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Whistling Rufus

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Whistling Rufus

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Whistling Rufus
(Words W. Murdock Lind; Tune, Kerry Mills)

This nigger would go to a ball or a party,
Rainy weather or shine,
And when he got there was a handsome nigger
After the chicken and the wine.
And when he got through with the chicken and the wine,
Then he whistled and he sung so grand
That they thought the angels' harps was a-playing.
And they called him the one-band man.

cho: Don't make no blunder, they couldn't lose him,
     For perfect wonder they had to choose him;
     A great musician with a high position
     Was whistling Rufus, the one-band man.

From Ozark Folksongs, Randolph
Collected from Tommy Davis, MO 1941
note: An early ragtime, early jazz and country standard. Tune was
   composed in 1899, words came later. The singer insisted that
   "one-band man" was right, and not "one-man band." Authorities
   differ. RG
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III