"Walk Along John
", also known as "Oh, Come Along John
", is an American song
written for the blackface minstrel show
stage in 1843
. The lyrics of the song are typical of those of the early minstrel show. They are largely nonsense
about a black
man who boasts about his exploits.
The chorus goes:
- Come along John, Come along John,
- Come along John, de fifer's son,
- Ain't you might glad dat your day's work done.
"Walk Along John" is a likely source of inspiration for the later minstrel hit, "Old Dan Tucker". Verses in both songs are quite similar, such as this one:
- Johhny lay on de rail road track,
- He tied de engine on his back;
- He pair's his corn wid a rail road wheel,
- It gib 'im de tooth ache in de heel.
Compare with this verse, commonly found in versions of "Old Dan Tucker":
- Old Daniel Tucker wuz a mighty man,
- He washed his face in a fryin' pan;
- Combed his head wid a wagon wheel
- And he died wid de toofache in his heel.
- Lomax, John A., and Lomax, Alan (1934). American Ballads and Folk Songs. New York: The Macmillan Company.
- Mahar, William J. (1999). Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
- Rammel, Hal (1990). Nowhere in America: The Big Rock Candy Mountain and Other Comic Utopias. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.