Picayune Butler, Is She Coming to Town
DESCRIPTION: Minstrel song, with chorus "Picayune Butler, Picayune Butler, Is she coming to town?" In traditional forms, the lyrics float, e.g. the terrapin and the toad, "My ole missus promised me When she died she'd set me free."
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (Scarborough); reportedly known in 1862
KEYWORDS: floatingverses slave animal travel
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 164-165, (no title) (1 text)
NOTES: WolfAmericanSongSheets, #C130B, p. 193, "Picayune Butler" ("Old Fuss and Feathers, as we knew before") uses the tune "All on Hobbies," but I have no idea if the two songs are related.
The broadside version was sufficiently well-known that Abraham Lincoln was reported by the newspapers to have known it, and asked to have it sung, in 1862. The report was, however, part of an attack on him by his political enemies, and the man who was said to have been asked to sing it denied the story. See Paul F. Boller, Jr., Presidential Campaigns, second revised edition, Oxford University Press, 1984-2004, pp. 119-120. - RBW
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