Music > Songs

Blue Tail Fly

<a href="http://balladofamerica.bandcamp.com/track/blue-tail-fly">Blue Tail Fly by Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band</a>

About Blue Tail Fly

Although blackface minstrel shows relied heavily on negative racial characterizations, this minstrel song has an abolitionist attitude. It is usually associated with Dan Emmett, but was credited when published in 1846 to F.D. Benteen. A supposed favorite of Abraham Lincoln, the song reflects the hostility of slave towards master in Southern plantation society.
Lyrics to Blue Tail Fly

Blue Tail Fly

chorus:

Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care
Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care
Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care
Master’s gone away

verses:

When I was young I used to wait
On master, handing him his plate
I brought his bottle when he got dry
And brushed away the blue tail fly

(chorus)

He used to ride each afternoon
I'd follow with a hickory broom
The pony kicked his legs up high
When bitten by the blue tail fly

(chorus)

The pony run, he jump, he pitch
He threw my master in the ditch
My master died and who'll deny
The blame was on the blue tail fly

(chorus)

We layed him under a simmon tree
His epitaph is there to see
"Beneath this stone I'm forced to lie
A victim of the blue tail fly"

(chorus)

Old master's dead and gone to rest
They say all things is for the best
I won't forget until I die
My master and the blue tail fly

(chorus)

The skeeter bites right through your clothes
A hornet strikes you on the nose
The bees may get you passing by
But, oh, much worse, the blue tail fly

(chorus)

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Compact Disc with Blue Tail Fly

This song is available on the compact disc:
Ballad of America Volume 2: America Singing
Blue Tail Fly is on the album Ballad of America  Volume 2: America Singing

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