“Raise a Ruckus”


A slave is told by his mistress that he would be freed when she died. The promise is long in coming true, and at last the singer takes things in his own hand. Having set off (down?)river, he intends to "raise a ruckus tonight."

Cross references


  • Charlie Bowman & his Brothers, "Gonna Raise the Ruckus Tonight" (Columbia 15357-D, 1929; rec. 1928)
  • Warren Caplinger, "G'wina Raise a Ruckus Tonight" (Vocalion 5222, c. 1928)
  • Cliff Carlisle, "Gonna Raise a Ruckus Tonight" (Decca 5774, 1939)
  • Bill Chitwood & his Georgia Mountaineers, "Raise Rough House Tonight" (OKeh 45236, 1928)
  • Hugh Cross & Riley Puckett, "Gonna Raise Ruckus Tonight" (Columbia 15455-D, 1929; rec. 1928)
  • Folkmasters, "Raise a Rukus Tonight" (on Fmst01)
  • The Georgia Yellow Hammers, "Going To Raise A Ruckus Tonight" (Victor 20928, 1927)
  • Georgia Serenaders [pseud. for Caplinger's Cumberland Mountain Entertainers], "Gonna Raise a Ruckus Tonight" (Supertone 9473, 1929) [this is probably the same as the Warren Caplinger recording listed above]
  • Mobile Strugglers, "Raise a Ruckus Tonight" (on AmSkBa)
  • Norfolk Jubilee Quartet, "Raise Rukus Tonight" (Paramount 12032, 1923)
  • Pete Seeger, "Raise a Ruckus Tonight" (on PeteSeeger05)
  • Southern Quartet, "Gonna Raise Rukus Tonight" (Columbia 14048-D, 1924)


  1. BrownIII 499, "Raise a Ruckus Tonight" (2 texts plus 2 fragments; the "A" text, however, is "I'll Build Me a Boat")
  2. Lomax-FSUSA 26, "Raise a Rukus" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 253-254, "Raise a Rukus Tonight" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Silber-FSWB, p. 299, "Raise A Ruckus Tonight" (1 text)
  5. Roud #10054
  6. BI, LxU026


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1919 (Brown)
Found in: US(SE,So)