Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Help: Cotton Eye Joe History

DigiTrad:
COTTON-EYED JOE


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Cotton-eyed Joe-true story/composite? (133) (closed)
Lyr/Chords Req: Cotton-Eyed Joe (32)
Cotton-eyed Joe (10)
Cotton Eyed Joe....what's it mean.... (8) (closed)
Chords Req: Cotton Eyed Joe (5)
Lyr/Chords Add: cotton eyed joe (2)


GUEST,Ms.B 18 Feb 00 - 10:44 PM
katlaughing 18 Feb 00 - 10:57 PM
katlaughing 18 Feb 00 - 11:02 PM
katlaughing 18 Feb 00 - 11:04 PM
W y s i w y G ! 19 Feb 00 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,ROCKBAR 01 Oct 04 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,who is the Original artist?????? 24 Jan 07 - 10:43 PM
Q 24 Jan 07 - 10:55 PM
GUEST,Larry Wright 14 Aug 07 - 12:53 PM
open mike 14 Aug 07 - 05:27 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 Aug 07 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,coyote breath w/o cookie 15 Aug 07 - 03:46 PM
Dave the Gnome 16 Aug 07 - 04:44 AM
Snuffy 16 Aug 07 - 09:09 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Aug 07 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Matt 26 Nov 07 - 07:00 PM
Q 26 Nov 07 - 07:27 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 10 - 11:24 PM
GUEST 13 Feb 11 - 02:05 PM
Q 13 Feb 11 - 04:02 PM
GUEST 13 Feb 11 - 08:23 PM
BK Lick 13 Feb 11 - 08:38 PM
Q 13 Feb 11 - 09:44 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 11 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,CDK 14 Feb 11 - 08:44 AM
beeliner 14 Feb 11 - 02:39 PM
meself 14 Feb 11 - 02:41 PM
Q 14 Feb 11 - 03:03 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 11 - 03:31 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 11 - 03:35 PM
Q 14 Feb 11 - 03:47 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 11 - 04:10 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 11 - 04:28 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST,Ms.B
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 10:44 PM

I'm performing a version of Cotton Eye Joe with my fifth graders for the spring concert. I read the lyrics posted here and they're quite different from the lyrics in the music book I have. Does anyone know any history about this song?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 10:57 PM

Ms. B,

We had a HUGE discussion on this last year, that started with an innocent question similiar to yours, which I ahd posted. I will go find the thread and put a link in this one for you, so that you may read what all was said. It was very interesting and very informative.

I'll be back in a few.

katlaughing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 11:02 PM

Here is the one I mentioned.

Welcome to the Mudcat. Hope this helps. Come back and join us when you have some time to "take your shoes off and set us spell".

All the best,

katlaughing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 11:04 PM

Oh shoot! Sorry, I didn't proofread and I only led you to the first posting of that thread. Here is a link to the whole thread.

Thanks,

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 19 Feb 00 - 01:15 PM

I would suspect that many who have done this song just do what we do with Flop eared Mule-- start from some point of understanding, and make up whatever comes in a particular evening. There may be a historic basis but it has probably been eclipsed by now by a waelth of interpretations.

The Bible presents the same problems... we have to use it as we understand it now and then we can also use it more and more accurately in our lives when we understand the times and idioms of its origin. F'rinstance, the word [submit] so many people have trouble with has quite lovely connotations in the Hebrew and Greek.

Everyone just does the best they cn to use language well, and look at all the *sh*t* that still happens.

BTW, a good combo of bumber stickers is, from the left, "Shit Happens" and right next to it, "One Day at a Time."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe Sheet Music
From: GUEST,ROCKBAR
Date: 01 Oct 04 - 06:17 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST,who is the Original artist??????
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 10:43 PM

please let me know who the original artist is on this song. it is driving me crazy! there are so many artists who sing this song!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: Q
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 10:55 PM

Our old friend, Joe Anonymous, contributed the words to this old fiddle tune.
Please see other threads linked at top.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Cotton Eyed Joe
From: GUEST,Larry Wright
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 12:53 PM

OK, you guys REALLY want to know where cotton eyed joe came from????

Way back when the 49ers were mining and were basically without women. The ballad comes from poking fun at the means in which the miners satisfied themselves.

Think about it... There are a number of songs like this but....

IF IT HADN'T BEEN FOR COTTON EYED JOE, I'D BEEN MARRIED A LONG TIME AGO....

Hold up your right hand opened toward your face. Cotton eye'd joe is the nickname of the inside of your hand. Sort of similar to rosy and her four fingers or daughters....

WHERE DID YOU COME FROM, WHERE DID YOU GO....

This is the act of self gratification... otherwise known as masturbation....

This information is not documented and came from my great grandfather, verified by his friends the Foggy Mountain Boys.... Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt... In case you were wondering....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: open mike
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 05:27 PM

i just listened to the Red Clay Rambler's version of this today
and i do think there are other explanations that make more sense.
there is an objectionable line in one version about beating Joe
and mention the "papa had a man called cotton eyed joe" meaning
a slave. IT also mentions that the women liked to dance with him.
I have alsoheard Dodie Kallick sing it..there is a link to listen
to her recordings on another mud (cat) thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 11:36 AM

What happened to my posts? Did I offend someone?

:D
    Hi, Dave -
    I'm sure you didn't offend anybody, and I'm sure none of your messages were deleted. We've had a problem with disappearing posts. It happens to me about once a week or two, so I always try to check my posts to make sure they're there. We haven't been able to find a cause, since it happens only once every great while.
    I checked the thread, and there are no deleted messages.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST,coyote breath w/o cookie
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 03:46 PM

Ms Richie has a nice version. I know that line as "Don't you remember, don't you know, daddy WORKED a man called cotton-eyed Joe?"
CB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 04:44 AM

Thanks Joe.

All I was saying was that I tend to believe Larry, apart from one thing which I will address. Remember, with folk music, if it makes sense it is about someone dying. If it doesn't make sense it is about sex:-)

The only argument I would have with Larry's theory is that it seems more likely to be a euphomism for the penis rather than the hand. The 'eye' and 'cotton' make more sense. The 'beating' of Joe becomes another euphomism. Daddy had a man called... ditto. And it explains why the ladies liked to dance with him! Where did you come from, where did you go becomes perfectly clear and so on.

Yes?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: Snuffy
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 09:09 AM

So Cotton Eye Joe is the Hogeye man, then?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 09:24 AM

Or the one-eyed trouser snake:-)

My brother Billy had a ten foot willy
and he showed it to the girl next door
She thought it was a snake an she hit it with a rake
and now it's only five foot four.

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: WHAT STATE DID IT COME FROM?
From: GUEST,Matt
Date: 26 Nov 07 - 07:00 PM

HELP


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: Q
Date: 26 Nov 07 - 07:27 PM

What state? Cotton-eye didn't tell me.

See threads above. The question may never be answered.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 11:24 PM

Who was the original artist


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 02:05 PM

Cotton Eyed Joe does not have an original artist because it predates the civial war and is a community based song like many forms of black music. Everyone gets together and sing songs. The son of slave owners provided information about the song to the library of Congress stating that the song was often sung by the slaves on his family's plantation and he grew up hearing it as a child before he faught in the civil war. He did not know who originally made the song. This song is not country nor original(country version)as country music has always borrowed and at times stole from blues and given credit, but a blues folk song sung by slaves. Even the history of country music has been manufactured and important information hidden or denied. For information concerning the origins of country music you can also reference this website in association with the Smithsonian IOnstitute: http://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/node/49. It was field collected in 1929 but no recording was made of this version. Discussion of this song was provided to the library of congress. You can contact Alan Balfour: abalfour@dial.pipex.com. You can referene this web site for more information www.luckymojo.com/bluescottoneyedjoeunknown.html
Thank you and please help spread the facts to combat misinformation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: Q
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 04:02 PM

This is a poor shadow of thread 13537, the Origins thread, where several theories are discussed, some with partially supporting evidence. That the song is old (c. mid-19th C or so), most agree; the earliest date is 1909 (Perrow) although an 1875 Saturday Evening Post article has been mentioned.
Most consider it to be of Black origin.

The version collected by Scarborough (printed 1925) with brief score is one of the best, superior to the one in the DT.
It has a great many variations, as would be expected of an old dance-play song.

I doubt that any story of its origin will be agreed upon by those who have tried to trace its history.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 08:23 PM

The origins of Cottom Eyed Joe is no longer academic and never was to African Americans in particular, and is indisputable. It is a Blues folk song still sung by African Americans to this day and its origins is and never was a theory rather than fact. "Denial aint just a river in the Nile" (Mark Taine)
The origins of the song was provided to the library of Congress by the son of slave owners who like many whites grew up hearing, watching, listening to African Americans who were enslaved practice their culture. This son of slave owners was also a civil war veteran who clearly stated the song was from the pre civil war era. I will repost my earlier post in response to an attempt to confuse viewers to the songs origins:

Cotton Eyed Joe does not have an original artist because it predates the civial war and is a community based song like many forms of black music. Everyone gets together and sing songs. The son of slave owners provided information about the song to the library of Congress stating that the song was often sung by the slaves on his family's plantation and he grew up hearing it as a child before he faught in the civil war. He did not know who originally made the song. This song is not country nor original(country version)as country music has always borrowed and at times stole from blues and given credit, but a blues folk song sung by slaves. Even the history of country music has been manufactured and important information hidden or denied. For information concerning the origins of country music you can also reference this website in association with the Smithsonian Institute:

http://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/node/49.

BCMA mission statement:

The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance works in tandem with other organizations in the Tri-Cities to present a united effort consistent with the BCMA's mission and objectives. The BCMA also works with a variety of local, state, and national organizations and governmental bodies to help preserve and promote our region and its heritage.

Cotton Eyed Joe was field collected in 1929 but no recording was made of this version. Discussion of this song was provided to the library of congress. You can contact Alan Balfour: abalfour@dial.pipex.com. You can referene this web site for more information www.luckymojo.com/bluescottoneyedjoeunknown.html

Thank you and please help spread the facts to combat misinformation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: BK Lick
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 08:38 PM

Open Mike wrote "I have also heard Dodi Kallick sing it..there is a link to listen to her recordings on another mud (cat) thread."

Here 'tis.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: Q
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 09:44 PM

There is nothing in the Birthplace Country Music link about "Cotton-Eyed Joe."
The song was field-collected in 1909- See Perrow; also N. I. White, 1915-16; Scarborough 1925; Talley, etc.
The "lucky mojo" site reproduces the version collected by Dorothy Scarborough and printed in 1925; Alan Balfour repeats Scarborough's introduction to the song as published in her book, On the Trail of Negro Folk Songs, pp. 68-69, and posted in thread 13537:
Origins


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 03:30 AM

So long as people know it is a blues song and not what they have been lead to believe. Birthplace of Country Music was just additional reference pertaining to Country Music not the song Cotton Eyed Joe. Sorry for the typo, I meant 1909 pertaining to its collection date. 1929 was a pasted date pertaining to irrelevant information removed from another website.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST,CDK
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 08:44 AM

Please investigate the link between "cotton eyed Joe" and "old Joe Clark" the clark family has been running a saw mill in Southwestern VA for a long long time and both songs are reputed to be about their patriarch Joe Clark. I have danced in this saw mill, which they converted to a dance hall many many years ago. It has been run continuously since then. They still play old time music every weekend and dance traditional Appalachian dances.
Joe Clark is cotton eyed Joe, Patriarch of the still performing Clark family of southwestern VA.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: beeliner
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 02:39 PM

The song was a huge European hit for the Swedish group Rednex several years ago.

Didn't see this mentioned on either thread, tho' perhaps I missed it.

Several versions (remix, live, cover etc.) of their arrangement are viewable on YouTube.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: meself
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 02:41 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddgyg_5FF_0


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: Q
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 03:03 PM

Not a blues.
----------------------

Guest CDK, The Traditional Ballad Index, Cox and others have related "Old Joe Clark" to a rhyme in Halliwell, 1842, p. 135(?), apparently it begins 'When I was a little boy...', but I find this connection exceedingly tenuous.
Randolph, Ozark Folk-Songs, places Old Joe with "Liza Jane," which is similar and both have verses which float between them.

I would like to know more about your Joe Clark; the oldest firm references I find to the song are in Perrow and N. I. White, which puts the song (not the older tune) back to c. 1900.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 03:31 PM

Without a question an old folk blues song sung by slaves. Country has always borrowed from the blues and Cotton Eyed Joe is no exception. Still sung by African Americans today. Tell that to the library of Congress.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 03:35 PM

That the song is old (c. mid-19th C or so), most agree; the earliest date is 1909 (Perrow) although an 1875 Saturday Evening Post article has been mentioned.
Most consider it to be of Black origin. (From: Q)
Blues indeed. No one else would sing of cotton especially at that time in history. Plantation folk blues song without a doubt.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: Q
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 03:47 PM

Old folk song, yes.
Black origin, very likely.
Blues, no.
And no Library of Congress listing as blues.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 04:10 PM

Like I said, tell that to the library of Congress and Blues fans everywhere. Black spirituals are Blues. On the Trail of Negro Folk Songs, pp. 265.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Cotton Eye Joe History
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 04:28 PM

Additional reference material:

Subject: 'NEGRO,' 'BLACK,' or 'AFRICAN-AMERICAN' SPIRITUALS
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 12:42 PM

'NEGRO,' 'BLACK,' or 'AFRICAN-AMERICAN' SPIRITUALS?
Names By Which Spirituals Have Been Called
By WYSIWYG and Q
Other names this music has been known by include:

Slave songs
Plantation songs
Sorrow songs
Jubilee songs
Exaltations
Negro songs
Cabin songs
Contrabandists songs (see below)
Religious Folk Songs
Spiritual Folk-Songs

Cotton Eyed Joe, a black folk song = Blues music in origin.

To my question, "Have blues any relation to Negro folk-song?'' Handy replied instantly:
" Yes — they are folk-music."
On the Trail of Negro Folk Songs, pp. 265.
    Dear Guest, you are welcome to post at Mudcat but please be aware that we no longer allow anonymous posting. Please use the same name each and every time you post - put it in the "from" box when you post, or register and your name will be inserted automatically. Thank you.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 November 8:59 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.