Buffalo Gals  

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"Buffalo Gals" (c. 1840), covered by Malcolm McLaren on his 1983 album Duck Rock, which mixed up influences from Africa and America, including hip-hop. The album proved to be highly influential in bringing hip-hop to a wider audience in the UK. Two of the singles from the album ("Buffalo Gals" and "Double Dutch") became major chart hits on both sides of the Atlantic.
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"Buffalo Gals" (c. 1840), covered by Malcolm McLaren on his 1983 album Duck Rock, which mixed up influences from Africa and America, including hip-hop. The album proved to be highly influential in bringing hip-hop to a wider audience in the UK. Two of the singles from the album ("Buffalo Gals" and "Double Dutch") became major chart hits on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Buffalo Gals was a traditional song, written down and published as Lubly Fan in 1844 by the blackface minstrel John Hodges, who performed as "Cool White". It was widely popular throughout the United States, and minstrels altered the lyrics to suit the local audience, so it might be performed as "New York Gals" or "Boston Gals". Thus the best-known version is named after Buffalo, New York, rather than the buffalo herd animal; it's also unrelated to the Buffalo Soldier.

The chorus:

Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight?
Come out tonight, Come out tonight?
Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight,
And dance by the light of the moon.

The English singing game "Pray, Pretty Miss" may have been an inspiration for the lyric, according to Frank Brown in Collection of North Carolina Folklore. The tune is remminiscent of "Im Grunewald, im Grunewald ist Holzauktion", a music hall song from Germany.

A 1944 recording titled "Dance with Dolly" became a hit in the United States.

The song figures prominently in the 1946 film "It's a Wonderful Life."

A different song by the same name, juxtaposing extensive scratching with calls from square dancing, was released by Malcolm McLaren on his 1983 album Duck Rock.


Buffalo Gals is also the title of a novel by Ursula K. Le Guin.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Buffalo Gals" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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