'Old Zip Coon' he played all day, Until he drove his friends away; He played all night by the light of the moon And wouldn't play anything but 'Old Zip Coon'. A minstrel archetype character first introduced in the mid-19th century.
[Finish to each verse.] O Zip a duden duden duden duden duden day.
There is simply no divorcing the song from the dozens of decades it was almost exclusively used for coming up with new ways to ridicule, and profit from, black people. It's not new knowledge that matters of race permeate the depths of our history and infiltrate the most innocent of experiences, even the simple pleasure of ice cream (who can forget Eddie Murphy's famous, NSFW routine about Whenever I hear the music now, the antique voice laughing about niggers and watermelon fills my head. OLD ZIP COON Oh, there once was a man with a double chin Who performed with skill on the violin And he played in step and he played in tune But he never played anything but Old Zip Coon-Old Zip Coon he played all day Till the neighbours ran away He played all night by the light of the moon But he never played anything But old Zip Coon. When presents appear overnight under the fir tree, I say Santa Claus is the culprit. The "Zip Coon" was a blackface character who parodied a free black man attempting to conform to white high society.In the late 1820s, the music was given new lyrics, which dripped with racism, and titled "The lyrics of "Zip Coon" follow the namesake through encounters with possums, playing the banjo and courting a woman whose skin was so black that he calls her "ol Suky blue skin." Ha! Offended yet? A black person who is acting performatively or foolishly in a way that reinforces black stereotypes 3. Dixon in the early 1830's. 'Old Zip Coon' he played all day, Until he drove his friends away; He … Thus, the catchiest tune of them all, “Zip Coon,” became simply known as “the ice cream truck jingle.” Most ice cream truck jingles are instrumental versions of minstrel show tunes. Earlier songs of the 1880s and 1890s often portrayed blacks cutting one another with razors over games of chance.
A black person that is playing in to the white hierarchy simply because it benefits them, thereby making themselves look like a fool 4. Ha! Ha!"
This is an interesting page. I bet people did get tired of the tune!
Cut in 1916 on Columbia Records, actor Harry C. Browne borrowed the melody from a line of blackface minstrel tunes that all started with a Scottish-Irish immigrant narrative called “The Old Rose Tree,” that had nothing to do with blackface, of course, until it was co-opted by ambitious, bigoted white people and turned into “Zip Coon.”
"Browne: "Yes, ice cream! 1835 Fiddlin' Doc Roberts (3x) O ole Zip Coon he is a larned skoler, Sings posum up a gum tree an conny in a holler. When I started the song, the music that tumbled from the speakers was that of the ever-recognizable jingle of the As quickly as it began, the music paused, and this call-and-response ensued:Browne: "You niggers quit throwin' them bones and come down and get your ice cream!
And the racist lyrics, too.Pancocojams showcases the music, dances, language practices, & customs of African Americans and of other people of Black descent throughout the world. The delivery of the cold hard truth can wait until another day.
And so when a song about niggers and watermelon fills the suburban air, I will smile and hand over money from my pocket. The music immediately resumed and so did the racism.
Admittedly, though, beneath my righteous indignation, I was rather curious about how century-old, overt racism sounded and slightly amused by the farcical title.
LYRICS - OLD ZIP COON (Version #2) There once was a man with a double chin, Who played with skill on a violin: And he played in time and he played in tune, But he never played anything but 'Old Zip Coon'. Released in March 1916 by Columbia Records, it was written by actor Harry C. Browne and played on the familiar depiction of black people as mindless beasts of burden greedily devouring slices of watermelon.I came across this gem while researching racial stereotypes.
Thank you for posting.I chanced upon your page while looking for the origins of the song, "There was an old soldier" or "The Old Tobacco Box," which was also sung to "Turkey in the Straw."
And he played in time and he played in tune but he wouldn't play anything but Old Zip Coon.
"My mouth dropped. "Nigger Love A Watermelon Ha!
I learned that though Browne was fairly creative in his lyrics, the song's premise and its melody are nearly as old as America itself. In the late 1820s, the music was given new lyrics, which dripped with racism, and titled "Zip Coon." The blackface character of the same name parodied a … Lyrics published in 1834 begin: O ole Zip Coon he is a larned skoler, O ole Zip Coon he is a larned skoler, O ole Zip Coon he is a larned skoler, Sings posum up a gum tree an coony in a holler, possum up a gum tree, coony on a stump, possum up a gum tree, coony on a stump, possum up a gum tree, coony on a stump,
Old Zip Coon There once was a man with a double chin who performed with skill on a violin. Let’s be clear: We’re not saying that we should ban ice cream trucks, nor forget all of the beautiful memories we have of it. Colored man's ice cream: WATERMELON!!
OLE ZIP COON G.W. merits the distinction of the most racist song title in America. Naturally, the traditional minstrel tunes of the previous century were employed to evoke the memorable parlor experience.”
You've documented the tune back to the 1830s, for which I am grateful. Library of Congress Despite its controversial racist lyrics, the melody is catchy and works well for dancing.