DESCRIPTION: "Oh, kind folks listen to my song, It is no idle story, It's all about a volunteer Who's going to fight for glory!" The singer belongs to the "Fire Zou-Zous" (Zouaves), to fight for Columbia, "Abraham's Daughter." They will fight under McClellan
AUTHOR: Septimus Winner? (see NOTES)
EARLIEST DATE: 1861 (sheet music, according to Silber-CivWarFull)
KEYWORDS: soldier Civilwar
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Silber-CivWarFull, pp. 99-101, "Abraham's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune); pp. 102-103, "Abraham's Daughter (II)" (1 text, 1 tune, a parody sung by Ben Cotton)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #4, p. 1, "Abraham's Daughter" (6 references)
NOTES [253 words]: According to Edwin Wolf 2nd, American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads, and Political Broadsides 1850-1870, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1963, p. 1, there were at least four songs entitled "Abraham's Daughter" published in the Civil War era:
1. This one, beginning "Oh, kind folks listen to my song, it is no idle story" (5 verses; 6 editions listed)
2. One beginning "Some years ago, I s'pose you know" (3 verses; 3 editions listed), with two editions published by De Marsan and one said to have been sung by "Charley Fox of Hooley's Minstrels"
3. One beginning "How are you and all my friends" (4 verses; 5 editions listed); versions said to have been sung by Billy Ward and by Ed Wray
4. One beginning "When first this war through the peaceful North" (4 verses; 1 edition listed)
Obviously Silber's Version II is a fifth song with this title.
I have found no evidence that any of the five went into tradition.
The author of the first is somewhat dubious; several copies (including the one examined by Silber, obviously) credit it to Septimus Winner; others mention Winner as published but credit it to Tony Emmett. Given Winner's tendency to use pseudonyms, it would be no great surprise if he originally published it as by Emmett but then put his own name on it. On the other hand, he might well have been willing to take credit for someone else's work if he could get away with it.
#3 shares part of its first line with a song usually known as "Medicine Jack," but I have not been able to establish a connection. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.