Cotton-Eyed Joe
The Chieftains Lyrics


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If it hadn't been for cotton-eye Joe
I'd been married long time ago
Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?

If it hadn't been for cotton-eye Joe
I'd been married long time ago
Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?

If it hadn't been for cotton-eye Joe
I'd been married long time ago
Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?

If it hadn't been for cotton-eye Joe
I'd been married long time ago
Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?

If it hadn't been for cotton-eye Joe
I'd been married long time ago
Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?

If it hadn't been for cotton-eye Joe
I'd been married long time ago
Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?

Whoo!

Yee~haw

If it hadn't been for cotton-eye Joe
I'd been married long time ago
Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?

If it hadn't been for cotton-eye Joe
I'd been married long time ago
Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?

Get out your fiddle. Rosin up your bow.
Play an old tune called cotton-eye Joe.
Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?





Whooo!

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Cotton Eye Joe are a playful and repetitive blend of a question and a statement about a mysterious character called Cotton Eye Joe who, according to the singer, intervened in his love life. The chorus repeats the same three questions, leaving listeners to ponder the origin, destination, and identity of Cotton Eye Joe. The singer suggests that if it had not been for Cotton Eye Joe's interference, he would have been married a long time ago. The song is a prime example of the traditional folk and country music genres that have long told stories of strange and enigmatic characters who either facilitate or impede the singer's fortunes.


Line by Line Meaning

If it hadn't been for cotton-eye Joe
Had it not been for cotton-eye Joe


I'd been married long time ago
I would have gotten married a long time ago


Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from and where did you go?


Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?
What is cotton-eye Joe's place of origin?


Whoo!
An expression of excitement or enthusiasm


Yee~haw
An expression of joy or exultation


Get out your fiddle. Rosin up your bow.
Take out your fiddle and apply rosin to the bow


Play an old tune called cotton-eye Joe.
Play a song called cotton-eye Joe.


Whooo!
An expression of excitement or enthusiasm




Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: TRADITIONAL, DEBBY MCCLATCHY

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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tom canterbury


on North Amerikay

the great accapella version by kevin on tribute to their harpist

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