Pop Goes The Weazel


Boy, the lyrics to this song aren’t like anything I learned in elementary school! A whole lot of Anglophobic lyrics about the British needing to watch out for the Americans.  Still, the catchy tune is familiar. And one can learn a lot about period politics if we avoid inserting our own period’s biases into the mix.

So, here it is: have fun listening and learning.


When de night walks in, as black as a sheep,

And de hen and her eggs am fast asleep,

Den into her nest with a sarpent’s creep,

“Pop goes de Weasel.”

Oh all de dance dat ebber was plann’d

To galzanize de heel and de hand,

Dar’s none dat moves so gay and grand

As “Pop goes de Weasel.”

De lover, when he pants t’rough fear,

To pop de question to his hear,

He joins dis dance, den in her ear,

“Pop goes de weasel!”


John Bull hells, in de olse cow’s hum,

How uncle Sam used Uncle Tom,

While he makes some white folks slaves at home,

By “Pop goes de Weasel!”

He talks about a friendly trip

To Cuba in a steam war-ship,

But Uncle Sam may make him skip

By “Pop goes de Weasel!”

He’s sending forth his iron hounds,

To bark us off de fishin’ grounds –

He’d best beware of Freedom’s sounds

Oh “Pop goes de Weasel!”


De Temerpance folks from Souf to Main,

Against all liquor spout and strain,

But when dey feels an ugly pain

Den “Pop goes de Weasel!”

All New York in rush now whirl

Whar de World’s Fair its Flag unfurls,

Bet de best World’s Fair am when our girls

Dance “Pop goes de Weasel!”

Den form two lines as straight as a string,

Dance in and out, den three in a ring –

Dive under like de duck, and sing

“Pop goes de Weasel!”


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