Historic Sheet Music Collection

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That Bandana Band

(Way Down In Dixie Land)

Words by Robert G. Irby

Music by William Warner

New York: W. T. Pierson and Co. (1914)

Some of the 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 libraries or the institution.


[Verse 1]
The white folks gave a dance one night,
Way down in Tennessee,
To learn the famous Tango Rag and steps from o’er the sea.
The orchestra began to play a tune that sounded tame,
When someone, in the crowd yelled out,
“For Law’s sake, stop that strain,
And send for Johnson’s band,
A truly band what am,
They don’t need notes, it’s in their throats
Out to their feet and hands.”

Hear that cornet talking,
Hear that trombone snorting,
As the band is getting under way.
Leader Johnson’s lying in her chair,
Horn in the air,
Don’t seem to care,
Oh such harmony you never heard before!
A slippry feeling comes a stealing
When those notes, they come a pealing
From that Bandana Band,
Way down in Dixieland.

[Verse 2]
The white folk’s feet began to move,
They all began to sway.
Old Johnson sure was on the job with his big band that day.
He filled them full of “Nigger Gin” to bring forth harmony,
And Wagner’s celebrated tunes ne’er held such melody.
The band was there for test.
There was no time to rest;
They closed their eyes and hypnotized the notes to do their best.




The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.