Buffalo Gals

DESCRIPTION: As requested, the Buffalo [Bowery, etc.] girls promise to come out tonight, to dance or otherwise disport themselves by the light of the moon.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: A Christy Minstrels' version was copyright in 1848
KEYWORDS: bawdy playparty dancing
FOUND IN: US(MW,SE,So) West Indies(Tobago)
REFERENCES (20 citations):
Wolford, p. 32=WofordRev, p. 227, "Cincinnati Girls" (1 text)
Randolph 535, "Buffalo Gals" (2 texts plus an excerpt and a fragment, 1 tune)
Owens-2ed, p. 159, "Buffalo Girls" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownIII 81, "Buffalo Gals" (2 short texts); also 491, "We'll Have a Little Dance Tonight, Boys" (1 fragment, too short to properly classify but it might go here)
BrownSchinhanV 81, "Buffalo Gals" (2 tunes plus text excerpts)
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 112-114, (no title) and "Buffalo Gals" (2 texts plus a fragment possibly from this, 1 tune)
Randolph-Legman I, pp. 424-425, "Buffalo Gals" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSUSA 33, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 288-290, "Louisiana Girls" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fife-Cowboy/West 101, "Buffalo Gals" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Botkin-AmFolklr, p. 841, "(Buffalo Gals)" (1 text, 1 tune)
MHenry-Appalachians, p. 233, (fourth of four "Fragments from Maryland") (1 fragment)
Elder-Tobago 22, "Lambeau Gal Le' A-We Go" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnett, p. 58, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 107-108, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune)
Coleman/Bregman, pp. 38-43, "The Cowboy's Christmas Ball" (1 text, 1 tune, with elements of "Buffalo Gals" and "Skip to My Lou" as bridges)
Scott-EnglishSB, pp. 74-75, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune, "Sung by the Ethiopian Serenaders)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 34, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 36, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Charles Edward Russell, _A-Rafting on the Mississip'_, 1928 (republished 2001 by the University of Minnesota Press), pp. 211-213, "Buffalo Gals" (1 text, 1 tune); also a "Cornfed Gals" stanza on p. 219

ST R535 (Full)
Roud #738
RECORDINGS:
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Alabama Gal" (OKeh 40204, 1924)
Collins & Harlan, "Ain't You Coming Out To-Night?" (CYL: Edison [4-min.] 480, n.d.)
Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers, "Buffalo Gal's Medley" (Crown 3075, c. 1930)
Harlan Miner's Fiddlers [pseud. for Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers], "Buffalo Gals" (Montgomery Ward M-3022, 1931) [I am assuming this is a different recording from Crown 3075, as the latter is a medley]
Vernon Dalhart, "Ain't-Ya Comin' Out Tonight?" (Columbia 257-D, 1924)
Vernon Dalhart & Co., "Ain't You Comin' Out Tonight?" (Edison 51430, 1924)
Frank Hutchison, "Alabama Gal Ain't You Coming Out Tonight" (OKeh 45313, 1929; rec. 1928)
Earl Johnson & his Dixie Entertainers [or Earl Johnson and his Clodhoppers], "Alabama Girl Ain't You Comin' Out Tonight" (OKeh 45300, 1929; rec. 1928)
Guy Massey, "Ain't Ya Comin' Out Tonight" (Perfect 12170, 1924)
Shorty McCoy, "Buffalo Gals" (Bluebird 33-0511, 1944)
Pickard Family, "Buffalo Gals" (Brunswick 363/Banner 6371/Conqueror 7326, 1929)
Riley Puckett, "Alabama Gal" (Columbia 15185-D, 1927)
Bookmiller Shannon, "Buffalo Gals" [instrumental] (on LomaxCD1707)
Pete Seeger, "Buffalo Gals" (on PeteSeeger17)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Hangtown Gals" (tune)
cf. "Horsham Boys" (tune)
cf. "Gwine Follow" (partial form)
cf. "Rig-a-Jig" (lyrics)
SAME TUNE:
Birdie in the Cage / Buffalo Gals (Square dance calls) (Welsch, pp. 87-89)
Quadrille/Variant (square dance call) (Welsch, p. 119)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Alabama Gals
NOTES: According to Spaeth (A History of Popular Music in America, p. 101), this originated as the Cool White (John Hodges) song "Lubly Fan" (1843). From the present perspective, it's hard to prove whether Hodges actually did write the thing or borrowed an existing piece -- but I rather suspect the latter.
Jon W. Finson, The Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 191, says that Hodges (1821-1891) was a member of the Virginia Serenaders in 1843, sang this song in 1844, and later was a member of the Sable Melodists, and eventually founded Cool White's Broadway Minstrels. Finson, p. 192, seems to suggest that White wrote the words but used a fiddle tine.- RBW
The tune to Elder-Tobago is close to the usual one and has the same structure. Here, the Lambeau gals are called to dance at Carnbee Hall, at what was once a great sugar plantation. - BS
Last updated in version 4.1
File: R535

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