Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Tim suggested I list this here.  Barlow is a forgotten Minstrel I'm studying. Some of these songs lack information either because I haven't filled it all in yet or because I haven't tracked them down.  I have another list of songs I am reasonably sure are his and a list of routines, dances, instruments, and characters.  Probably of less interest here.

Barlow (1820-1907) was placed within Minstrelsy, Music-hall, Circus.  He was known for his Banjo playing.  He settled here in Australia in 1852 causing him to be forgotton elsewhere.

Here are some of his songs.  I'd be grateful for any information about them.  Thank you for giving me a glimpse of how Barlow must have sounded.

The Blue-tailed Fly.   The version with the refrain "...and scratch 'im with de briar too".  Barlow claimed this song as "his" -- but then didn't they all?  Still there's no name on the earliest printed copy.  Barlow did a whole routine based on this song. He was known as "The Original Blue-tailed Fly."

Men of Merry England

Patrick Patson -- "Irish anecdote and song"

Volunteers Rouse and Ready (or Rouse and be Ready)  -- "National Song"  A Barlow original?  May be the Werribee Encampment.

Oh, That I had a Thousand a Year


Fidgety Man -- "Serio-Comic"

The Late Fire

Cabbage and Turniptops -- "London Coster song"

Songs written by James Mulholland for the Burletta, The Siege of Sebastopol.  Written for Barlow Performed at The Salle de Valentino, Melbourne in1855:  The Light Brigade.  The Fall of Sebastopol.  Red, White, and Blue.  Romans and Greeks.  The Union of England and France.  

My Johnny was a Volunteer

The Belle of the Ball

When a Man Weds -- "Patter Song"

Terry O'Rann --Irish Song

Glycerina the Sewing Machi-ine-er

The Sausage Machine.  "Negro Love Refrain". ( Is this a parody of Dunderbeck)

Oh! Nicodemus -- Nautical Love Song.  Made famous by Ella Wesner -- Male Impersonator.  Author unknown.

My Mary Jane  -- "Burlesque" -- May be by H. Sidney and E Mackney.  Published by Chappell & Co. of London.  19th Century. 

Jenny Lane -- by R. Bishop Buckley 1850

Not for Joseph  -- by Arthur Lloyd 1866

Sailing on the Ohio -- with solo on bones.  Probably Boatman Dance by Dan Emmet

Pulling Hard Against the Stream  -- "Sentimental song".  Claimed by Harry Clifton in 1867.  Also on an undated broadside Broadside which looks older.

Belle of Mohawk Vale - George W Elliot

Look Always on the Sunny Side -- Broadside published in NY.   No date.  No author

My Johnny is Gone for a Soldier (May be the "Irish Traditional" song sometimes called Shule Aroo)

Mary Blane -- F. C. German of the Ethiopian Serenaders. 

Old Joe/Poor Old Joe -- sung by the Ethiopian Serenaders 1847

Shanghai Chicken--  Stephen Foster

Jenny Alone and I -- May be Where are the Joys we have Met in the Morning, by Burns

Come Where my Love Lies Dreaming -- Stephen Foster

The Shamrock of Erin.  May be -- Sublime was the Warning - by Thomas Moore

Creep a-fore Ye Gang -- "Scotch Song".   Robert Ballantine (1808-1877)

Dinah Take this Hand -- "Operatic Ballad" or "Upper Attic Ballad" -- J D Warren.  1850.  :-)

My Old Wife and I -- aka My Dear Old Wife and I.  "Fireside Song"  Is this a parody of Harry Richmond's My Young Wife and I. 1835?

Lucy Peel -- "Elongated Lament" .  Well known minstrel song.  c. 1848. 

Lucy Long -- variant of Lucy Peel.  May explain the "Elongated Lament" see above

Lucy Neal -- Words and Music -  James Sanford.  Sung by the Ethiopian Serenaders

Lucy Neale Quadrilles

Old Reuben Brown.  Is this related to Cowell's Rueben Wright and Phoebe Brown.                

Weepin' Willer -- London broadside.  Publisher -- Taylor

Jenny who Lives in the Dell --  George Cooper.  (1840-1927)  Music John Rogers Thomas (1830-1896)

Artful Joe -- "Sporting song"  Published in San Francisco.  No date.  No author.

Maggie Mooral -- "Comic song".  Several mentions of it sung by Barlow.  One other reference as sung by another singer in Ballarat. 

Fair Girl Dressed in Check -- By Alfred Vance

The Raw Recruit -- Anonymous song by Civil War Soldier, who may have been from the Harvard Regiment

Irish Beauties -- May be an early song-version of the instrumental by this name which is dated 1911

Lardy Dardy Swell -- Alternate title: Tiddy Fol Lol. Broadside -- from c. 1876.                                    Sometimes called -- Lardy-Dardy Swell on a Hundred a Year or One Hundred a Year.

I Love Sukey Dearly. c 1840.  Popular in NZ in 1863.  No details found.

Mary Ann.  Many songs with this title.  Sung, by request, in Rockhampton 1884 accompanying himself on Harmonium

Cheer Up, Be Sad No More

Young Mrs. Cross and the Lords of Creation

The Jolly West End of the Town.


Ben Bolt.  The poem Ben Bolt was written by Thomas Dunn English in 1842.  It was set to music by Nelson Kneass (1823-1868 or 1869), a composer from Philadelphia. Ben Bolt was first sung in Pittsburgh in 1848. It achieved great popularity, and many parodies were written. (ref. The Contemplator)

Old Dan Tucker  Dan Emmett

Mary Deane

Buffalo Gals

Who's Dat Knocking at the Door

My Skiff is on the Shore

My Skiff is on the Shore -- Waltz

Old Aunt Sally

You'll See Them on the Ohio aka You'll See dem on de Ohio

Ginger Dine

Miss Sally Snow

Nigger's Legislation

The Nigger Legislator. May be the same as above.

I Saw Miss Rosa Dancing

Dar He Goes and Dat's Him.  Dan Emmett 1844.  Listed by Barlow as , There He Goes & That's Him (or Dat's Him)

Nigger's Wedding Day

Stupid Clara

Young Flora

The Negro Slave

The Girls of Old Kentucky

The Pretty Yeller Gal

A Life in Old Virginny

Un-named Operettas.

Cheers, Joy




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Great. Thanks, Strumelia. I've now set up a website for Barlow. It's set up like a data base.  It can be found with the words Barlow Blue-tail'd fly Hildebrand.  I'll try to post the link but if It doesn't work it's easily found. 

barlowtheinimitablebluetailedfly.weebly.com    Ha! Worked. 

Thanks Wes.  For adding the bits to make the link active. 
Wes Merchant said:

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