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Goober Peas by Burt Ives and Johnny Cash

The song Goober Peas dates back to the American Civil War. It’s a silly song on the surface but indicates how desperate Confederate troops were. The South at the time was very dependent on other regions for food. Crops like tobacco and cotton were king. As the Northern blockade tightened, peanuts became one of the only sources of nutrition for Southerners. According to this article in Smithsonian magazine, peanut paste, mixed with milk and sugar was even used as a coffee replacement. The nickname goober is derived from the Bantu (Angolan) word “n-guba.”

Peas, peas, peas, peas, eating goober peas
Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas
Peas, peas, peas, peas, eating goober peas
Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas

Think my song has lasted almost long enough
The subject is most interesting but rhymes are mighty rough
I wish this war was over, when free from rags and fleas
We’d kiss our wives and sweethearts and then we’d gobble goober peas

The song was record by several artist over the years including the Kingston Trio, Burt Ives. According to Wikipedia, the first sheet music goes back to 1866 by A.E Blackmar. “Blackmar humorously lists A. Pindar as the lyricist and P. Nutt as the composer.” Pindar was also a nickname for peanut.

A. Pindar and P.Nutt

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