Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Are there lyrics for this ?

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Yes.  Is that all you want to know, Terry?

Do you have them? I can't find any.

Page 100 of Howe's Ethiopian Glee Book : http://www.archive.org/details/ethiopiangleeboo00howe

I've got the text on one of my other computers if you'd like the text ready to go.  It's included in one or two of my songsters. 

Just found it on my main computer.  It's a song I often sing on the march at reenactments :

DE HISTORY OB DE WORLD (Walk into de parlor)

I'm right from ol Virginny, wid my head so full of knowledge,
I never went to free school, or any odder college ;
But one thing I will tell you - which am a certain fact ;
I'll tell you how dis world was made - in a twinkling ob a crack.

So, walk right in, walk right in, walk right in I say ;
Walk in to de parlor, and hear de banjo play.
Walk in to de parlor, and hear de banjo ring,
And watch de darkey’s fingers while he picks it on de string.

De world was made in six days, and finish'd on de sebenth ;
Cording to de contrak, it should a bin de 'lebenth ;
But de carpenters got drunk, and de masons couldn't work ;
So de cheapest way to do de job - was fill it up wid dirt!
So, walk right in &c.

An, den dey made de sea, and in it put a whale,
And den dey made a raccoon, wid a ring around his tail ;
All de oder animals - were finished one by one,
And stuck again' de fence to dry as fast as dey was done.
So, walk right in &c.

So, Adam was de fust man, Ebe was de toder ;
Cain was de wicked man, 'cause he kill his broder ;
Ole Moder Eve couldn't sleep - wid-out a pill-er, (pillow)
And de greatest man dat eber lib, was Jack de Giant Killer.
So, walk right in &c.

Noah build de ark and filled it full of sass-age,
All de odder animals - took a cabin passage ;
De elephant he cum last, - Noah said, "you's drunk!"
No, says he, it took all dis time - to pack away my trunk!
So, walk right in &c.

O, de wind begin to blow, and de rain begin to fall,
De water come up so high, dat it drowned de darkeys all ;
It rained for forty days an' nights, exactly by de countin',
And landed Noah's Ark - 'pon de All-e-ghan-y mountains.
So, walk right in &c.

O, Noah sent de bird out - to look for dry land,
When he cum back, he had de banjo in his hand ;
I took up de banjo, and played em dis ere tune,
All de odder animals - dey fell in-to a swoon.
So, walk right in &c.

Thanks a lot Silas.

Thanks for that link. What the heck did I not have that before?? Packed full of all the tunes. Wonderful!! 

Lotsa verses to that one.


Lightnin' is a pretty gal she lives up in the clouds,

an' Thunder is a big (fat) man he hollers very loud.

When Thunder kisses Lightnin', she darts off in a wonder,

den Thunder jumps up an' tears his trowsers an' that's what makes it Thunder.


Check James Hartel's youtube channel for a performance of it from the very first AEBG (2006?)  George Wunderlich plays bones and Bob Kilham sings and plays banjo.

Someone should print that book out and bring it to the next gathering.  I'll bet we'd have some folks who could sight-read the harmony parts of all our favorite tunes.  Nothing like correct period harmony.   We should work some of those great harmonies into the 2 concerts!

I just printed one. I'll take it to a printer and get it double sided and bound. It is quite large.


It's interesting to *note* that the melody to Walk into the Parlor and the banjo music written out in the Briggs Banjo Instructor do not exactly match up.  Sort of, but not exactly.  We can speculate on the reasons why; perhaps the Briggs version is intended for a solo performance, where you can 'go off on a tangent' a bit more.  Certainly by 1855 the 'banjo solo' was an important part of the minstrel show.  Perhaps the Briggs version is more of an 'exercise' than an intended solo piece.  Other pieces in the book, probably the majority, do follow their respective melodies very closely.  


I forget now how the arrangement in the Green Converse goes to Walk into the Parlor, it could be a little closer; in any case, thank heavens we have more than one version of it to help re-create how it was played.  I think there are other tutor versions, too. 

Not the same title exactly. Could just be a different tune.

That's true-  "Walk into the Parlor Jig."  I guess it's a jig number based on the popular tune.

Tim Twiss said:

Not the same title exactly. Could just be a different tune.

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