It’s Circus day in Dixie!

“Circus day in Dixie”

Composer: Albert Gumble

Performers: The American Quartet

Lyrics:

Come to town, oh honey, come to town

Have you forgotten that it’s Circus day in Dixie?

Let’s go down, we’d better hurry down

Where the crowd is cheerin’, that parade is nearin’

Hear the music sweet

That’s for the dancers who don’t move their feet

Gee! there’s goin’ to be lots of things I’m just dying to see

Circus Day in Dixie

Circus Day in Dixie

Always is a holiday

(Come along! Ccome along!)

You better hurry, honey, the parade is comin’

Led by the leader man, don’t he look mighty grand

See the funny lion, seems as if he’s tryin’

To keep time with the ragtime band

(See the bear over there!)

Here come the clowns who wear the funniest clothes

There’s one who looks just like my old Uncle Mose

And see the cunnin’ little monkeys ridin’ on the donkeys

At the Circus down in Dixieland

First let’s see the big menagerie

Follow the crowd this way to see the main attraction

Step right in, they’re ready to begin

Gee! I’m all excited, glad I’ve been invited

Oh! before we go, we’ve got to see that Turkish dancin’ show

Ev’rybody’s here

Circus Day only comes once a year

Circus Day in Dixie

Circus Day in Dixie

Always is a holiday

(Come along! Come along!)

You better hurry, honey, the parade is comin’

Led by the leader man, don’t he look mighty grand

See the funny lion, seems as if he’s tryin’

To keep time with the ragtime band

(See the bear over there)

Here come the clowns who wear the funniest clothes

There’s one who looks just like my old Uncle Mose

And see the cunnin’ little monkeys ridin’ on the donkeys

At the Circus down in Dixieland

The American Quartet is perhaps one of the most famous singing ensembles of the 20th century. Although the name was adopted by several singing groups throughout the centuries, the original American Quartet consisted of four of the most widely respected tenors in America. John Bieling, Billy Murray, Steve Porter, and William F. Hooley paved the way for future singer/songwriters gaining high esteem for their ability to appeal to all ages.

Bieling, Murray, Porter, and Hooley each performed with other singing groups respectively prior to recording their first cylinder as an ensemble. As mentioned, several other singing ensembles attempted to claim the title of ‘American Quartet’, a patriotic tribute to one of America’s most admired past-times: music, but no one was admired in the same way as the Bieling, Murray, Porter, Hooley combination. They were able to capture the ears and hearts of millions with their soothe harmonies and passion for lyrical creativity. However, it was a long journey before the quartet received acceptance for their lasting title. When the four singers originally recorded together for Edison, they were named the Premier Quartet. They also worked with The Victor Talking Machine Company to produce their music in disc form. The tenors eventually became known as the Premier American Quartet, but by their 1901 debut of ‘Denver Town’, they were labeled as the Murray-Bieling-Porter-Hooley quartet. It was not until the men began to produce some of the most famous compositions of the early 1900’s, creating records, flat discs, along with the standard cylinder did they acquire their most distinguished title, the American Quartet.

“Goodbye Broadway, Hello France”, “Blue Jeans”, “My Mammy”, and “Circus day in Dixie” are among some of the most famous songs recorded by the American Quartet. “Circus day in Dixie” is about a special day that occurs once a year in the humble town of ‘Dixie’. A quaint community of families -young and old who tend to their business without much change. This circus day is the one time that it is okay to let loose from the hectic reality of life. A time to “Hear the music sweet”, see “the clowns who wear the funniest clothes”, “see that Turkish dancin’ show”, and see the “cunnin’ little monkeys ridin’ on the donkeys”. The lyrics allow us to recognize the excitement filling the homes of Dixie, even if you have had a rough week – the circus is here – remember to “Enjoy yourself!” “Let me see you smile!”

Albert Gumble, the Songwriter for several popular songs of the 1900’s, including “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm“, Give Me the Moonlight, Give Me the Girl”, and “Southern Gals” was a composer and pianist, educated at the Auditorium School of Music with Herman Froehlich. Gumble would go on to create “Circus day in Dixie” one of his most successful compositions. The laughable lyrics he created would travel many paths through the years, eventually recorded by the American Quartet, The Versatile Four, Blossom Seeley, James Reese Europe, The Citations, Ernie Carson & Castle Jazz Band, as well as the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Symphony Band.

“Circus day in Dixie” is a lively song representative of a generation eager to find independence. Gumble found much of his inspiration from his own experiences as a young man growing up during a century with major political, economical, societal, and cultural shifts with an underlying sensation for freedom.


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