Buffalo Gals
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John Renfro Davis


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Lyrics
This song was published in 1844 with the title Lubly Fan. It was written by one of the first black-faced minstrels, Cool White (John Hodges). He was one of the most renowned minstrels (after only E.P. Christy). Hodges debuted in Pennsylvania in the 1830s; performing mainly in Pittsburgh. Allen and John Lomax believe it was a traditional tune, known before Cool White published the music. It was popular in minstrel shows throughout the United States and the location was changed accordingly to New York Gals, Charleston Gals, etc. Buffalo, therefore, refers to the city rather than the animal.

In Collection of North Carolina Folklore, Frank Brown suggests it may have its inspiration from an English singing game, Pray, Pretty Miss and that the tune is close to that of an old German music hall song, Im Grunewald, im Grunewald ist Holzauktion. Other scholars have suggested the song originated around the Erie Canal.

The song was also a hit in 1944 as Dance with Dolly.

As I was walking down the street
Down the street, down the street,
A pretty gal I chance to meet
Under the silvery moon.
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.


I asked her if she'd stop and talk,
Stop and talk, Stop and talk,
Her feet covered up the whole sidewalk,
She was fair to view.
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.


I asked her if she'd be my wife,
Be my wife, be my wife
Then I'd be happy all my life,
If she'd marry me.
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.


Related Links
From Best Loved Songs of the American People
See Bibliography for full information.