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"Buckeye Jim," Lyrics, Text Format

Syncopation occurring on the second half of the second and fourth beats (and of 2, and of 4), ascending tonic arpeggio within the pentatonic scale.


  • Grade: Fourth
  • Origin: USA – Folk Song
  • Key: C Major
  • Time: 4/4
  • Form: AB – verse/refrain
  • Rhythm: intermediate: | ta ta ti ti ti ti |
    | ta ta ta/ ti | syncopation, | ta ta ti ti ta |
    | ta ta (ta) ta | ta ta ti ta/ | syncopation,
    | ta/a/a/a |
  • Pitches: beginners: Do Re Mi So La Do – pentatonic scale
  • Intervals: intermediate: Do\La, So\Mi/So, Mi/La\Mi, Do/Mi/So ascending tonic arpeggio, So\Do, La\Do
  • Musical Elements: notes: whole, dotted quarter, quarter, eighth; rest: quarter, syncopation, tied notes, vocal slurs
  • Key Words: USA history, slaves, impossible dreams, metaphors for impossible things, sacred, after-life, heaven, paradise, hollow log, Blue Jay, green bull frog, weave and spin, moon, spoon, grief, pain, bright, beyond, wings, dream, touch, tender, yonder (down in the valley); contractions: can’t (cannot), they’ll (they will), don’t (do not)

“Buckeye Jim” 
1. Way down yonder in a hollow log,
A Blue Jay danced with a green bull frog.
Buckeye Jim you can’t go;
Go weave and spin, you can’t go
Buckeye Jim.
Way up yonder above the moon,
A red bird lived in a silver spoon,
3. Way up yonder above the sky,
Blue Jay rest in a green bird’s eye.
4. They’ll be an end to grief and pain,
A warm bright sky beyond the rain.
5. You don’t have wings so you can’t fly,
But you can dream it if you try.
6. But in Paradise the white bird sings,
Touch your face with tender wings.
The chorus is often attributed to a slaves desire to run away; note the illogical references in the songs lyrics (things that cannot occur) with later verses supporting the promise of a better place to be.
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"Buckeye Jim," Music Format
Click to enlarge: "Buckeye Jim," Beats Format
Click to Enlarge: "Buckeye Jim," Rhythm Format
pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "Buckeye Jim," Pitch Number Format
Click to Enlarge: "Buckeye Jim," Solfeggio Format
letter names
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