Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

A simple banjo / vocal arrangement I did from the 1848 sheet music and the Gumbo Chaff banjo tutor. Thanks to Mark Weems for originally posting this one and getting me all interested.

Views: 106

Comment by Paul Draper on April 8, 2014 at 8:55pm
Nice Dave! I really enjoyed that!
Comment by Tim Twiss on April 8, 2014 at 9:06pm
Nice! That was a very popular song, wasn't it? Surprised it isn't covered more by our genre. I love the video...with the images.
Comment by Strumelia on April 8, 2014 at 9:21pm

This is terrific, Dave!   Almost makes me want to go to sea....

Comment by Dave Culgan on April 9, 2014 at 8:55am

It’s funny but when Mark Weems posted “A Life by De Galley Fire” a few weeks ago, I listened and instantly recognized the melody but mistakenly assumed that this song he was singing was the source of the melody and didn’t realize until later that it was a very clever parody of “A Life on the Ocean Wave”. I loved the song and thinking about it realize why I like some of these blackface songs so much. This parody, for example, does have the racially stereotyped cartoon of the protagonist on the sheet music cover, but the stereotyping in the lyrics is much milder; his contentment with a lower station in life, and his prowess with women.

What I see is the classic upside-downing of society. The parody subject’s lofty verse - “Like an eagle caged I pine, on this dull unchanging shore. Oh give me the flashing brine! The spray and the tempest roar!” becomes - “ I pine as I walk the street, like a fish without a fin, oh give me my old caboose (galley) where I’ll lay back and grin”. I can relate to both, but the latter is the day-to-day life we inhabit.

Comment by Rob Morrison on April 9, 2014 at 9:05am

Very fine rendition, Dave.  I'm always green-eyed with envy at people who can sing.


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