COTTON-EYED JOE (TEXAS STYLE)
PRONUNCIATION: KAH-tuhn-ahyd JOH TEK-sahs stile TRANSLATION: Joe's "taking a liking to" look SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance at country-western get-togethers in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, Texas. It was choreographed by Melton and Sue Luttrell and was presented by Carolyn Mitchill at the 1962 Santa Barbara Folk Dance Conference. It has also been taught by Nelda Drury of San Antonio, among others. BACKGROUND: Cotton-Eyed Joe is one of the most popular western tunes ever played with nearly 500 recordings made. The story goes that Joe would take a "cotton to" (or liking to) other fellows' gals he would see, and so the term "Cotton-Eyed Joe." The words given at the bottom of this description are those on the Bellaire recording and were written by Isaac Payton Sweat (of The Sweat Band) and D. Howard, and are as sung at Gilley's, the famous "kicker" bar in Pasadena, Texas (thus "Texas Style"). The traditional words were written in "Min Skål Din Skål: a songbook for folkdancers," by Richard Lindauer and Grace West, 1951. MUSIC: Bellaire (45rpm) 5081 (with vocal)
Kik-R (45rpm) K-202 (no vocal)
Belco (45rpm) B-257-B
Imperial (45rpm) 1045-B
Sheet Music: Vancouver International Folk Dancers Music Book, Vol. 2., Deborah Jones, 1982.
FORMATION: Short lines of mixed M and W all facing LOD (CCW around the dance area) like spokes of a wheel, hands joined behind neighbors' backs with the second dancer in a back-basket hold. METER/RHYTHM: 2/4 STEPS/STYLE: Dancers should get their kicks, so to speak, during this dance, and should not be afraid to let out an "EE-haw!" or "YAH-hoo!" once in a while. Incidentally, the Bellaire recording has a modest vocal on one side and a B.S. version on the flip (a story went around Texas that a visiting group of Russians thought everyone was yelling "Bolshoi!"). MEAS MOVEMENT DESCRIPTION INTRODUCTION - No action. Wait 8 meas on the Bellaire recording, 4 meas on the Kik-R recording. I. KICK 'N' SHOUT Facing CCW, pull R leg up twd body bending knee in preparation for a kick (ct &); 1 Kick R diag fwd to R with toe up and leaning slightly bwd to L (ct 1); pull R leg up twd body bending knee (ct &); kick R diag fwd to R with toe up and leaning slightly bwd to L (ct 2); 2 Step R in back of L (ct 1); small step L swd (ct &); step R across in front of L (ct 2). 3-4 Repeat action of meas 1-2 to L with opp ftwk. 5-8 Repeat action of meas 1-4. II. FWD PROMENADE 1 Two-step fwd: Step fwd R (ct 1); close and step L next to R heel (ct &); step fwd R (ct 2); 2 Repeat action of meas 1 fwd with opp ftwk. 3-8 Repeat action of meas 1-2 three more times. Repeat entire dance from beg.
Now I'd o' been married a long time ago,
If it had not o' been for Cotton-Eyed Joe.
Where did 'e come from, where did 'e go,
Where did 'e come from, Cotton-eyed Joe?
I gotta ball-peen hammer and a two-by-four.
Gonna whip the hell out o' Cotton-Eyed Joe.
Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes