Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Testing to see if I can start a new discussion, it didn't work a few days ago.

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A lot of topical songs of the era (in the form of song sheets) used minstrel melodies to fashion their words to.  Some of them are not so nice either but that is one way to get around minstrel lyrics if you still enjoy the melodies....and I think it is interesting put those melodies in context of things that were happening at the time.  I have a few collections of them if anyone is interested.

I'll add that even the Hutchinson Family Singers, who felt the minstrel show and songs vulgar and racially distasteful, used minstrel melodies to which they added abolitionist words.

Al, thanks for that!  I had not thought about later musicians applying new non-rascist lyrics to the older melodies. That makes sense. Like Brian, I usually played only the melodies anyway without singing. 

Lately I have been into some of my other longterm pastime interests, such as drawing/painting, knitting, gardening, fountain pen writing, reading, and contra dancing. I just attended a 3 hour dance last night- I always enjoy the live music and the exercise. I'm pretty sore this morning, but happy. 😅

It didn't take long.  As soon as a song gained some popularity, song sheets came out using that melody about news events of the day.  The song sheets must've had a very short window of sales opportunities as, when the next news came out, the old news would be pushed to the back of people's minds.

“Nulla dies sine nota.” Stop by for a visit if you feel like it.... https://youtube.com/@pauldraperbanjo

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