McClellanist Minstrels, 2 of 2

SATURDAY | In our modern world, we have music remixes (same recording tracks, different emphasis), new arrangements (same tune in different variations), sampling (snippets of music put to new purpose), and covers (same music, different players). That's the way we recycle songs.

In the Civil War a hit tune might be reissued a year later with no other change than different lyrics. So it was with "Whack, Row De Dow! The 1861 version "Sung with immense success by Bryant's Minstrels" was linked here last week.

Where the original was written by NYC actress Fanny Herring for Bryant's company, sheet music or song lyrics turn up in other cities with the names of other minstrel troupes attached to them. This Philadelphia specimen refers to Carncross & Dixey's Minstrels. The music was popular enough to endure into the late 19th Century serving as a labor organizing song.

By 1862, the Herring/Bryant team is back with updated lyrics.

To hear the music, scroll down one third of the way on *this page* and click.

Here are the upbeat lyrics to Herring's 1862 piece, McClellan and Lincoln again bathing in good will.

Whack! Row de Dow. No. 2.
As sung by Dan Bryant.

The Rebels they are getting scared,
They are, upon my word!
They've evacuated Yorktown,
And got whipped at Williamsburgh;
They'll not come back: for little Mac
Will then be sure to pop 'em;
And now they've got to running:
Horace Greeley couldn't stop 'em.
Whack! row de dow!
The Stars and Stripes must wave forever!
Whack! row de dow!
For, our Flag we're bound to save!

Good news from Gen. Halleck:
It fills us with delight;
He's ten thousand pris'ners taken;
Beauregard he's put to flight.
They've lost all hope: for Gen. Pope
Has put them all to rout...
Secession's dead ... knocked in the head;
Old Beauregard played out.
Whack! row de dow! &c.

Wool, he captured Norfolk,
Along with Portsmouth, too;
But when they heard of our advance,
Away the Rebels flew.
Old Abe was there to take a share:
I tell you he's a stormer.
Look out! Old Jeff, you better run,
Or else you are a goner...
Whack! row de dow! &c.

Now, Johnny Bull may put on airs,
But what care we for that!
He's been waiting now some time,
For to have a little spat;
But if he will but just keep cool,
Until we settle up our family quarrel,
We will take them altogether:
For, it makes no odds to Abe Lincoln.
Whack! row de dow!
Puty boy is Abe Lincoln!
Whack! row de dow!
How are you rail splitter?