Philisee Charcoal

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PHILISEE CHARCOAL. American, Song Air (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "Philisee Charcoal" was the name of a song credited to minstrel performer J. Buckley, published in New York (by Firth & Hall) in 1844. The tune was also published in a later edition of the earliest known banjo tutor, originally published in 1848, written by Boston music publisher Elias Howe, whose pseudonym Gumbo Chaff was taken from Thomas Dartmouth Rice's 1834 blackface minstrel character. The 1851 edition of the tutor was published in Boston by Oliver Ditson, for, in 1850, Howe sold some of his works to Ditson and agreed not to publish similar works for ten years. Buckley's dialect lyric goes:


Oh! come to mee my own true lub, come sweet Philisee,
De old folks are sound a sleep, snoring merrily.
When work is done den lub begins, arter de close of day,
Wid banjo's sound and violins to teal young hearts away.

Oh! come to me my own true lub, come sweet Philisee!
De old folks bof are sound asleep, snoring merrily.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Firth and Hall (Songs of the Congo Melodists, no. 2), 1844 ([1]). Gumbo Chaff (The Complete Preceptor for the Banjo), 1851; p. 5.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Hear/see Tim Twiss's minstrel banjo version on [2]

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