THE DARKTOWN STRUTTER’S BALL

ARCHIVED MUSICAL CLASSICS

Words and Music by Shelton Brooks (1917)

I’ve got some good news, honey
An invitation to the Darktown Ball
It’s a very swell affair
All the “high-browns” will be there
I’ll wear my high silk hat and frock tail coat
You wear your Paris gown and your new silk shawl
There ain’t no doubt about it babe
We’ll be the best dressed in the hall

I’ll be down to get you in a taxi, honey
You better be ready about half past eight
Now dearie, don’t be late
I want to be there when the band starts playing
Remember when we get there, honey
The two-steps I’m goin’ to have ’em all
Goin’ to dance out both my shoes
When they play the “Jelly Roll Blues”
Tomorrow night, at the Darktown Strutter’s Ball

We’ll meet our hightoned neighbors
An exhibition of the “Baby Dolls”
And each one will do their best
Just to outclass the rest
And there’ll be dancers from ev’ry foreign land
The classic, buck and wing, and the wooden clog
We’ll win that fifty dollar prize
When we step out and “Walk The Dog”

 


 

Darktown Strutters’ Ball” is a popular song by Shelton Brooks, published in 1917. The song has been recorded many times and is both a popular and jazz standard.

The landmark 1917 recording by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band was recorded on May 30, 1917, and released by Columbia Records as catalog number A-2297. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006. There are many variations of the title, including “At the Darktown Strutters’ Ball”, “The Darktown Strutters’ Ball”, and just “Strutters’ Ball”.

By false politically correct standards, some consider the term ‘dark town’ offensive because it refers to an area inhabited primarily by blacks. ‘Strutter’ is a term for a type of strutting dance that seems to have been lost in time. To strut is to move with pride and dignity.

 

 

 

 

 

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