“Jump Jim Crow”


Disconnected verses about a rambler's exploits, held together by the chorus "I wheel about I twist about I do just so, Every time I turn about I jump Jim Crow."

Supplemental text

Jump Jim Crow
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

Jim Crow

As printed in Douglas Gilbert on p. 18 of Lost Chords.

  Come listen all you gals and boys I'm just from Tuckyahoe,
  I'm going to sing a little song, my name's Jim Crow.
  Went down to the river but I didn't mean to stay,
  When I seen so many gals I couldn't get away.

Chorus: I wheel about I twist about I do just so,
        Every time I turn about I jump Jim Crow.

(2 additional stanzas)


Said to have been originated by Thomas D. Rice, who allegedly watched a negro sing and dance the refrain and imitated it. This proved so successful that Rice spent the rest of his life as "Jim Crow" Rice, using the song as his primary attraction. - RBW

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Johnson Ballads fol. 115, "Jim Crow," J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Harding B 15(149a), Firth b.34(154), Harding B 11(1472), Harding B 11(1877), "Jim Crow"
  • LOCSinging, as106690, "Jim Crow," L. Deming (Boston), 19C; also as106700, "Jim Crow complete in 150 verses"


  1. Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 126-127, "Jim Crow", (no title), "Jump Jim Crow" (1 text plus two fragments, 1 tune; the full text lacks the chorus, while the fragments consist mostly of the chorus)
  2. Gilbert, p. 18, "Jim Crow" (1 text)
  3. Opie-Oxford2 274, "Twist about, turn about, jump Jim Crow" (2 texts)
  4. ST Gilb018 (Partial)
  5. Roud #12442
  6. BI, Gilb018


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1835 (pubished by E. Riley)
Found in: US(So)