A dance and patting song: "Juba, Juba, Juba up 'n' Juba down, Juba all aroun' the town." "Juba jump, Juba sing, Juba cut that pigeon wing. Juba kick off this old shoe, Juba dance that Jubilo." Variations, as one might expect, are extreme


Described in Frederick Douglass, _My Bondage and My Freedom_, 1855. (Pp.252-253 in the Dover Reprint edition of 1936). Also fully described in _Step It Down_ (Bessie Jones and Bess Lomax Hawes,1971: Harper & Row. pp. 27-30.)

"Juba" often refers to the patting pattern rather than the words. The

words may contain disguised complaints about the treatment of Black people.

Some of the words -- without the "patting" -- were used as a "dandling rhyme" in

my family, in Oklahoma, at least as early as 1909. - SHi


  • Lee Wallin, "Juba" (on OldLove)


  1. Randolph 263, "Dinky" (1 short text, 1 tune, which Randolph believes to be this piece; in any case, it's too short to really deserve a separate entry)
  2. BrownIII 201, "Round It Up a Heap It Up" (a "Juba" fragment follows the main text)
  3. Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 98-99, "Juba" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  4. Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 708, "Juba" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Courlander-NFM, p. 192, "(Juba)" (1 text)
  6. Handy/Silverman-Blues, p. 53, "Juba" (1 text, 1 tune; notes on p. 204)
  7. MWheeler, p. 96, [no title] (1 fragment, filed under "Uncle Bud")
  8. Roud #5748
  9. BI, BSoF708


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1855
Keywords: dancing nonballad
Found in: US(SE)