American Old Time Song Lyrics: 09 The Minstrels Dream

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 9

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Sung by Frank Lewis.

One eve while sitting in my chair
Before my fire so bright,
Its rays dispelled the midnight gloom,
And lighted up the night;
My thoughts reverted to the past,
And brought before my gaze,
The shadowed forms of minstrels great,
The kings of by-gone days.
I saw the people laugh and cry,
As alternately they gave-
The merry pun, the mirthful joke.
The ballad sweet And grave;
They formed a quaint procession.
As they passed before my sight,
The minstrels of our former days,
Thus conjured from the night.

I saw George Christy shake the bones,
Sweet music from them drag,
And how the audience it would roar,
As he told each merry gag;
Saw " Daddy" Rice in ecstasy,
Those legs of his to throw,
The father of the minstrels-
He who danced the first "Jim Crow;
Heard Mulligan, with towering form,
Pathetic ballads sing,
When Long John opened once his mouth
'Twas down the house he'd bring;
Stevie Rogers gave his excelsior clog,
The greatest ever seen,
And other well-known faces
Came to fill my minstrel's dream.

Nelse Seymour showed his giant form,
And passed me by and smiled,
A friend to every one in need.
The minstrel's favorite child;
How oft I've heard his merry laugh,
As he made the night pass o'er,
Give out the joke which ever set
The audience in a roar;
He scarcely disappeared when came
The minstrel king and man.
The glory of the boys in black-
The merry laughing Dan;
As Bryant passed me by,
His face with radiance seemed to beam,
He cast a brilliant halo
Upon my minstrel's dream.

Young Jerry, of the Bryant's, too,
With bones and tambourine,
Recounted every great success
In minstrelsy he'd seen;

Billy Manning, of Chicago fame,
Then passed me swiftly by.
And Unsworth gave his great stump speech,
In which he the world defied;
Jimmy Bradley danced his unequalled jig,
Familiar to us all,
Billy Pastor sang his comic songs,
And was many times recalled;
Eph Horn, the last bright face I saw,
He threw a radiant gleam
Upon the spirits who had gone,
To fill my minstrel's dream.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III