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“The Old Gum Tree” Sheet Music

@ National Museum of American History

Wilson, R. O Ethiopian Serenaders


This sheet music is for the song “The Old Gum Tree.” The cover notes that the song was “sung with rapturous applause by the Ethiopian Serenaders,” and “composed for the Piano Forte by R.O. Wilson.” The song was composed in 1848, and was part of the culture of “coon songs” that became popular entertainment during the period. “Ethiopian” singers and performers were what blackface performers often called themselves, traveling in troupes and performing various song and dance numbers in often crass and racist stereotypes.Currently not on view

Record Contributed By

National Museum of American History

Record Harvested From

Smithsonian Institution