Cards-N-Time: Oklahoma II

Bob Allison
1. Oklahoma

Here are words to a few songs in the 1918 song book, “Oklahoma Community Songs.”

Oklahoma was never a part of the section of the country now referred to as the Old South, and before statehood as Indian Territory we weren’t officially involved in the Civil War, culturally we have been southern sympathizers. The author classified “Dixie’s Land” as a ‘patriotic song’ and ‘Massa’s in de Cold, Cold Ground,’ as a ‘song of affection’ consistent with the post-Civil War South’s campaign to romanticize slavery by pushing the myth that slaves liked slavery! [Some stanzas omitted.]

“Dixie’s Land”

“I wish I was in de land ob cotton, Old times dar am not forgotten, Look away, look away, look away! Dixie Land. In Dixie Land whar I was born in, Early on one frosty mornin’, Look away! Look away! Look away!! Dixie Land. [Chorus] Den I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray! In Dixie Land, I’ll took my stand To lib and die in Dixie; Away, Away, Away down south in Dixie; Away, Away down south in Dixie. Dar’s buckwheat-cakes an’ Ingen’ batter, Make you fat or a little fatter; Look away, Look away! Look away! Dixie Land. Den hoe it down and scratch your grabble, To Dixie’s Land I’m bound to trabble, Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.” [Dan Emmet 1815-1904]

“Massa’s in de Cold, Cold Ground”

“Round de meadows am a-ringing De darkey’s mournful song, While de mocking birds am singing, Happy as de day am long. Where de ivy am a-creeping O’er de grassy mound, Dar old massa am a sleeping, Sleeping in de cold, cold ground. [Chorus] Down in de cornfield, Hear dat mournful sound; All de darkies am a weeping, Massa’s in de cold, cold ground. [2] Massa make de darkies love him, Cayse he was so kind; Now dey sadly weep above him, Mourning cayse he leaves dem behind, I cannot work before tomorrow, Cayse de teardrops flow; I try to drive away my sorrow, Pickin on de old banjo.” [Stephen C. Foster 1826-64]


Written as a toast in 1935 by Harriet Parker Camden of Kingfisher, this song preceded the theme song of the 1943 Broadway musical, “Oklahoma!” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. In 1953, the legislature was voting to replace Camden’s song with the Broadway version when an old legislator stood and quietly sang Camden’s song. The effect was so moving to the chamber Gov. Nigh tabled the bill. Later, he brought the choir from the Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha into the chamber to sing the Broadway version. It was quickly adopted. [I suspect Hammerstein borrowed some ideas from Camden.]

“I give you a land of sun and flow’rs, And summer a whole year long; I give you a land where the golden hours Roll by to the mocking bird’s song: Where the cotton blooms ‘neath the southern sun Where Where the vintage hangs thick on the vine: A land whose story has just begun, This wonderful land of mine. [Chorus] Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Fairest daughter of the West, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, ‘Tis the land I love the best, We have often sung her praises, But we have not told the half, So I give you “Oklahoma,” Tis a toast we all can quaff. [2] A land where the fields of golden grain, Like waves on a sunlit sea, Bend low to the breezes that sweep the plain With a welcome to you and me: Where the corn grows high ‘neath the smiling sky Where the quail whistles low in the grass: And fruit trees greet with a burden sweet, and perfume the winds that pass.”

A&M College Song

“Oh, we are the students of A.M.C.! Ki Yi! Ki Ye, The wearers of the black and the orange we, Rip Zip! Hooray! We haven’t any great excess of cash, Yell A.M.C.! And that’s why we don[‘t do anything rash, O.K.L.A.! [chorus] Ki Yi Ye! Rip Zip! Hooray! Hooray! Yell A.M.C.! O.K.L.A.! O.K.L.A. [3] We are loyal to our college, where-so-ever we be, Ki Yi! Ki Ye! A health to all who love her and three times three! Rip Zip! Hooray! May she live forever! So we all do say! Yell [chorus]” . A.C. Scott]

Oklahoma U.

No reason to print words to “Boomer Sooner because so many know them and the music is from Yale Boola. Following was borrowed by J.W. Scroggs from an old Harvard song.

“Sing a song for old O.U. Sing with loud acclaim, O sing a jolly song to her name and fame And at the same time, Don’t forget the dear ones. Don’t forget the dear ones while we sing. [Chorus] Sing, sing, sing, sing, sing for old O.U. Sing, sing, sing, sing Sing for old O.U. Sing, sing, sing, sing, sing again; O sing a song a song for old O.U. Ok-La-Ho-ma [repeated 3 times]; [2] Sing to praise her noble sons, Sing it loud and clear; O sing a jolly song for her daughters fair. And at the same time, Don’t forget the dear ones, Don’t forget the dear ones while we sing.”

My guess is ‘the dear ones’ were alums who were casualties in WWI that ended in 1918.

[1] Scroggs , J.W., Univ. of Okla.. Extension, OKC: Warden Co., 1918.