Musical Theatre #1

Old Dan Tucker Dan Emmett

This song was published around 1843. This song was performed by the blackface troupe the Virginia Minstrels. The message behind this song was of boasts and nonsense of other songs. The lyrics tell of a man who gets drunks, he fights, overreact, and breaks of social taboos. This song falls into the idiom of minstrel music. Minstrel music shows consisted of skits, dancing, and music performances that mocked people of African descent. This song implicates how those times were, and how racial discrimination was shown through many ways. During this time, it was fine to use comic enactment to relay racial stereotypes.


Turkey in the Straw George Washington Dixon

This song is a well-known American folk song from the early 19t-century. This song is originally for fiddle players, and popularized in the late 1820s-30s by blackface performers. Blackface performers were of Caucasian descent that portrayed them as African descant. The practice contributed to racial discrimination and portrays the caricature of a black person.


Oh! Susannah Stephen Foster

This song was published in 1848. It is known to be amongst the most popular American songs ever written. Foster wrote this song for his men’s social club. The song was first performed by a local quintet at a concert in an Ice Cream Saloon in Pennsylvania. I feel as this song was written just in the moment, and not really thought of or pre-assumed. During that time, I assume it will be easier to compel something and able to share it with others or just for the moment.

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