“Cotton Eye Joe” is a popular song from the United States, which has been even more popular in Canada, though it is more closely related to the Southern US. In this song, the man “Cotton Eye Joe” is a hot potato who rides from town to town charming and manipulating all the woman, ruining them for the other guys. “If it hadn’t been for Cotton Eye Joe, I’d been married a long time ago,” the guy says in the first line. “Cotton Eye Joe” has inspired a general dance and more than a dance line that is well known all around the world.The origin of this song is not precise, though it preceded the American Civil War 1861-1865 From 1884, the same year, Mark Twain’s adventures from Huckleberry Finn were published, the violin-based song was known as “a family and an old air song.” North American folklorist, Dorothy Scarborough, put this song in the book “On The Trail of Black People”, she also put other popular songs that many people remembered and heard before the war, Scarborough’s story with her sister who told her about this song.  Mrs. Scarborough, came out talking about the song saying “The blacks on a Texas plantation and  others learned this as well.” Scarborough noted that the song was known before the Civil War and some people sent song pieces of this particular song to publishers before the war. American publisher Harper and Brothers published the official version of the song in 1882 by writer Louise Clarke Pyrnelle who lived on  her father’s Alabama plantation, later on known in 1910 for her women’s rights supporting. Over the years there were many different versions of the song. Many were made and recorded with many different dance versions and many without lyrics sometimes. “Cotton Eye Joe,” sometimes called the “American South National Anthem,” was played by some of the minstrels at church and is very popular as a quad dance. A Central Texas citizen who learned a dance in the Williamson district in the early 1880s described it as a toe touch dance that was very very simple”. Then more parts were added to the dance like the heel to hand touch this part of the dance required more skill and extraversion by the dancers. In the first half of the twentieth century, the song was a favorite folk song throughout English-speaking North America. In 1994, Rednex a band used the song “Cotton Eye Joe” for their album, combining their style with traditional American instruments .The song’s most famous version is by Rednex as it was 25th on the billboard toppers.A list of possible meanings of the term “cotton-eyed” that are proposed include: drinking in the dark or being blinded by the drinking of woody alcohol, turning the eyes milky white thus turning the person blind.These days this song is losing popularity though catchy. Many young people ages 1-10 don’t know this song much other than it is old and Daddy always dances with Mommy to this song while we are watching baseball. Teenagers remember this song, but only when someone makes them listen to it they would remember. Legal adults and above remember this song as well ,but it is most likely not on their playlist. The demographic area where this song would most likely be played is the area from which it came from the South (Texas,Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi,Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.) In conclusion, the Cotton Eye Joe is a jaunty song, and the dance starts a perfect rhythm and continues it. The history of the song and dance go way back but both have not changed much at all and it stills makes people think of the South when they hear this song or baseball as it is played during the seventh inning stretch.

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