“Camptown Races”

Author: Stephen C. Foster
Earliest date: 1849
Keywords: racing money nonballad horse
Found in: US(SE)

Description

"De Camptown ladies sing dis song, Doo-da! Doo-da! De Camptown racetrack five miles long... Gwine to run all night! Gwine to run all day I'll bet my money on the bob-tail nag...." The singer describes the races and how he won a "pocket full of tin"

Supplemental text

Camptown Races
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

Gwine to Run All Night

From sheet music published 1850 by F. D. Benteen
The title of the song is given only on the interior
page:
    "GWINE TO RUN ALL NIGHT."
               or
        DE CAMPTOWN RACES
Title page inscribed
                          FOSTER's
                    Plantation Melodies
                      AS SUNG BY THE
                     CHRISTY MINSTRELS
   No. 1. OH LEMUEL               No. 2. DOLLY DAY
    "  3. GWINE TO RUN ALL NIGHT      4. ANGELINA BAKER
                Written, Composed & Arranged
                            BY
                    STEPHEN C. FOSTER

De Camptown ladies sing dis song,
     CHORUS. Doo-dah! doo-dah!
De Camptown racetrack five miles long
     CHORUS. Oh! doo-dah day!
I come down dah wid my hat caved in
     CHORUS. Doo-dah! doo-dah!
I go back home wid a pocket full of tin
     CHORUS. Oh! doo-dah day!

CHORUS.
Gwine to run all night!
Gwine to run all day!
I'll bet my money on de bob-tailed nag
Somebody bet on de bay.

   2
De long tail filly and de big black horse   Doo-dah! doo-dah!
Dey fly de track and dey both cut across    Oh! doo-dah day!
De blind hoss sticken in a big mud hole     Doo-dah! doo-dah!
Can't touch bottom wid a ten foot pole      Oh! doo-dah day!
   CHO: Gwine to run all night! &c.

   3
Old muley cow come on de track              Doo-dah! doo-dah!
De bob-tail fling her over his back         Oh! doo-dah day!
Den fly along like a rail-road car          Doo-dah! doo-dah!
Runnin' a race wid a shootin' star          Oh! doo-dah day!
   CHO: Gwine to run all night! &c.

   4
See dem flyin' on a ten mile heat           Doo-dah! doo-dah!
Round de race track, den repeat             Oh! doo-dah day!
I win my money on de bob-tail nag           Doo-dah! doo-dah!
I keep my money in an old tow-bag           Oh! doo-dah day!
   CHO: Gwine to run all night! &c.

Notes

Spaeth (_A History of Popular Music in America_, p. 107) notes that a "folk-song" called "Hoodah Day" is very similar to this song, and speculates that it or "Sacramento" could have been the original of the Foster song. Fuld, however, notes that no verifiable printing of either piece predates the Foster song. - RBW

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. RJackson-19CPop, pp. 39-42, "Gwine to Run All Night or De Camptown Races" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BrownIII 419, "Camptown Races" (1 fragment)
  3. Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 41-42, "Camptown Races" (1 text, 1 tune, plus the parody "'Lincoln Hoss' and Stephen A.")
  4. PSeeger-AFB, p. 40, "The Camptown Races" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Silber-FSWB, p. 34, "Camptown Races" (1 text)
  6. Saunders/Root-Foster 2, pp. 477-478+496, "Camptown Races Arranged for the Guitar" (1 text, 1 tune, probably not arranged by Foster)
  7. Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 270, "Camptown Races" (1 text)
  8. Fuld-WFM, pp. 158-159, "(De) Camptown Races--(Sacramento)"
  9. DT, CAMPTWN*
  10. ST RJ19039 (Full)
  11. Roud #11768
  12. BI, RJ19039