Jimmy Crack Corn

(Sorry this is late, but I just read the Jimmy Crack Corn article on
the internet.)

Unca Cece posited a couple of theories on the meaning of “cracks corn” in the “Jimmy Cracks Corn” minstrel song, both of which were off the mark. The straight dope is that
one who “cracks corn” is doing just that-- cracking corn. You see, that fine southern staple known as grits (yum!) is made by cracking dried corn. (Oh the mere thought of that tasty delicacy is making my mouth
water!) So it seems to me that Jimmy is simply making grits as he sings
to us his tale of woe.

I’ve always thought this was a sly murder song. Maybe Jimmy didn’t like
his Massa. That’s why he’s so happy his Massa is “gone away”. One of the
verses says of the Massa, “He die, the jury they wonder why; the verdict
was the blue-tail fly!”

Why was a jury involved unless murder was suspected? Maybe when Jimmy
was following his Massa’s pony with a hickory broom, he took a notion to
swat that pony with it! And now he is singing joyfully about getting
away with murder!

Could be a coroner’s jury which would decide on the cause of death.

Lex Non Favet Delicatorum Votis

The column being discussed would be:

Who is Jimmy, and why does he crack corn? (Week of: 30-Oct-98)

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

He could also be cracking corn for his mount.

Corn husks are just as indigestible for a horse as for a person.

Back in the old days (or even today, if you made your own feed), you would need to crack it so that the innards could be digested.

For what it’s worth, I always understood it to mean something like what Spoke thinks.

The cracks corn thing is all too plausible, I grew up on a farm and I can image being given that task.

The rest of it did point to Jimmy either having indirectly caused the death, or at any rate, not caring too much about it.

… and I don’t care.
Sorry, couldn’t resist.

It is a little-known fact that the original title (rejected by the record label) of Are You Experienced? was * Jimi Crack Corn*.

It is a little-known fact that the original title (rejected by the record label) of Are You Experienced? was * Jimi Crack Corn*.

I gotta go along with Cecil on this one (!!!)
The title is listed as “Blue Tailed Fly” not Jimmy (or JIM) Crack Corn. While he is correct in that the song was written as a minstrel song in the '40’s, the chorus is based on an older ditty. While massa is away the slaves had a chance to crack some corn after a while they ‘don’t care’ about anything. And after massa is “DEAD an gone away” there is even more cause for celebration. To further complicate things “Blue tail fly” is a word for moonshine, at least in parts of Texas. This may have come after the song, but I guarntee gettin bit by THAT blue tail fly can definately put you away. GRITS! grits with gravy, grits with honey, grits with sorghum, grits with bacon drippings, grits with grits! I done care.GRITS! GIMMEE GRITS OR GIMME GRITS
SEE what dex gets up to when HIS massa gone away?

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx