The Original Jim Crow

The Original Jim Crow  (1832) 
by Thomas D. Rice

Many different versions of Jump Jim Crow were published, with wildly varying numbers of stanzas. This early edition was published in New York ca. 1832.

Mr. T. Rice as The Original Jim Crow, ca. 1832 sheet music cover


Come listen all you galls and boys
I's just from Tuckyhoe,
I'm goin to sing a little song,
My name is Jim Crow


Weel about and turn about and do jis so,
Eb'ry time I weel about and jump Jim Crow.


Oh, I'm a roarer on de Fiddle,
And down in old Virginny,
They say I play de skyentific
Like Massa Pagannini.


I git 'pon a flat boat
I cotch de Uncle Sam
Den I went to see de place
Where dey kill'd Packenham.


I went down to de riber,
I did'nt mean to stay,
But dere I see so many galls,
I couldn't get away.


And den I go to Orleans
An feel so full of fight
Dey put me in de Calaboose,
An keep me dare all night.


When I got out I hit a man,
His name I now forget,
but dere was nothing left
'Sept a little grease spot


I wip my weight in wildcats
I eat an Alligator,
And tear up more ground
Dan kifer 50 load of tater


I sit upon a Hornet's nest,
I dance upon my head,
I tie a Wiper' round my neck
And den I go to bed.


Dere's Possum up de gumtree
An Raccoon in de hollow,
Wake Snakes for June bugs
Stole my half a dollar


A ring tail'd monkey
An a rib nose Babboon,
Went out de odder day
To spend de arternoon.


Oh de way dey bake de hoecake
In old Virginny neber tire
Dey put de hoe upon de foot
An hole it to de fire.


Oh by trade I am a carpenter,
But be it understood,
De way I get my liben is,
By sawing de ticj oh wood.


I'm a full blooded niggar,
Oh de real ole stock,
An wid my head and shoulder
I can split a horse block.


I struck a Jersey niggar,
In de street de oder day,
An I hope I neber stir
If he didn't turn gray.


I'm berry much afraid of late
Dis jumping will be no good.
For while de Crow are dancing,
De Wites will saw de wood.


But if dey get honest,
By sawing wood like slaves
Der'es an end to de business,
Ob our friend Massa Hays.


I met a Philadelphia niggar
Dress'd up quite nice & clean
But de way he 'bused de Yorkers
I thought was berru mean.


So I knocked down dis Sambo
And shut up his light,
For I'm jist about as sassy,
As if I was half white.


But he soon jumped up again,
An 'gan for me to feel,
Says I go away you niggar,
Or I'll skin you like an eel.


I'm so glad dat I'm a niggar,
And don't you wish you was too
For den you'd gain popularity
By jumping Jim Crow.


Now my brodder niggars,
I do not think it right,
Dat you should laugh at dem
Who happen to be white.


Kase it dar misfortune,
And dey'd spend ebery dollar,
If dey only could be
Gentlemen ob colour.


It almost break my heart,
To see dem envy me,
And from my soul I wish dem,
Full as black as we.


What stuf it is in dem,
To make de Debbil black
I'll prove dat he is white
In de twinkling of a crack.


For you see loved brodders,
As true as he had a tail,
It is his very weakness
What makes him turn pale.


I went to Hoboken,
To hab a promenade,
An dar I see de pretty gals,
Drinking de Lemonade.


Dat sour and dat sweet,
Is berry good by gum',
But de best of lemonade is,
Made by adding rum.


At de Swan cottage,
Is de place I tink,
Whar dey make dis 'licious
An 'toxicating drink.


Some go to Weehawk,
An some to Brooklyn hight
But dey better stay at home,
If dey want to see de sight.


To go to de museum,
I'm sure it is dare duty,
If for noting else,
Jist to see de sleeping beauty.


An dare is daddy Lambert,
An a skeleton on he hunkie,
An likeness of Broadway dandy
In a glass case of monkies.


De Broadway bells,
When dey carry full sail,
Around dem wear a funny ting,
Just like a fox tail.


When you hear de name of it,
I sure it make you roar,
Why I ax'd 'em what it was,
And dey said it was a boar.


De great Nullification,
And fuss in de South,
Is now before Congress,
To be tried by word ob mouth.


Dey hab had no blows yet,
And I hope dey nebber will,
For its berry cruel in bredren
One anoders blood to spill.


Wid Jackson at de head,
Dey soon de ting may settle
For ole Hickory is a man,
Dat's tarnal full ob mettle.


Should dey get to fighting,
Perhaps de blacks will rise,
For deir wish for freedom,
Is shining in deir eyes.


An if de blacks should get free,
I guess dey'll fee some bigger,
An I shall concider it,
A bold stroke for de niggar.


I'm for freedom,
An for Union altogether,
Aldough I'm a black man,
De white is call'd my broder.


I'm for a union to a gal,
An dis is a stubborn fact,
But if I marry an dont like it,
I'll nullify de act.


I'm tired of being a single man
An I'm tarmined to get a wife
For what I think de happiest
Is de swee married life.


Its berry common 'mong de white
To marry and get divorced
But dat I'll nebber do
Unless I'm really forced


I think I see myself in Broadway
Wid my wife upon my arm,
And to follow up de fashion,
Dere sure can be no harm.


An I caution all white dandies,
Not to come in my way,
For if dey insult me,
dey'll in de gutter lay.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.