Goober Peas

Some define folk music as music passed on by mouth… or music of the lower classes… while the song Goober peas was definitely passed on by mouth (earliest printed sheet music for the song dates to the years AFTER the American Civil War), one could argue the ‘lower classes’ label.

The song Goober Peas was popular amongst the soldiers of the CSA, highlighting with humor and bittersweet recollection a fact of life. Hunger. Of the two armies, the CSA soldiers had life the hardest. They ran out of food faster and supplies were harder to come by… so when you had it, you ate it, and were very very grateful for it.

Still, you have to admire the ability to use their suffering in a way that could help inspire them… and at the least give them an upbeat song to march to.


Lyrics to Goober Peas

1. Sitting by the roadside on a summer day
chatting with my mess-mates,
passing time away lying in the shadow –
underneath the trees
Goodness how delicious,
eating goober peas!

Chorus: Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas!
Eating Goober Peas! Goodness how delicious,
eating goober peas!

2. When a horseman passes,
The soldiers have a rule,
To cry out at their loudest,
“Mister, here’s your mule,
But another pleasure Enchantinger than these,
Is wearing out your Grinders,
Eating goober peas!


3. Just before the battle,
The General hears a row, He says,
“The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now.”
He turns around in wonder, And what do you think he sees?
The Georgia Militia,
Eating goober peas!


4. I think my song has lasted Almost long enough,
The subject’s interesting, But rhymes are mighty rough,
I wish the war was over When free from rags and fleas,
We’d kiss our wives and sweetheart
And gobble goober peas!


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