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lee's songbook

y


de yaller gal in de morning
From CHRISTY'S NIGGA SONGSTER
1850

Come gemmen all, both short and tall,
I hope dat you excuse me;
De reason why me come here now,
Am only to amuse you.
Some lubs black and some lubs wite,
But in spite ob nature's scorning,
Ob all de gals I eber did lub,
Gib me a yallar gal in a morning.
A pretty yallar gal a nice yallar gal,
Dere faces here always adorning,
Ob all de galls I eber did saw,
Gib me a yallar gal in a morning.

Der am a gal in New Orleans
Dat lubs me to extraction;
Bery pity I doesn't like dat gal -
It is because ob her complection.
She h ab often tried to win my heart,
But now I'll gib her warning,
Dat from me she'd better start,
For I lub a yallar gal in a morning.

One night I went to a fancy ball -
I am so fond ob dancing -
And soon as I got in de hall,
'Round me de gals were prancing;
We dance all night till Zoureter give,
And when de day were dawning,
De ole banjo struck up - Dere Dey Go! -
Sambo and him gal in a morning.

When me left dis place you soon see,
Dat we did both get married,
And in a short time arter dat,
I wish dat I was buried.
No rest could I git even night or day,
For little niggars yawning;
So gemman all, when you go to de ball,
Take care ob de gals in a morning.


YANKEE DOODLE
circa 1775

Father and I went down to camp,
Along with Captain Goodwin,
And there I saw the men and boys,
As thick as hasty pudding.

Chorus
Yankee Doodle keep it up,
Yankee Doodle Dandy,
Mind the music and the step,
And with the girls be handy.

And there was Captain Washington,
Upon a slapping stallion,
A-giving orders to his men -
I guess there was a million.

And then the feathers on his hat,
They looked so 'tarnal finey,
I wanted peskily to get,
To give to my Jemima.

And there they had a swamping gun,
As big as a log of maple
On a deuced little cart,
A load for father's cattle.

And every time they fired it off,
It took a horn of powder;
It made a noise like father's gun,
Only a nation louder.

I went as near to it myself
As Jacob's underpinnin',
And father went as near again;
I thought the deuce was in him.

And there I saw a little keg,
Its head was made of leather,
They knocked upon it with little sticks,
To call the folks together.

And there they'd fight away like fun,
And play on cornstalk fiddles,
And some had ribbons red as blood,
All bound around their middles.

The troopers too would gallop up,
And fire right in our faces;
It scared me almost half to death,
To see them run such races.

Uncle Sam came there to change
Some pancakes and some onions
For 'lasses-cakes to carry home
To give his wife and young ones.

But I can't tell you half I saw,
They kept up such a smother;
So I took my hat off, made a bow,
And scampered home to mother.

 


Yankee Doodle:
Another Version
Words - American & Anonymous, ca 1767
Music - English & Anonymous, ca 1755

A Yankee boy is trim and tall,
And never over fat, sir;
At dance, or frolic, hop and ball,
As nimble as a rat, sir.

Chorus
Yankee doodle guard your coast,
Yankee doodle dandy;
Fear not, then, nor threat nor boast;
Yankee doodle dandy.

He's always out on training day,
Commencement or election;
At truck and trade he knows a way
Of thriving to perfection.

His door is always open found,
His cider of the best, sir;
His board with pumpkin pie is crown'd,
And welcome ev'ry guest, sir.

Though rough and little is his farm,
That little is his own, sir;
His hand is strong, his heart is warm,
'Tis truth and honor's throne, sir.

His country is his pride and boast,
He'll ever prove true blue, sir;
When call'd upon to give his toast,
'Tis "Yankee doodle, doo," sir!


Yankey Doodle
Or
The LExington March

Sheep's head and Vinegar,
Butter Milk and Tansy;
Boston is a Yankee town -
Sing Yankee Doodle Dandy:

Chorus
Yankee Doodle doo,
Yankee Doodle Dandy;
Mind the music and the step,
With the girls be handy.

Christmas is a-coming boys,
We'll go to Mother Chase's,
And there we'll get a sugar drum
All sweeten'd with Melasses.

Heigh ho for our Cape Cod,
Heigh ho Nantasket;
Do not let the Boston wags
Feel your oyster basket.

Dolly Bushel let a Fart,
Jenny Jones she found it;
Ambrose carried it to the mill
Where Doctor Warren ground it.

Two and two may go to Bed,
Two and two together,
And if there is not room enough
Lie one on top of t'other.

The somewhat spicy words to this version of YANKEE DOODLE are a bit different from the ones we are accustomed to hearing.  Knowing that this came from the time of the American Revolutionary War puts a slightly different spin on the almost-saintly mythological image we have of the founders of this nation.  Those interested in the sexual subculture of our country will find interest in the reference to the gay subculture of Boston that seems to have been thriving in the 18th century ("Do not let the Boston wags feel your oyster basket").  


THE YEAR OB JUBILO

See KINGDOM COMING


year of jubilee
See KINGDOM HAS COME


tHE YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS

There's a yellow Rose in Texas that I am going to see;
No other darkey loves her, no darkey - only me.
She cried so when I left her, it like to broke my heart,
And if I ever find her, we never more will part.

Chorus
She's the sweetest Rose of color dis darkey ever knew;
Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew.
You can talk about your "Dearest May" and sing of "Rosey Lee",
But the Yellow Rose of Texas Is the only gal for me.

Where the Rio Grande is flowing and the starry skies are bright,
She walks along the river in the quiet summer night.
She thinks if I remember, when we parted long ago,
I promised to come back again and not to leave her so.

O, now I'm going to find her for my heart is full of woe,
And we'll sing the songs together that we sang so long ago;
We'll play the banjo gaily, and we'll sing the songs of yore,
And the Yellow Rose of Texas will be mine forevermore.

And now I'm going down South for my heart is full of woe;
I'm going back to Georgia to find my Uncle Joe.
You can talk about your Beauregard, and sing of Bobby Lee,
But the gallant Hood of Texas, he played hell in Tennessee!

According to legend, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" was "High Yellow" Emily Morgan West, who was born a slave and captured by General Santa Anna during the Texas Revolution in 1836. The General, tried to win her charms and failed, but Emily managed to smuggle Santa Anna's battle plans to Sam Houston who then defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. Perhaps Texas would still be part of Mexico today, were it not for the "High Yeller Rose".


YOU ARE GOING TO THE WARS, WILLIE BOY

John Hill Hewitt
1863

You are going to the wars, Willie boy, Willie boy,
You are going to the wars far away
To protect our rights and laws, Willie boy, Willie boy,
And the banner in the sun's golden ray.
With your uniform all new and your shining buttons too,
You'll win the hearts of pretty girls, but none like me so true.

Oh! won't you think of me, Willie boy, Willie boy,
Oh! won't you think of me when far away?
I'll often think of ye, Willie boy, Willie boy,
And ever for your life and glory pray.

You'll be fighting for the right, Willie boy, Willie boy,
You'll be fighting for the right and your home;
And you'll strike the blow with might, Willie boy, Willie boy,
'Mid the thundering of cannon and drum;
With an arm as true as steel, you'll make the foemen feel
The vengeance of a Southerner too proud to cringe or kneel.

Oh! should you fall in strife, Willie boy, Willie boy,
Oh! should you fall in strife on the plain,
I'll pine away my life, Willie boy, Willie boy,
And never, never wear a smile again.

To Miss Fanny Waldron, "Queen Sisters".


YOU REBELS COME ALONG

To the tune of HAPPY LAND OF CANAAN

You Rebels come along and listen to my song -
The subject of the same is not worth naming -
It is about the man who did adopt a plan
To send you to the happy land of Canaan.

Chorus
Oh, oh, oh! Ah, ah, ah! Our day of recompense is coming!
If the Yankees go down South, they will see the cannon's mouth
That will send them to the happy land of Canaan.

Old Uncle Abe he ordered blockade -
He thought that his vessels would sustain him;
But the old Merrimack, she gave them such a crack
That she sent them to the happy land of Canaan.

We had a little fun at the battle of Bull Run,
When the Yankees left the battle field a-sailing;
Where acres of them fell, for we gave them merry hell

And sent them to the happy land of Canaan.

And next to prove our stuff, we met them at Ball's Bluff
And gave old Abe's Hessians quite a-taming.
Indeed, it was a sin for to see Yankees swim
As we sent them to the happy land of Canaan.

The gallant "Old Stonewall," gave Gen'ral Banks a call -
Banks the Abolitionist - the same one;
Brave Jackson with his files drove him full ninety miles,
And sent him to the happy land of Canaan.

The Young Napoleon, he led his forces on
The Peninsula, the route he was a claiming -
He marshalled them in pomp in the Chickahominy swamp,
Which sent them to the happy land of Canaan.

McClellan, he did blow, that to Richmond he would go -
To take that doted city he was aiming -
But his forces they did fall before the brave Stonewall,
Who sent them to the happy land of Canaan.

"Mac" thought he'd make a break and try to raise a stake -
After nine months his forces were a-training
To give "Old Jeff" a call and drive him to the wall,
And land him in the happy land of Canaan.

But I'd have you all to see, that there was Gen'ral Lee
Who knew the plan to operate agin him;
And to perpetrate a prank, by turning his right flank,
Which sent him to the happy land of Canaan.

Old Abe must plainly see we are determined to be free -
Liberty and Independence we are gaining.
The North, no doubt, are strong, but just let them come on,
And we'll send them to the Happy land of Canaan.


YOU SHAN'T HAVE ANY OF MY PEANUTS
Traditional New England Song

The man who has plenty of good peanuts
And giveth his neighbor none,
He sha'n't have any of my peanuts
When his peanuts are gone.

The man who has plenty of good apples
And giveth his neighbor none,
He sha'n't have any of my apples
When his apples are gone.

The man who has plenty of good peaches
And giveth his neighbor none,
He sha'n't have any of my peaches
When his peaches are gone.

The man who has plenty of good horses
And giveth his neighbor none,
He sha'n't have any of my horses
When his horses are gone.

The man who has plenty of good milk cows
And giveth his neighbor none,
He sha'n't have any of my milk cows
When his milk cows are gone.

The man who has plenty of good housewives
And giveth his neighbor none,
He sha'n't have any of my housewives
When his housewives are gone.


young eph's lament
Or,
Oh, Whar Will I go if
dis country breaks up
By J.B. Murphy
1863

Oh, whar will I go if dis war breaks de country up,
And de darkeys hab to scatter around?
Dis dam bobolition, ' mancipation and sesession
Am a- gwine to run de nigger in de ground!
De bobolition here, de secession dare,
And neather one nor t'other of 'em's right,
But one says dis, de oder says dat,
And dey both got de country in a fight -
But what can a poor nigger do?

Now what is de use ob dis jangulating fighting?
Botheration to de country so forlorn?
Why don't dey tend to bussness, making boats and building railroads,
While de niggers raise de cotton and de corn?
But Massachusetts dar and South Carolina here
Disturb dis happy Union wid de growl;
One says dey shall, de oder says dey shan't,
And Uncle Sam has got to stand it all -
But what can a poor nigger do?

Oh I wish dat de white folks ob dis great confederation,
Would only quit dar quarrells and dar fight,
And stop dar cannonading, marching, shooting and bombarding,
And be willing for to use each oder right.
For it's very plain to see dat de end would be
Dat dey'd know each oder better dan before,
And dey'd made up dar minds, dat in all future times,
Dey would not go and do it any more -
And dat's what I want dem for to do.

What a deuc'd shame it is dis sesession revolution,
Am a-using up de bussness ob de land!
While trade an' navigation, merchandizing, speculation
Hab very nearly come to a stand!
De crops won't be grow'd, de meadows won't be mow'd,
'Kase dar's nobudy left for to tend 'em;
Dar's a scarcity it seems, ob cabbage peas an' beans
' Kase dar's nobudy home for to send 'em -
Den what's a hungry nigger gwine to do?

YOUNG EPH'S LAMENT,
Or,
OH WHAR WILL I GO I DIS WAR BREAKS DE COUNTRY UP?
Written by J.B. Murphy And Sung By S.S. Purdy
The great song, revised, corrected, and a new verse added.
St. Louis : Endres & Compton, 1863


Your Mission

Words By Ellen Gates
Music By S.M. Grannis

If you can not on the ocean
Sail among the swiftest fleet,
Rocking on the highest billows,
Laughing at the storms you meet,
You can stand among the sailors;
Anchored yet within the bay;
You can lend a hand to help them
As they launch their boat away;
As they launch their boat away.

If you are too weak to journey
Up the mountain steep and high,
You can stand within the valley,
While the multitudes go by;
You can chant in happy measure,
As they slowly pass along;
Though they may forget the singer,
They will not forget the song;
They will not forget the song.

If you have not gold or silver
Ever ready to command;
If you can not t'ward the needy
Reach an ever open hand;
You can visit the afflicted,
O'er the erring you can weep;
You can be a true disciple
Sitting at the Savior's feet;
Sitting at the Savior's feet.

If you can not in the harvest
Garner up the richest sheaves,
Many a grain both ripe and golden
Will the careless reapers leave;
Go and glean among the briars,
Growing rank among the wall.
For it may be that their shadow
Hides the heaviest wheat of all;
Hides the heaviest wheat of all.

If you can not in the conflict
Prove yourself a soldier true -
If where the fire and smoke are thickest,
There's no work for you to do
When the battle field is silent
You can go with careful tread
You can bear away the wounded,
You can cover up the dead;
You can cover up the dead.

Do not, then, stand idly waiting,
For some greater work to do;
Fortune is a lazy goddess-
She will never come to you
Go and toil in any vineyard,
Do not fear to do or dare;
If you want a field of labor,
You can find it any where;
You can find it anywhere.

This song began life as a poem by Ellen Gates, who wrote it in 1861.  It quickly made its way into circulation by being published in magazines and newspapers.  The composer, S.M. Grannis, had earlier written and published numerous songs, including WE ALL WEAR CLOAKS, PEOPLE WILL TALK, and the song for which he is best known: DO THEY MISS ME AT HOME. 

There is a story that goes with this song.  In January 1865, YOUR MISSION was one of a number of songs on the lengthy schedule at the annual Christian Commission meeting, held in Washington, D.C.  Several hours into the program, a popular singer named Philip Phillips, billed as "The Singing Pilgrim", offered up YOUR MISSION.  Seated in the audience was United States President Abraham Lincoln, tears rolling down his face.  At the conclusion of the song, he took a pencil in hand and wrote a brief request on the back of his program.   It read:

Near the close let us have "Your Mission" repeated by Mr. Philips -
Don't say I called for it
A.

Lincoln

The program with its request was The president had the program forwarded to the chairman of the Christian Commission, Mr. Stuart, who showed the request to Mr. Phillips.  Phillips was glad to honor the request, to the pleasure of the President.  Phillips was denied the souvenir of the program with its request, though, as Mr. Stuart pocketed the program as his souvenir.  Phillips later wrote to the president, requesting that he write a copy of the request on another program.

President Lincoln obliged him, and one of the two programs with the request is in the collection of the Sibley Library at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester.

Published By S. Brainard & Co., Cleveland, Ohio
1862



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