What is a Minstrel Song?
Minstrel songs were written in the mid-1800s to accompany the minstrel shows for entertainment. These shows were meant to present comedic sketches in the form of plays and musicals.
Today, they are most known for the racist connotations and appearance of blackface actors and singers in the musicals. These works play an important role in American history.
Popular Minstrel Music in the 1800s
Here is a list of popular minstrel songs that was originally published in Oliver Ditson’s book, Minstrel Songs, Old and New: A Collection of World-Wide, Famous Minstrel and Plantation Songs.
|Song Title||Songwriter: Words||Songwriter: Music||Year Written|
|Old Folks at Home [aka Swanee River]||Stephen Collins Foster||Stephen Collins Foster||1851|
|Angel Gabriel (End Song)||Frank Dumont||James E. Stewart||1875|
|Angels, Meet Me at the Cross Roads||William Shakespeare Hays||William Shakespeare Hays||1875|
|The Little Old Cabin in the Lane (Song and Chorus)||William Shakespeare Hays||William Shakespeare Hays||1871|
|Susan Jane||William Shakespeare Hays||William Shakespeare Hays||1871|
|The Yaller Gal That Winked at Me||Unknown||A. M. Hernandez||1867|
|Ole Shady; or The Song of the Contraband||Benjamin Russell Hanby||Benjamin Russell Hanby||1861|
|Darling Nelly Gray||Benjamin Russell Hanby||Benjamin Russell Hanby||1856|
|The Little Brown Jug||Joseph Eastburn Winner||Joseph Eastburn Winner||1869|
|Twinkling Stars Are Laughing, Love||John P. Ordway||John P. Ordway||1855|