Way Down on the Old Peedee
DESCRIPTION: "Away down south, on the old Peedee, Away down in the cotton and the corn, There lived old Joe, and he lived so long That nobody knows when he was born." The song describes how the old, old slave was buried
EARLIEST DATE: 1922 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: slave death burial age playparty
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
BrownIII 421, "Way Down on the Old Peedee" (1 text plus a possibly-related fragment)
BrownSchinhanV 421, "Way Down on the Old Pedee" (sic.) (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Parrish 22, pp. 122-123, "Way Down In the Ole Peedee" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "Uncle Ned" (plot)
NOTES: Brown's "B" text, which is the basis for the description, is so like "Uncle Ned" in its ideas, and even its style, that I can't help but think it designed to take advantage of that early Foster work. But I haven't located a source.
Ben Schwartz suggests that the two Brown texts should be separated, into "Old Darkey Joe" and "Way Down on the Old Peedee," with Brown 421B being the former and Brown 421A and Parrish being the latter. He points out that:
Parrish is similar to the BrownIII fragment 421A.
It's playparty with no plot.
The chorus is "Way down in the Ole Peedee (x2) Summer night the moon shine bright, Sally you can see"; Parrish's verses are "I wish that gal was mine (x2), Summer night the moon shine bright Sally you can see" and "Good-bye my honey I'm gone (x2), If you call me honey spen' my money Good-bye my honey I'm gone."
I suspect Ben is right. But we're still stuck with only one copy of "Old Darkey Joe." So I'm waiting for the moment. - RBW
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