“Wait for the Wagon”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1851 (copyright registry; the relevant sheet music is dated 1850)
Keywords: courting home money farming pioneer playparty
Found in: US(So)

Description

The singer invites Phyllis "to yon blue mountain free." He describes his cabin and the fine lands around it. Another suitor offers wealth, but he offers youth and health. He bids her to "Wait for the wagon (x3) And we'll all take a ride."

Supplemental text

Wait for the Wagon
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From sheet music published 1851 by E. D. Benteen.
Title page inscribed
WAIT FOR THE WAGON
  Ethiopian Song
     FOR THE
   PIANO FORTE
       BY
  GEO.P.KNAUFF

Will you come with me my Phillis, dear, to yon blue mountain free,
Where the blossoms smell the sweetest, come rove along with me.
It's ev'ry Sunday morning when I am by your side,
We'll jump into the Wagon, and all take a ride.
Wait for the Wagon,
Wait for the Wagon,
Wait for the Wagon and we'Il all take a ride.

CHORUS.
Wait for the Wagon,
Wait for the Wagon,
Wait for the Wagon and we'Il all take a ride.

      2.
Where the river runs like silver, and the birds they sing so sweet,
  I have a cabin, Phillis, and something good to eat.
Come listen to my story, it will relieve my heart,
  So jump into the Wagon, and off we will start.
      Wait for the Wagon &c.

      3.
Do you believe my Phillis, dear, old Mike, with all this wealth,
  Can make you half so happy, as I with youth and health?
We'Il have a little farm, a horse, a pig and a cow;
  And you will mind the dairy, while I will guide the plough.
      Wait for the Wagon &c.

      4.
Your lips are red as poppies, your hair so slick and neat,
  All braided up with dahlias, and hollyhocks so sweet.
It's ev'ry Sunday morning, when I am by your side,
  We'Il jump into the Wagon, and all take a ride.
      Wait for the Wagon &c.

      5.
Together, on life's journey, we'll travel till we stop,
  And if we have no trouble, we'll reach the happy top.
Then come with me, sweet Phillis, my dear, my lovely bride,
  We'Il jump into the Wagon, and all take a ride.
      Wait for the Wagon &c.

Notes

Many authorities credit this piece to R. Bishop Buckley (1810-1867). Certainly there are editions which record that it was sung by Buckley's Minstrels starting in 1843. The earliest printing, however, (from 1850) gives the music as by "Wisenthal"; the words are by "a lady." The next printing, in 1851, gives the name of "G. P. Knauff" (at least, that is what it appears to say; several scholars consider Knauff the arranger). A few editions give only the letters "GAS."

It's worth noting that it was already popular enough in 1853 to be copied into the journal of the _Smyrna_.

Personally, I think we simply cannot list an author. Which is probably just as well; the sundry parodies (both sides in the Civil War, for instance, produced knock-offs) would likely have produced lawsuits otherwise. - RBW

Same tune

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. RJackson-19CPop, pp. 222-225, "Wait for the Wagon" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Randolph 563, "Wait for the Wagon" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 285-286, "Wait for the Wagon" ( text)
  4. Silber-FSWB, p. 175, "Wait For The Wagon" (1 text)
  5. Fuld-WFM, pp. 609-610, "Wait for the Wagon"
  6. DT, WAITWAGN* (WAITWAG2* -- Confederate Parody)
  7. ST RJ19222 (Full)
  8. Roud #2080
  9. BI, RJ19222