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"'Ole Bull and Old Dan Tucker'" is a traditional American song. Several different versions are known, the earliest published in 1844 by the Boston-based Charles Keith company.Mahar 370 note 5. The song's lyrics tell of the rivalry and contest of skill between Ole Bull (named for Ole Bournemann Bull, a famous violinist) and Dan Tucker (title character of the blackface hit of the same name).Mahar 22, 197. The song also satirizes the low pay earned by early minstrel performers: "Ole Bull come to town one day [and] got five hundred for to play."Quoted in Mahar 9-10.
The song was fairly popular in the minstrel show's first few years. Winans's research found it in 19% of minstrel show programs for the 1843-7 period.Winans 148. A localized version is known, called "Philadelphia Old Bull and Old Dan Tucker".Mahar 196.
* Mahar, William J. (1999). 'Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture'. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
* Winans, Robert B. (1996). "Early Minstrel Show Music, 18431852". 'Inside the Minstrel Mask: Readings in Nineteenth-Century Blackface Minstrelsy.' Hanover, New Hampshire: Wesleyan University Press.
Category:Songs about old age
Category:Blackface minstrel songs
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