Slide Trombone part from Tin-Pan Alley Folio for Brass: Coon! Coon! Coon!

Leo Friedman
3 minutes
Ragtime music

After Leo Friedman had a hit in 1900 with his piano ragtime version of this ragtime tune, he brought out a second version with words by Gene Jefferson. This is an amalgam of the two versions, and it incorporates a second tune by Friedman, "My Girl From Dixie," which sounds like the familiar American song about the South.

If you are taken aback by the patently offensive title, be advised that the words to the song are even worse. It's of a genre from the 1890s known as Coon Songs – music in a ragtime style which mocks people of color – and there were a great many of them which were typically performed by Caucasian vaudevillians wearing blackface. But it so happens that this popular song was originally written by an African-American singer. In it original form, it was a lament about racial epithets.

Still, it's a clever piece, and buying it won't necessarily mean you are racist. You can always change the title.

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