Ginger Blue

Find traditional instrumental music
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Ginger Blue


GINGER BLUE. American, Jig or Quadrille. A Major ('A' part) & D Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB'. The title appears in a stanza from a song called "Gooseberry Wine," appearing in African-American collector Thomas Talleys book Negro Folk Rhymes (reprinted in 1991, edited by Charles Wolfe). Wolfe thinks the stanza belongs to a pre-Civil War minstrel song, and that 'Dr. Ginger Blue' was probably a stock character from minstrel shows. Talley's version goes:

Now 'umble Uncle Steben,
I wonders whar youse gwine?
Don't never tu'n yo back, Suh,
On dat good ole gooseberry wine!

Oh walk chalk, Ginger Blue!
Git over double trouble.
You needn' min' de wedder
So's de win' don't blow you double

Uncle Mack! Uncle Mack!
Did you ever see de lak?
Dat good ole sweet gooseberry wine
Call Uncle Steben back.

Wolfe finds versions in The Popular National Songster (Phila., 1848, pp. 157-158), Brown (3:557) and White (381).

The first strain of "Ginger Blue," however, is a fairly old and well-known British Isles melody called variously "Gaby Boy (The)," "Gobbie-O," or "Gobby (The)." The second strains differ, with a quadrille-like key change for "Ginger Blue" not found in the 'Gobby' tunes.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; p. 34.




Back to Ginger Blue