Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I'm splitting this off from the discussion about Carl's video, Hop de Dooden Do.  The cover sheet for Hop de Dooden Do notes one other song by the author, M.A.I.  Not immediately recognizing it, I did a little search for the tune.  And that's when I recognized it as a tune sung by Red Foley of Grand Ole Opry fame.

Found the sheet music in the Levy collection.  Looks very simple.  I tabbed it out and will give it a go this evening. 

Even though the title seems like it would have some of the usual racial slant to it, it's a clean song without any need for sanitizing when played to a modern audience.  Here is the link http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/levy-cgi/display.cgi?id=050.004.0... and here are the lyrics to this comedy song :

Aunt Jemima she was old, but very kind and clever,
She had a notion of her own that she would marry never ;
She said that she'd live in peace, & none should be her master ;
She made her living day by day, in selling of a plaster.


Sheep-skin and bees wax made this awful plaster,
The more you try to get it off, the more it sticks the faster ;
Sheep-skin and bees wax made this awful plaster,
The more you try to get it off, the more it sticks the faster.
She had a sister very tall, and if she'd keep on growing,
She might have been a giant now in fact there is no knowing;
All of a sudden she become of her own height the master,
And all because upon each foot Jemima put a plaster.
Sheep-skin and bees wax, etc.
There was a thief night & day kept robbing of the neighbors,
But none could find the rascal out, with all their tricks & labors ;
She set a trap upon her step, and caught him with a plaster,
The more he tried to get away, the more he stuck the faster.
Sheep-skin and bees wax, etc.
Her neighbor had a Thomas cat, that eat like any glutton,
It never caught a mouse or rat, but stole both milk and mutton ;
To keep it home she tried her best, but ne'er could be its mast'r,
Until she stuck it to the floor, with Aunt Jemima's plaster.
Sheep-skin and bees wax, etc.
Now if you have a dog or cat, a husband, wife, or lover,
That you would wish to keep at home, this plaster just discover ;
And if you wish to live in peace avoiding all disaster,
Take my advice and try the strength of Aunt Jemima's plaster.
Sheep-skin and bees wax, etc.

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That's pretty interesting Silas, and another example of how these song themes develop over time. I sing a set of lyrics to the Brigg's tune "Pitch Burgundy Plaster" that deal with this same thing, a "stickin' plaster" so strong it would "draw a load of cotton" .  I got the lyrics from one of the black face comedies we did years ago (in black face). I'd post the lyrics but I don't have them handy. Let's see the chorus went:

Sheep skin, beeswax, burgundy pitch and tar. Debble couldn't pull it off when you put it dar.

Now its coming to me:

There was a wench lived down our way who had a stickin' plaster

She sold so many every day she got as rich as master

This plaster was so very strong t'would draw a load of cotton

Would draw a tooth with seven prongs if your teeth was gettin rotten.

One day Miss Phoebe she went dead and you might'nt believe my story,

That plaster was so bery strong it drawed her up to glory.

Something like that. I never in my life had heard the term sticking plaster for something like a "bandaid" but I suppose they were still called that not too long ago and maybe still are in some places.

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