Buckey Jim

Alan Lomax

I couldn't do better than Alan and John Lomax to describe this song:

Here is a lullaby from the Southern Appalachians, a bright pattern of color out of the ragbag of the past, to be sung softly and with tenderness. The melody has the simple and unfathomable loveliness of a green branch swaying in the summer wind; but like other things that grow up out of the soil, surely and unconsciously beautiful, this song is a mystery. . .

Fletcher Collins, who lives in Elon, North Carolina, caught this song from a friend of his in the hills. Burl Ives, raised to sing ballads by his Kentucky bred mother caught it from Fletcher Collins. And we caught it from Burl.

-- from Folksong USA


'Way up yonder above the sky,
A bluebird lived in a jay-bird's eye.

Buckeye Jim, you can't go,
Go weave and spin, you can't go, Buckeye Jim.

'Way up yonder above the moon,
A blue-jay nests in a silver spoon.

Buckeye Jim . . .

'Way down yonder in a wooden trough,
The rattlesnake died of the whoopin' cough.

Buckey Jim . . .

'Way down yonder on a hollow log,
A red bird danced with a green bullfrog.

Buckey Jim . . .

'Way down yander in the mountain tops
The grasshopper sings and the katy-did hops