“Old Dan Tucker”


Vignettes: Old Dan Tucker arrives to court the girls, sell his produce, and/or get drunk. Example: "Old Dan went down to the mill / To get some meal to put in the swill. / The miller swore by the point of his knife / He never seen such a man in his life."

Supplemental text

Old Dan Tucker
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From sheet music published 1843 by Chas. H. Keith.
The cover of the sheet music is generic:
        OLD DAN EMMIT's

The interior page is headlined
               The Original
              OLD DAN TUCKER
As sung by the              Virginia Minstrels
        Words by Old Dan. D. Emmit

I come to town de udder night,
I hear de noise an saw de fight,
De watchman was a runnin roun, cryin
Old Dan Tucker's come to town, So

Gran' Chorus.
get out de way! get out de way!
get out de way! Old Dan Tucker
your to late to come to supper.

Tucker is a nice old man,
He used to ride our darby ram;
He sent him whizzen down de hill,
If he had'nt got up he'd lay dar still.
         Get out, &c.

Here's my razor in good order
Magnum bonum -- jis hab bought 'er;
Sheep shell oats, Tucker shell de corn,
I'll shabe you soon as de water get warm.
         Get out, &c.

Ole Dan Tucker an I got drunk,
He fell in de fire an kick up a chunk,
De charcoal got inside he shoe
Lor bless you honey how de ashes flew.
         Get out, &c.

Down de road foremost de stump,
Massa make me work de pump;
I pump so hard I broke de sucker.
Dar was work for ole Dan Tucker.
         Get out, &c.

I went to town to buy some goods
I lost myself in a piece of woods,
De night was dark I had to suffer,
It froze de heel of Daniel Tucker.
         Get out, &c.

Tucker was a hardened sinner,
He nebber said his grace at dinner;
De ole sow squeel, de pigs did squal
He 'hole hog wid de tail and all.
         Get out, &c.


Randolph-Legman I offers a few bawdy verses to this otherwise immaculate dance tune. - EC

This was originally published as by "Dan Tucker Jr.," but it is generally believe that it was by Dan Emmett -- his first significant work. - RBW

Same tune

  • Clear the Track (I) (File: SCW48)
  • The End of Big Bill Snyder (Greenway-AFP, pp. 30-31)
  • The Workingman's Train (Greenway-AFP, pp. 87-88)
  • Henry Clay (Hudson, p. 211; cf. "Henry Clay Songs," File: SRW039)

Cross references

  • cf. "Clear the Track" (tune)
  • cf. "Johnny, Get Your Gun (II)" (floating lyrics)
  • cf. "The End of Big Bill Snyder" (tune)


  • Bentley Ball, "Old Dan Tucker" (Columbia A3087, 1920)
  • Harry C. Browne "Old Dan Tucker" (Columbia A1999, 1916)
  • Fiddlin' John Carson, "Old Dan Tucker" (OKeh 40263, 1925; rec. 1924)
  • Pat Ford, "Old Dan Tucker" [fragment] (AFS A 4211 B2, 1939; in AMMEM/Cowell)
  • Al Hopkins & his Buckle Busters, "Old Dan Tucker" (Brunswick 295, 1929; rec. 1928)
  • Charlie Jones & his Kentucky Corn Crackers, "Old Dan Tucker" (Rondo R-168, n.d., prob. late 1940s)
  • Uncle Dave Macon, "Old Dan Tucker" (Vocalion 15033, 1925)
  • Pete Seeger, "Old Dan Tucker" (on PeteSeeger17)
  • Judge Sturdy's Orchestra "Old Dan Tucker" (Victor 20102, 1926; rec. 1925)
  • Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "Old Dan Tucker" (Columbia 15382-D, 1929; rec. 1928)


  1. Randolph 521, "Old Dan Tucker" (3 texts plus 2 excerpts, 1 tune)
  2. Randolph-Legman I, pp. 431-433, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 tune, 3 texts)
  3. BrownIII 509, "Nigger in the Woodpile" (1 two-line fragment, probably this though the vulgar idiom of the title is obviously common to many songs)
  4. BrownIII 82, "Old Dan Tucker" (6 texts)
  5. Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 188, (no title) (2 fragments, one clearly this and the other a Dan Tucker stanza but with "Ole Aunt Dinah" in Dan's place); also p. 199, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, with a verse from this song though it has a chorus about "Sambo")
  6. Brewster 86, "Old Dan Tucker" (4 short text)
  7. Fuson, p. 163, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text)
  8. Cambiaire, p. 140, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 fragment)
  9. Meredith/Anderson, p. 263, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  10. RJackson-19CPop, pp. 160-162, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, 1 tune)
  11. Lomax-FSUSA 27, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, 1 tune)
  12. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 258-262, "Old Dan Tucker" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  13. PSeeger-AFB, p. 52, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text, 1 tune)
  14. Silber-FSWB, p. 240, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text)
  15. Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 81, "Old Dan Tucker" (1 text)
  17. ST R521 (Full)
  18. Roud #390
  19. BI, R521


Author: attributed to Daniel Decatur Emmett
Earliest date: 1841
Found in: US(Ap,MW,SE,So) Australia