“Charleston Gals”


Floating verses: The terrapin and the toad, the overworked old horse whose owner will tan its hide if it dies, dancing with the girl with the hole in her stocking. Chorus: "Hibo, for Charleston gals, Charleston gals are the gals for me."

Supplemental text

Charleston Gals
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From B. A. Botkin, A Treasury of American Folklore, pp. 805-906. Derived from
Allen, Ware, and Garrison, Slave Songs of the United States, 1867, p. 88.

As I walked down the new-cut road,
I met the tap and then the toad,
The toad commenced to whistle and sing,
And the possum cut the pigeon's wing.

Along came an old man riding by:
"Old man, if you don't mind, your horse will die";
"If he dies, I'll tan his skin,
And if he lives I'll ride him again."

Hi, ho, for Charleston gals!
Charleston gals are the gals for me.

As I was a-walking down the street,
Up steps Charleston gals to take a walk with me.
I kep' a-walking and they kep' a-talking,
I danced with a gal with a hole in her stocking.


This, like "Old Virginny Never Tire" and similar songs, is a pure collection of floating verses with its own chorus. It's hard to know what to do with such things; for the moment, we're splitting them on the basis of the chorus. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 162-163, "" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Botkin-AmFolklr, pp. 905-906, "Charleston Gals" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ST ScaNF162 (Full)
  4. Roud #12046
  5. BI, ScaNF162


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1867 (Allen, Ware, Garrison)
Found in: US