and 19th centuries were a very popular form of entertainment in the young United States. This entertainment form is now considered totally “politically incorrect”, and much of the music is being equated with the connotations given to the Stars and Bars on the flag of Georgia. There were no black performers, just white performers in black-face, and many derogatory names and epithets derived from this music form. The music was usually of a light nature and portrayed a Southern pastoral setting. The music ranged from the walk around tune of Daniel D. Emmet’s Dixie’s Land, to the songs of Stephen Foster.

Many songs have the same tune or variants of the same tune, such as The Virginia Reel, Turkey in the Straw, Ole Zip Coon, and Jump Jim Crow. The tune started on the minstrel circuit as Natchez Under the Hill, a fiddle tune. This tune is derived from the ballad My Grandmother Lived on Yonder Little Green, which in turn derived from a much older Irish ballad, The Old Rose Tree.

The words for Ole Zip Coon were added to the tune in about 1835 and became popular during Andrew Jackson’s presidency. It remained popular through the Civil War, and many different words and versions were put to this tune both then and now.


O, Ole Zip Coon was a larned Skoler,
Ole Zip Coon was a larned skolar,
Ole Zip Coon was a larned skolar
Plays possum up a gum tree and cooney in the hollar.

Possum up a gum tree cooney up a stump,
Possum up a gum tree cooney up a stump,
Possum up a gum tree cooney up a stump,
Den ober double trouble when the coon did jump.

O ist Sukey blue skin, she in lub with me,
I went de odder after noon to take a dish ob tea,
What do you tink now, Sukey hab for supper,
Why chicken foot an possum heel widout any butter.


I went down to Sandy Hollar de odder after noon,
And de first man I chanced to meet was ole Zip Coon;
Ole Zip Coon is a natty skolar,
For he play upon the banjo, “Cooney in de holler.”


My ole missus she am mad at me,
Kase I wouldn,t go wid her into Tennessee.
Massa build a barn an put in it de fodder,
Twas dis ting or dat ting or one ting or odder.


I pose you heard ob de battle New Orleans
Whar ole Genral Jackson gib de British beans.
Dere de Yankee boys do de job so slick,
For dey cotch ole Packenham an rowed him up de crick.


I hab many tings to tork about, but don’t know what come first,
So here de toast to ole Zip Coon before he gin to rust.
May he hab pretty girls, like de King ob ole,
To sing dis song so many times ‘fore he turn to mole.


The Kentucky Battle Song

In the year of ’61,
We left our native land.
For we could not bend our spirits
To a tyrant’s stern command.
And we rallied to our Buckner
While our hearts were sad and sore,
To offer our blood for freedom
As our fathers did before.

And we’ll march, march, march
To the music of the drum
We were driven forth in exile
From our old Kentucky home.

When first the Southern flag unfurled
Its folds upon the air,
Its stars had hardly gathered,
‘Til Kentucky’s sons were there.
And they swore a solemn oath,
And they sternly gathered round.
They would only live as free men
In the dark and bloody ground.
(repeat chorus)

With Buckner as our leader,
And Morgan in the van,
We will plant the flag of freedom
In our fair and happy land.
We will drive the tyrant’s minions
To the Ohio’s rolling flood,
And we’ll dye her waves with crimson
With coward Yankee blood.
(repeat chorus)

Then cheer ye, Southern braves!
You still shall see the day
When Kentucky’s fairest daughters
Will cheer you on your way.
And then her proud old mothers
Will welcome one and all,
For united we stand,
Divided we fall.
(repeat chorus)

The Bonnie Blue Flag

The Bonnie Blue Flag
1. We are the band of brothers, and native to the soil,
Fighting for our liberty, with treasure, blood and toil,
And when our rights were threatened, the cry rose near and far,
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag, that bears a Single Star.

Hurrah! Hurrah! for Southern rights, Hurrah!
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag, that bears a Single Star.

2. As long as the Union was faithful to her trust,
Like friends and brethren kind we were, and just;
But now, when Northern treachery attempts our rights to mar,
We hoist on high the Bonnie Blue flag that bears a Single Star.


3. First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand,
Then came Alabama and took her by the hand;
Next, quickly, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida,
All raised on high the bonnie Blue Flat that bears a Single Star.


4. Ye men of valor gather round the banner of the right,
Texas and fair Louisiana join us in the fight;
With Davis, our loved President, and Stephens, statesmen rare,
We’ll rally round the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star.


5. We look to old Kentucky; our sister Blue Grass State,
To stand for right and overwhelm, the foe poised at her gate,
She gave us old Jeff Davis; and many sons to bear,
The banner called the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star.


6. And here’s to brave Virginia, the Old Dominion State,
With the young Confederacy at length has linked her faith;
Impelled by her example, now other States prepare,
To hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a Single Star.


7. Then cheer, boys, cheer, raise a joyous shout,
for Arkansas and North Carolina now have both gone out;
And let another rousing cheer for Tennessee be given,
The Single Star of the Bonnie Blue Flag has grown to be eleven.


8. Then here’s to our Confederacy, strong we are and brave,
Like patriots of old we’ll fight, our heritage to save;
And rather than submit to shame, to die we would prefer,
So cheer for the Bonnie Blue Flat that bears a Single Star.