[lit-ideas] Re: this & that

  • From: "John McCreery" <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 21:26:08 +0900


Insomnia can be hell. Sorry I can't help with that but here is what
wiki has to stay about jimmy crack corn....


"Blue Tail Fly", "De Blue Tail Fly", or "Jimmy Crack Corn" is a
blackface minstrel song, first performed in the United States in the
1840s, which remains a popular children's song today.
Over the years, many variants of text have appeared, but the basic
narrative remains intact. On the surface, the song is a black slave's
lament over his master's death. The song, however, has a subtext of
rejoicing over that death, and possibly having caused it by deliberate
negligence.[1] Most versions at least nod to idiomatic African
American English, though sanitized, grammatically "correct" versions
predominate today.
The blue-tail fly of the song is probably a Southern variant of the
horsefly, which feeds on the blood of animals such as horses and
cattle, as well as humans, and thus constitutes a prevalent pest in
agricultural regions. Some horseflies have a blue-black abdomen, hence
the name.



There has been much conjecture over the meaning of "Jimmy Crack Corn
and I don't care". One possibility is "gimcrack corn", cheap corn
whiskey; another related theory is that it refers to "cracking" open a
jug of corn whisky; another is that "crack-corn" is related to the
(still-current) slang "cracker" for a rural Southern white.[7]
Another, and possibly the most popular, is that the chorus refers to
an overseer who, without the master, has only his bullwhip to keep the
slaves in line. Most etymologists support the first interpretation, as
the term "cracker" appears to predate "corncracking", and
"whipcracker" has no historical backing.[8] This suggests that the
chorus means the slaves are making whiskey and celebrating.



On 10/22/06, JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx <JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx> wrote:

It's almost 7:00 in the morning and I've gotten 4 hours sleep. When I'm stressed weird things come into my mind and I toss and turn until I get up and do the computer thing. I'll google these tomorrow, but I'm curious if any of you just automatically know the answer or want to take a stab -- (and please don't ask why these kept me up tonight, er, last night ..... I don't have the money for that much shrinking):

What is the source of the phrase "smart-alec"?

When did the song "Jimmy Crack Corn and I don't Care" come about and what in
the bloody blue blazes does it mean?

If you're annoyed by this post, know that I've had 5 hours sleep in the last
36 hours.

Chronic insomnia is not easy to cure -- Nightly I take 2 valerian (herbal
supplement), 1 melatonin, 1 trazadone, and 2 benadryl.  Works for about 4
hours.  I wonder if anyone ever died of fatigue?  Don't answer that.

Julie Krueger

John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN

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