Hot Time in the Old Town

There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight was a great favorite during the Spanish-American War in 1898, although it had actually been written twelve years earlier by Theodore Metz, band leader of the McIntyre and Heath Minstrels. Metz was inspired to write it when he saw a group of black children putting out a fire in Old Town, Louisiana. The Mcintyre and Heath Minstrels used it as a march for its street parades but it didn't catch on until Joe Hayden wrote some appropriate words for it and Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders adopted it as their personal anthem in Cuba. Jelly Roll Morton recalls it as one of the favorites of the little string groups in New Orleans which played at parties. It came into recorded jazz when Bessie Smith sang it on Mar. 2, 1927, backed by a contingent from Fletcher Henderson's band." (quote from Music History)

1896 Song Sheet
Come along, get you ready Wear your bran', bran' new gown
For there's gwine to be a meeting In that good, good old town
Where you knowded everybody And they all know - ded you
And you've got a rabbit's foot To keep away de hoo-doo.

When you hear that the preaching does begin
Bend down low for to drive away your sin
And when you gets religion, you want to shout and sing
There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight, My baby

When you hear dem a bells go ding ling ling
All join 'round and sweetly you must sing
And when the verse am through in the chorus all join in
There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight.

There'll be girls for ev'ry body: In that good, good old town,
For there's Miss Consola Davis And there's Miss Gondolia Brown
And there's Miss Johanna Beasly She am dressed all in red,
I just hugged her and I kissed her And to me then she said:

Please oh please, oh do not let me fall,
You're all mine and I love you best of all,
And you must be my man, or I'll have no man at all,
There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight, My baby,

1890s Vol. 2 by Archeophone Records
revised 12/5/03 by Steven Schoenherr | Songs