“Goober Peas”


"Sitting by the roadside, on a summer's day... Lying in the shadows underneath the trees, Goodness how delicious, Eating goober peas." The southern soldier complains about army life, the battles, and the poor equipment; goober peas are his chief comfort

Supplemental text

Goober Peas
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From sheet music published 1866 by A. E. Blackmar.
Title page inscribed

     WORDS      |     MUSIC
      BY        |      BY

1. Sitting by the roadside on a summer day,
   Chatting with my messmates passing time away,
   Lying in the shadow underneath the trees,
   Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! eating goober peas!
Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

2. When a horseman passes, the soldiers have a rule,
   To cry out at their loudest, "Mister here's your mule,"
   But another pleasure enchantinger than these,
   Is wearing out your Grinders, eating goober peas!

3. Just before the battle the General hears a row,
   He says "the Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now,*
   He turns around in wonder, and what do you think he sees
   The Georgia Militia, eating goober peas!

4. I think my song has lasted almost long enough,
   The subject's interesting, but rhymes are mighty rough,
   I wish this war was over when free from rags and fleas
   We'd kiss our wives and sweethearts and gobble goober peas.

* The printed music does not indicate a closing quotation mark.


First published in 1866 (with words credited to A. Pindar and music to "P. Nutt"!), we know from outside references that this song was popular with southern soldiers in the Civil War. It is particularly accurate as a description of the last few years of the war, when the complete breakdown of Confederate industry left the soldier ragged, and the loss of farmland and rail lines left them starving. Peanuts -- "goober peas" -- often served as an emergency ration for soldiers in Georgia and other parts of the south. - RBW


  • New Lost City Ramblers, "Goober Peas" (on NLCREP4)


  1. RJackson-19CPop, pp. 73-75, "Goober Peas" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-CivWar, pp. 54-55, "Goober Peas" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Arnett, p. 82, "Goober Peas" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 715, "Eating Goober Peas" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Darling-NAS, p. 351, "Goober Peas" (1 text)
  6. Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 10, "Goober Peas" (1 text)
  7. Silber-FSWB, p. 276, "Goober Peas" (1 text)
  9. ST RJ19073 (Full)
  10. Roud #11628
  11. BI, RJ19073


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1866
Keywords: food Civilwar nonballad
Found in: US(SE)