Historic Sheet Music Collection

Document Type

Score

Publication Date

1907

Comments

MacIntosh Collection

New York : Jerome H. Remick & Co., ©1907.

Some of these resources may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of the library or the institution.

[Verse 1]
When Sylvester Johnson Lee hit New York from Tennessee, he thought he’d make his fortune right away
He worked aroun’ in swell hotels a shinin’ shoes an’ hoppin’ bells, but somehow he couldn’t seem to make it pay
One day to self, sez he, something mus’ be wrong with me I can’t seem to get a cent from no one, I wonder why.
No one hands me any “tips” or nothin’ else but heavy grips, I’m goin’ to bid these swell hotels goodbye.

[Chorus]
It’s mighty strange!
It’s mighty strange!
No one ever says “Sylvester you keep the change”
I try to do: as folks tell me to: but they all get absent minded when my work is through:
I don’t know why: the more I try: somehow or other all the coin gets by:
It’s time I blew for some job that’s new,
All I get here is “Much obliged to you.”

[Verse 2]
The next job that came his way, found him in a swell Café, he’d heard so much about a waiter’s “graft”
But poor Sylvester hardly knew an omelet from a kidney stew, so when they saw him coming, people laughed
One day in a lady came, with a bull dog on a chain,
Poor Sylvester had to stand and hold him outside the door,
When she finished out she went and handed him a measly cent, no wonder that he cried out as before

[Chorus]

[Verse 3]
One day, back to Tennesse, “beat” Sylvester Johnson Lee, disgusted with the ways of New York town:
Sez he, I’ve worked at ev’ry trade, the Lord or devil ever made, and I aint seen no fortunes lyin’ roun’
Good old Nashville, Tennessee, always did look good to me, I aint goin to work no more for no one an ‘ose my health,
While I’m feelin’ strong an’ well, I’m goin’ to take a restin’ spell, I’m sick an tried of chasing after wealth

[Chours]

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