Cotton Eyed Joe - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Cotton Eyed Joe (or, as it is sometimes known, 'Cotton Eye Joe') is an American folk song that is as venerable as it is jaunty.  Possibly of African-American origin, it likely predates the American Civil War.  You can find out more about its origins, here.

Chords

G                                                    C
Don't you remember, don't you know,

G                                                      C
Daddy worked a man they called Cotton-Eyed Joe,

G                                                      D                   G
Daddy worked a man they called Cotton-Eyed Joe.




G                                                           C
Had not have been for Cotton-Eyed Joe,

G                                      C
I'd have been married a long time ago,

G                                       D              G
I'd have been married a long time ago.

Lyrics

Don't you remember, don't you know,
Daddy worked a man they called Cotton-Eyed Joe,
Daddy worked a man they called Cotton-Eyed Joe.

Had not have been for Cotton-Eyed Joe,
I'd have been married a long time ago,
I'd have been married a long time ago.

Down in the cotton patch, down below,
Everybody's singing the Cotton-Eyed Joe,
Everybody's singing the Cotton-Eyed Joe.

Had not have been for Cotton-Eyed Joe,
I'd have been married a long time ago,
I'd have been married a long time ago.

I know a girl lives down below,
Used to go to see her but I don't know more,
Used to go to see her but I don't know more.

Had not have been for Cotton-Eyed Joe,
I'd have been married a long time ago,
I'd have been married a long time ago.

I fell down and I stubbed my toe,
Called for the doctor, Cotton-Eyed Joe,
Called for the doctor, Cotton-Eyed Joe.

Had not have been for Cotton-Eyed Joe,
I'd have been married a long time ago,
I'd have been married a long time ago.

Tune my fiddle and rosin my bow,
Gonna make music everywhere I go,
Gonna play a tune they call Cotton-Eyed Joe.

Had not have been for Cotton-Eyed Joe,
I'd have been married a long time ago,
I'd have been married a long time ago.

 

 

Other American Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs