Juba

DESCRIPTION: A dance and patting song: "Juba, Juba, Juba up 'n' Juba down, Juba all aroun' the town." "Juba jump, Juba sing, Juba cut that pigeon wing. Juba kick off this old shoe, Juba dance that Jubilo." Variations, as one might expect, are extreme
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1855
KEYWORDS: dancing nonballad food
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Randolph 263, "Dinky" (1 short text, 1 tune, which Randolph believes to be this piece; in any case, it's too short to really deserve a separate entry)
BrownIII 201, "Round It Up a Heap It Up" (a "Juba" fragment follows the main text)
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 98-99, "Juba" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Parrish, p. 116, "Juba Dis an' Juba Dat" (1 text)
Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 708, "Juba" (1 text, 1 tune)
Courlander-NFM, p. 192, "(Juba)" (1 text)
Handy/Silverman-Blues, p. 53, "Juba" (1 text, 1 tune; notes on p. 204)
MWheeler, p. 96, [no title] (1 fragment, filed under "Uncle Bud")
ADDITIONAL: Thomas W. Talley, Negro Folk Rhymes (New York: Macmillan Company, 1922 ("Digitized by Microsoft")), p. 9, "Juba" (1 text)

Roud #5748
RECORDINGS:
Lee Wallin, "Juba" ((on OldLove, DarkHoll [as "Juba This"])
NOTES: Described in Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom, 1855. (Pp.252-253 in the Dover Reprint edition of 1936). Also fully described in Step It Down (Bessie Jones and Bess Lomax Hawes,1971: Harper & Row. pp. 27-30.)
"Juba" often refers to the patting pattern rather than the words. The words may contain disguised complaints about the treatment of Black people.
Some of the words -- without the "patting" -- were used as a "dandling rhyme" in my family, in Oklahoma, at least as early as 1909. - SHi
According to SIng Out!, Volume 40, #3 (1995/1996), pp. 80-81, "juba" was slave food (apparently a corruption of "giblets"). A "yellow cat" is said to be a white. Bessie Smith's version, transcribed in that issue, was mostly about the bad food given to the slaves. The issue includes a detailed analysis of how Smith patted out the song. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: BSoF708

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