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Origin of Jump Jim Crow



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A great opportunity for teaching, and for getting students (and others) to think and feel deeply about issues of representation. Just because this is the music classroom we don't talk about history or culture -- that's in the social studies class (and we don't deal with slavery until US history in 5th grade) or emotions (only the school counselor or psychologist does that!).

One of the ironies of racist folklore, is that anyone could be nostalgic for it.

Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940,” is an animated, online map that illustrates the rise of the second Klan, which was founded in Atlanta in 1915 and spread rapidly across the country to total more than 2,000 local units, known as Klaverns.
Digital map shows spread of KKK across United States like ‘a contagion’. A local Klan chapter, known as a Klavern, that spread across the country between 1915 and 1940 establishing chapters in all 50 states with an estimated membership of between 2 million and 8 million. The rise of the second KKK was fueled in large part by the 1915 film “The Birth of a Nation,” (Pornography for racists) which was a fictional and highly racist depiction of Reconstruction that portrays the first KKK, that operated between 1865 and 1871, as the saviors of white America.

Professor Dan Cassidy knows the amazing origins of the words "Jim Crow", how it became part of the language, and the name for racist laws and attitudes used to oppress blacks in the Southern United States in the 19th and 20th Centuries. The Words "JIM CROW" AND "JIMMY CRACK CORN" are  Irish American Vernacular English. Read about the hidden influence of Irish and Scots-Gaelic on what we call American English. Jump Jim Crow (Tiomp Díomá Crua) is bilingual double-tongued  chorus  of defiance against the “cruel hard despair,” the “cruel blues” of  slavery. 

Professor Dan Cassidy wrote © 6/4/05
Scotland 's darker role in the slave trade is also well known. Scots were influential in founding the Ku Klux Klan, including the traditional Scottish symbol of the burning cross and the KKK's oath ceremony, which originated from a Highland custom.
Many of the "crackers" were Scots-Irish Protestants who had left Ireland in the 18th century.

The Scots Irish Protestents were also the Pirates of England and Boston Mass. who were the Slavers and Opium smugglers like the ancestors of Presidents Roosevelts, Taft and Trump .

The Scots-Gaelic Sanas of Ku Klux Klan ~ Dan Cassidy
"Cu Cleócach Clainn
Cloaked heroes of the Clann
Cu: Champion, hero. (Dwelly, Faclair Gaidhlig Gu Beurla, Gaelic-English Dictionary , p. 283
Cleóc, Cloak, mantle, cover or conceal
Cleócach, adj. cloaked (pron. Klukah)
Clann, gs. clainn: Offspring, descendants, children; tribe, family.
The KKK were not Irish. My father's earliest memory were the Cu Cleócach Clainn marching outside his Catholic orphanage in Long Island, NY, in 1923. In the NY Times from 1921-1923 there are hundreds of articles dealing with the massive resurgence of the Clann in NYC and environs. 50,000 Klan members marched in Bay Shore, NY in 1923. They were angered by Irish Catholic Governor Al Smith. They attacked countless RC churches and burned crosses from Brooklyn to Montauk Point.


Professor Ruff heard from Dizzie Galespie that Slaves sometimes spoke and sang hymes in gaelic. When he heard Gaelic singers precenting the line he says he realized that this was what he was looking for. He believes that Gaels, who emigrated to the Americas, maintained their language and worship style, and taught it to their slaves, who then continued the tradition. He has found evidence of black churches in the deep South worshipping in Gaelic up to 1919.

Jump Jim Crow By T.D. “Daddy” Rice
Jump Jim Crow
Tiomp Díomá Crua  !    (Pron: Jump Jima  Crua)
Beat The Blues!    Literally: Thump hard cruel sorrow!

Tiomp:  Thump! To strike a tambourine,  tiompanach.

Díomá, diomá :   Disappointment, sorrow.

Crua:   Hard, difficult, hard to bear, harsh, unfeeling.
Croí crua, hard heart. Saol crua: hard life, hard times. Saol luim, poor  world: slum.

“Daddy Rice” was born in the wild breac-Ghaeltacht Irish  slums of NYC's old 7th Ward in the first years of the 19th century.  Daddy Rices's shout  to “Jump Jim Crow!” from the Irish phrase “Tiomp Díomá  Crua!” is a call to “Beat the Blues!” and drive away or thump “cruel hard  despair!” 

The key verses calling  for African Amercian  liberation were part of the earliest versions  of Tiomp Díomá Crua! ,  published near Chatham Square in my families old baile aice (ballywick)  of  Division Street.  Today these verses are ignored by  scholars. 
Jump Jim Crow (Tiomp Díomá Crua) is bilingual double-tongued  chorus  of defiance against the “cruel hard despair,” the “cruel blues” of  slavery. 

Daddy Rice's Real Version of Jump Jim Crow




Come listen all you galls and boys
I's just from Tuckyhoe,
I'm  going to sing a little song,
My name's Jim Crow. (Díomá  Crua)

Weel about & turn about And do jis so
Ebery  time I weel about
And Jump Jim Crow!


Tiomp Díomá Crua!
Thump Cruel Despair!
Beat the Blues!

Oh  I'm a roarer un de fiddle
An down in ole Virginny
Drey say I play de  skyintific
like Massa Paganinni


I'm berry much afraid  of late
Dis jumpin' will be no good,
For whiloe de Crow are dancin'
De  whites will saw de wood.


But if dey get honest
By  sawing wood like slaves
Dedre's an end to the business
Ob our friend Massa  Hayes


Now my brodder niggers
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 could only 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 twinking of a crack.

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


I went to Hoboken
To hab a promenade
And dar  I see de pretty gals
Drinking de lemonade.

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


Dey had had no blows yet
And I  hope dey neber will,
For it's very cruel in bredren,
One anoder's blood to  spill.


Should dey get to fighting
Perhaps de Blacks  will rise
For deir wish for Freedom
Is shining in their  eyes.


I'm for freedom
An for Union  altogether
Although I'm a black man,
De white is called my  brodder.




Have You Heard? Gossip Turns Out to Serve a Purpose. From Gossip to Story Telling. All of history is one long story. History is nothing more than story telling. What is important is Who Is Telling The Story! 

Wikipiedia's Version of History



"Jump Jim Crow" was a transatlantic hit for decades.  Written by Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice - the original professional blackface entertainer about 1828. Here's a picture of one sheet music version. In 1828, Thomas Rice darkened his face with burnt cork, costumed himself as a plantation slave, and won nationwide fame performing this song in variety theatres. Rice's lasting success inspired the creation of minstrel shows you should also see What Happened at a Minstrel Show
It is widely written that Rice claimed that his inspiration came from an elderly African American he found singing this tune near a stage door one night in Washington DC. - see 150 sets of lyrics from American Memory Song Sheets of the song.



Verse 1
Come listen all you galls and boys I's jist from Tuckyhoe,
I'm going to sing a little song, my name's Jim Crow,

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

Verse 2
Oh I'm a roarer on de fiddle, and down in old Virginny,
They say I play de skyentific like Massa Pagannini.

Verse 3
I went down to de riber, I didn't mean to stay,
But dere I see so many galls, I couldn't get away.

Verse 4
I git upon a flat boat, I cotch de uncle Sam,
But I went to see de place where de kill'd Packenham.

Verse 5
And den I do to Orleans and feel so full of fight,
Dey put me in de Calaboose and keep me dare all night.

Jim Crow Reel Minstrel Performer: Adelard St. Louis

Listen to Leadbelly sing Jim Crow Blues 

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Listen to Michelle Shocked sing Jump Jim Crow (Zip a dee do da)

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"Zip Coon", was sung to the same tune as Turkey in the Straw" a well known American folk song dating from the early 19th century. This version was first published between 1829 and 1834 in either New York or Baltimore. See the Original Sheet Music for Zip Coon Music for a nation: American sheet music, 1820-1860. Hip-hop gangsters will someday look just as quaint and ghastly as Old Zip Coon, their linear ancestor.

One of the ironies of racist folklore, is that anyone could be nostalgic for it. The debate about mascots - of any type - is a great opportunity for teaching, and for getting students (and others) to think and feel deeply about issues of representation.

Uncle Ben has been promoted to CEO, watch the slide show "The Strange History of Racist Spokescharacters," most of which represent food products. Superstar spokescharacter has roots in the minstrelsy.


Jim Crow
Laws by State



Jim Crow Era Travel guide the 1955 The Negro Travelers' Green Book the Guide to Travel and Vacations. A Jim Crow era book elicits feelings and lessons from that chapter of U.S. history. Everything for all 50 states. Ruth and the Green Book. It gives us a history of what we might call 'driving while black.

Nurses No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which negro men are placed. Alabama

Buses All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races. Alabama

Railroads The conductor of each passenger train is authorized and required to assign each passenger to the car or the division of the car, when it is divided by a partition, designated for the race to which such passenger belongs. Alabama

Restaurants It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment. Alabama

Pool and Billiard Rooms It shall be unlawful for a negro and white person to play together or in company with each other at any game of pool or billiards. Alabama

Toilet Facilities, Male Every employer of white or negro males shall provide for such white or negro males reasonably accessible and separate toilet facilities. Alabama

Intermarriage The marriage of a person of Caucasian blood with a Negro, Mongolian, Malay, or Hindu shall be null and void. Arizona

Intermarriage All marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent to the fourth generation inclusive, are hereby forever prohibited. Florida

Cohabitation Any negro man and white woman, or any white man and negro woman, who are not married to each other, who shall habitually live in and occupy in the nighttime the same room shall each be punished by imprisonment not exceeding twelve (12) months, or by fine not exceeding five hundred ($500.00) dollars. Florida

Education The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted separately. Florida

Juvenile Delinquents There shall be separate buildings, not nearer than one fourth mile to each other, one for white boys and one for negro boys. White boys and negro boys shall not, in any manner, be associated together or worked together. Florida

Mental Hospitals The Board of Control shall see that proper and distinct apartments are arranged for said patients, so that in no case shall Negroes and white persons be together. Georgia

Intermarriage It shall be unlawful for a white person to marry anyone except a white person. Any marriage in violation of this section shall be void. Georgia

Barbers No colored barber shall serve as a barber [to] white women or girls. Georgia

Burial The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons. Georgia

Restaurants All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or serve the two races anywhere under the same license. Georgia

Amateur Baseball It shall be unlawful for any amateur white baseball team to play baseball on any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of a playground devoted to the Negro race, and it shall be unlawful for any amateur colored baseball team to play baseball in any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of any playground devoted to the white race. Georgia

Parks It shall be unlawful for colored people to frequent any park owned or maintained by the city for the benefit, use and enjoyment of white persons...and unlawful for any white person to frequent any park owned or maintained by the city for the use and benefit of colored persons. Georgia

Wine and Beer All persons licensed to conduct the business of selling beer or wine...shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room at any time. Georgia

Reform Schools The children of white and colored races committed to the houses of reform shall be kept entirely separate from each other. Kentucky

Circus Tickets All circuses, shows, and tent exhibitions, to which the attendance of...more than one race is invited or expected to attend shall provide for the convenience of its patrons not less than two ticket offices with individual ticket sellers, and not less than two entrances to the said performance, with individual ticket takers and receivers, and in the case of outside or tent performances, the said ticket offices shall not be less than twenty-five (25) feet apart. Louisiana

Housing Any person...who shall rent any part of any such building to a negro person or a negro family when such building is already in whole or in part in occupancy by a white person or white family, or vice versa when the building is in occupancy by a negro person or negro family, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five ($25.00) nor more than one hundred ($100.00) dollars or be imprisoned not less than 10, or more than 60 days, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court. Louisiana

The Blind The board of trustees shall...maintain a separate building...on separate ground for the admission, care, instruction, and support of all blind persons of the colored or black race. Louisiana

Intermarriage All marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, or between a white person and a member of the Malay race; or between the negro a nd a member of the Malay race; or between a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, and a member of the Malay race, are forever prohibited, and shall be void. Maryland

Railroads All railroad companies and corporations, and all persons running or operating cars or coaches by steam on any railroad line or track in the State of Maryland, for the transportation of passengers, are hereby required to provide separate cars or coaches for the travel and transportation of the white and colored passengers. Maryland

Education Separate schools shall be maintained for the children of the white and colored races. Mississippi

Promotion of Equality Any person...who shall be guilty of printing, publishing or circulating printed, typewritten or written matter urging or presenting for public acceptance or general information, arguments or suggestions in favor of social equality or of intermarriage between whites and negroes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to fine or not exceeding five hundred (500.00) dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months or both. Mississippi

Intermarriage The marriage of a white person with a negro or mulatto or person who shall have one-eighth or more of negro blood, shall be unlawful and void. Mississippi

Hospital Entrances There shall be maintained by the governing authorities of every hospital maintained by the state for treatment of white and colored patients separate entrances for white and colored patients and visitors, and such entrances shall be used by the race only for which they are prepared. Mississippi

Prisons The warden shall see that the white convicts shall have separate apartments for both eating and sleeping from the negro convicts. Mississippi

Education Separate free schools shall be established for the education of children of African descent; and it shall be unlawful for any colored child to attend any white school, or any white child to attend a colored school. Missouri

Intermarriage All marriages between...white persons and negroes or white persons and Mongolians...are prohibited and declared absolutely void...No person having one-eighth part or more of negro blood shall be permitted to marry any white person, nor shall any white person be permitted to marry any negro or person having one-eighth part or more of negro blood. Missouri

Education Separate rooms [shall] be provided for the teaching of pupils of African descent, and [when] said rooms are so provided, such pupils may not be admitted to the school rooms occupied and used by pupils of Caucasian or other descent. New Mexico

Textbooks Books shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored schools, but shall continue to be used by the race first using them. North Carolina

Libraries The state librarian is directed to fit up and maintain a separate place for the use of the colored people who may come to the library for the purpose of reading books or periodicals. North Carolina

Militia The white and colored militia shall be separately enrolled, and shall never be compelled to serve in the same organization.No organization of colored troops shall be permitted where white troops are available, and while white permitted to be organized, colored troops shall be under the command of white officers. North Carolina

Transportation The...Utilities empowered and directed to require the establishment of separate waiting rooms at all stations for the white and colored races. North Carolina

Teaching Any instructor who shall teach in any school, college or institution where members of the white and colored race are received and enrolled as pupils for instruction shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in any sum not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for each offense. Oklahoma

Fishing, Boating, and Bathing The [Conservation] Commission shall have the right to make segregation of the white and colored races as to the exercise of rights of fishing, boating and bathing. Oklahoma

Mining The baths and lockers for the negroes shall be separate from the white race, but may be in the same building. Oklahoma

Telephone Booths The Corporation Commission is hereby vested with power and authority to require telephone maintain separate booths for white and colored patrons when there is a demand for such separate booths. That the Corporation Commission shall determine the necessity for said separate booths only upon complaint of the people in the town and vicinity to be served after due hearing as now provided by law in other complaints filed with the Corporation Commission. Oklahoma

Lunch Counters No persons, firms, or corporations, who or which furnish meals to passengers at station restaurants or station eating houses, in times limited by common carriers of said passengers, shall furnish said meals to white and colored passengers in the same room, or at the same table, or at the same counter. South Carolina

Child Custody It shall be unlawful for any parent, relative, or other white person in this State, having the control or custody of any white child, by right of guardianship, natural or acquired, or otherwise, to dispose of, give or surrender such white child permanently into the custody, control, maintenance, or support, of a negro. South Carolina

Libraries Any white person of such county may use the county free library under the rules and regulations prescribed by the commissioners court and may be entitled to all the privileges thereof. Said court shall make proper provision for the negroes of said county to be served through a separate branch or branches of the county free library, which shall be administered by [a] custodian of the negro race under the supervision of the county librarian. Texas

Education [The County Board of Education] shall provide schools of two kinds; those for white children and those for colored children. Texas

Theaters Every person...operating...any public hall, theatre, opera house, motion picture show or any place of public entertainment or public assemblage which is attended by both white and colored persons, shall separate the white race and the colored race and shall set apart and designate...certain seats therein to be occupied by white persons and a portion thereof , or certain seats therein, to be occupied by colored persons. Virginia

Railroads The conductors or managers on all such railroads shall have power, and are hereby required, to assign to each white or colored passenger his or her respective car, coach or compartment. If the passenger fails to disclose his race, the conductor and managers, acting in good faith, shall be the sole judges of his race. Virginia

Intermarriage All marriages of white persons with Negroes, Mulattos, Mongolians, or Malaya hereafter contracted in the State of Wyoming are and shall be illegal and void. Wyoming


Once the slaves were free, the South had to find a way to live with them. The North had created a model. Jim Crow laws, separating blacks from whites in public facilities, were already on the books in the North. Massachusetts had passed the first known law in 1841, separating whites and blacks in ra...
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Jim Crow Laws - FREEDOM DAY
It was New Year's Day for most folks, but not for America's slaves. For them, January 1, 1863 was Freedom Day. At long last, American slavery would be history. Black folks would now be able to take their rightful place as American citizens. Or would they? Abraham Lincoln, intent on saving the Un...
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On the momentous day Lincoln signed the Proclamation, he did the most that he, as President, could do. Slavery had been legal in America since 1619, when the first Jamestown settlers used slaves. But, for the 16th American president, "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." Here's what Lincoln ...
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