Definitions

Come Along John

Walk Along John

"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.

Notes

References

  • 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.

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