“Jim Along Josie”


Originally a blackface minstrel piece, now often reduced to odd lyrics held together by the refrain, "Hey jim-along, jim-along Josie; Hey jim-along, jim along Jo." Sample verse: "Any pretty girl that wants a beau, Just fall in the arms of Jim Along Joe"


Spaeth suggests that this is a minstrel tune, and he's probably right. He suggests that it was written by Edward Harper, who presented it in his 1838 play "The Free Nigger of New York."

But it has entered oral tradition -- though perhaps in a filed-down form; Spaeth's text has a four-line verse while the traditional forms often use two-line stanzas. The choruses are the same. - RBW


  • Coon Creek Girls, "Jim Along Josie" (Songs from Renfro Valley - Bell, mx. 2002, n.d., postwar)
  • Lawrence Older, "Jim Along Josie" (on LOlder01)
  • Pete Seeger, "Jim Along Josie" (on PeteSeeger3, PeteSeegerCD03)
  • Tom Smith, "Hey, Get Along, Josie" (on USWarnerColl01)


  1. Randolph 575, "Jim Along Josie" (1 text plus a fragment)
  2. Warner 180, "Git Along Josie" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 105, "Jam A-long, Josey" (1 text, 1 tune); also probably p. 106 (no title), (1 text, using this chorus in some instances; the verses include the terrapin and the toad, "My ole missus promise me When she die she set me free," "You get there before I do....")
  4. Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 103-104, "Jim Along Josey" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #4618
  6. BI, R575


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1840 (sheet music)
Found in: US(Ap,MA,So)