minstrel: OT: Question about American Folksong

Patricia Yarrow yarrowp at mscd.edu
Mon Feb 9 08:17:09 PST 2004

Responded privately in detail.  Yes, cracking corn is a reference to the
process for making moonshine.

-----Original Message-----
From: minstrel-admin at pbm.com [mailto:minstrel-admin at pbm.com]On Behalf Of
Emil Stecher
Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2004 9:22 AM
To: minstrel at pbm.com
Subject: minstrel: OT: Question about American Folksong

Hope this doesn't tick anyone off too bad, but it
occurred to me this morning that something I have been
singing since grade school, assuming it to be a
nonsense lyric, actually makes sense.

It is the verse: Jimmy crack corn and I don't care,
                 The master's gone away.

Anyway, I had a small epiphany and realized that the
narrator is actually suggesting that he and the other
slaves can open a jug of homemade whiskey and get
drunk, since the master is no longer there to stop

As I said, I've assumed up til now that it was a
nonsense lyric. Does anyone have academic or anecdotal
evidence that would confirm or refute my new reading?


Barak Raz
(Emil M Stecher)
(gwrgi at yahoo.com)

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