When I was young I used to wait
On Master and hand him his plate;
Pass down the bottle when he got dry,
And brush away the blue tail fly.
Jimmy Crack Corn, I don’t care, (repeat)
My Master’s gone away.
- The “blue tail fly” is thought to be a sort of horsefly.
- Abraham Lincoln used to play this song on his harmonica.
1. Big old owl with eyes so bright,
On many a dark and starry night,
I’ve often heard my true love say,
“Sing all night and sleep all day.”
Jim crack corn, I don’t care, (repeat twice)
Old Master’s gone away.
2. Said the blackbird to the crow;
Down to the cornfield let us go;
Pulling up corn has been our trade,
Ever since Adam and Eve was made. Refrain
3. Said the sheldrake to the crane:
When do you think we’ll have some rain?
The farm’s so muddy and the brook so dry,
If it wasn’t for the tadpoles, we’d all die. Refrain
4. When I was a boy I used to wait
On Master’s table and pass the plate,
Hand round the bottle when he got dry,
And brush away the blue-tail fly. Refrain
Extras for Plus Members
Song with chords – 2 versions, Lesson ideas (PDF)