Friday, July 15, 2011

Buffalo Gals

“Buffalo Gals” is a traditional American song from almost 200 years ago. In 1844, it was published by a minstrel performer named John Hodges. Originally, the song was about Buffalo, NY, during the construction of the Erie Canal ending in 1825. At that time, before steam engines were commonly used, barges carrying cargo for trade and distribution were pulled by mules through the Canal.

The title of the song, “Buffalo Gals,” refers to the pretty girls on Canal Street in Buffalo. Because of the song’s popularity, minstrel performers began to alter the lyrics to appeal to the local audiences where they were performing - “New York Gals,” “Boston Gals,” “Charleston Gals” and “Round Town Gals” to name a few.

From Book I of the O'Connor Method.

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