“Whoa Back, Buck”


The experiences of a poor farmer. He describes his fieldwork methods ("Sometimes I plow my old grey horse..."), the crops, his gal's big feet, the dances they went to together, etc. Possible chorus: "Whoa back, buck! And gee! by the lamb!"


The Lomaxes credit this to Lead Belly, with some new material of their own. (What else is new?) However, the fragment in Randolph strongly implies that Lead Belly did no more than reshape traditional materials -- and then the Lomaxes reshaped THAT.

It is on this basis that I include Greenway's song "Oh, My God, Them 'Taters" here. Greenway's song is just a fragment; it is possible that it is part of a longer song -- or that the Lomaxes borrowed its lyrics. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "Song of the Pinewoods" (floating lyrics)
  • cf. "I'm a Rowdy Soul" (floating lyrics)


  • Anne, Judy, & Zeke Canova, "Whoa Back Buck" (Romeo 5043, 1931; Regal MR 457 [as "Whoa Buck, Whoa" by Three Georgia Crackers], c. 1931 )
  • Lulu Belle & Scotty, "Whoa Back Buck" (Conqueror 9587, 1940)


  1. Randolph 281, "Couldn't Raise No Sugar Corn" (1 text, 1 tune, which might be separate since it lacks the chorus)
  2. Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 187, "Last Year Was a Fine Crap Year" (1 text)
  3. Lomax-FSUSA 67, "Whoa Buck" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Lomax- FSNA 282, "Whoa Back, Buck" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Arnett, pp. 168-169, "Whoa, Back, Buck!" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Greenway-AFP, p 72-73, "Oh, My God, Them 'Taters" (1 short text, 1 tune)
  7. Roud #10060
  8. BI, LxU067


Alternate titles: “Tighten on the Backband”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1925 (Scarborough)
Found in: US(So)