“Jinny Go Round and Around”


"Where did you get your whisky? Where did you get your dram?.... Down in Rockingham. Cho: Jinny go round an' around (x3) Way down in Rockingham." The remaining verses may give reasons why the singer will not marry or describe river life

Supplemental text

Jinny Go Round and Around
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From Vance Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, Volume II, #272, pp. 272-273.
Collected from Miss Leone Duvall of Pineville, Missouri, October 14,

Oh where did you git your whiskey?
Oh where did you get your dram?
Oh where did you get your whiskey?
Way down in Rockingham.

Jinny go round an' around an' around,
Jinny go round an' around an' around,
Jinny go round an' around an' around,
Way down in Rockingham.

I wouldn't marry an old maid,
I'll tell you the reason why,
Her nose is always leakin'
An' her chin is never dry.

I wouldn't marry a widder,
I'll tell you the reason why,
She's got too many children
To make the biscuits fly.

I wouldn't marry a Dutch gal,
I'll tell you the reason why,
Her neck's so long and stringy
I'm afeared she'll never die.

I wouldn't marry old Joe's gal,
I'll tell you the reason why,
...... in the bisquit tray
An' called in pumpkin pie.

          *** B ***

(Number Ninety-nine)

From Harold Courlander, Negro Folk Music U.S.A., pp. 121-122.
Reproduced from "American Sketches" by Lafcadio Hearn.

You may talk about your railraods,
Your steamboat and can-el,
If it hadn't been for Liza Jane
There wouldn't been no hell.

  Oh aint I gone, gone, gone, (x3)
   Way down the river road.

Where do you get your whisky?
Where do you get your rum?
I get it down in bucktown
At Number Ninety-nine.

I went down to Bucktwn,
Never was there before.
Great big nigger knocked me down,
But Katy barred the door.

She hugged me, she kissed me,
She told me not to cry;
She said I was the sweetest thing
That ever lived or died.

  * * *

Yonder goes the wildwood,
She's loaded to the guards;
But yonder comes the Fleetwood,
And she's the boat for me.

          *** C ***

Master Had a Bran' New Coat

From Mary Wheeler, Steamboatin' Days, pp. 24-25. From the singing
of one Bill Sheffield.

Master had a bran' new coat,
He hung it on the wall.
Nigger stole his Master's coat,
An' wore it to the ball.

Where'd you get yo' whiskey,
Where'd you get yo' dram?
Where'd I git my whiskey?
I got it from Linkum Abraham.


This is an extremely problematic piece, recognized by the "Where did you get your whiskey" stanza. The rest is no unity, but the results are too fragmentary to classify as separate songs.

Almost all of these lyrics of some versions show up in one or another version of the "Cindy/Jubilee" family, but the chorus is different, so I've separated them. The Botkin Mississippi River piece (compare Courlander's) is almost equally remote from both "Cindy" and "Jinny," but not worth another entry, so I file it here.

Paul Stamler notes another piece, "Rockingham Cindy"; I suspect that to be a variant of this one.

The chorus "Jinny go round..." does not appear in all versions; I don't know if it is an addition to the Randolph text or if it dropped out of the usual versions sung by old-time singers. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "Cindy" (floating lyrics)
  • cf. "A Railroader for Me (Soldier Boy for Me)" (plot)


  • Earl Johnson & His Dixie Entertainers, "I Get My Whiskey From Rockingham" (Okeh 45183, 1928)


  1. Randolph 272, "Jinny Go Round and Around" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 233-234, "Jinny Go Round and Round" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 272)
  3. BrownIII 389, "The Privates Eat the Middlin'" (1 fragment, probably a Civil War adaption of this piece)
  4. Botkin-MRFolklr, p. 589, "[Number Ninety-Nine]" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 711, "Where'd You Get Yo' Whisky?" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Courlander-NFM, pp. 121-122, "(Number Ninety-nine)" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. MWheeler, pp. 24-25, "Master Had a Bran' New Coat" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. ST R272 (Full)
  9. Roud #836 (etc.)
  10. BI, R272


Alternate titles: “Way Down in Rockingham”; “Rockingham Cindy”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1928 (Randolph)
Found in: US(MW,SE,So)