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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, dated 2 November 1926, we find this story:

Remember the old song about “Old Dan Tucker”? And did you ever dance to the rollicking tune?

In the November number of the West Virginia Review there appears a sketch entitled “The Epic of Old Dan Tucker” written by Walter Barnes.

“Have the Review readers heard of the tales of Old Dan’s escapades, sung to the accompaniment of a rasping fiddle?” asks Barnes; and then he adds:

“A wonderful old man! He was a graceless rascal, no doubt. But a picturesque character, full of sap, scented with the soil, flinging himself into one amazing and amusing feat after another, ‘the talk of the country,’ and ‘the life of the party.’ The rhymes insist that he was a ‘fine old man’: well, he wasn’t fine and he didn’t act like an old man–he was rather what we call a regular fellow.

“Who was he? When and where did he live? I have no idea. Perhaps he lived in West Virginia in frontier and pioneer days. Tucker is probably a composite like Paul Bunyan. There may have been a real person by that name.”

Here are a few of the nine stanzas that Mr. Barnes has assembled:


Old Dan Tucker was a fine old man,

He washed his face in a frying pan,

He combed his hair with a wagon wheel,

And died with the tooth-ache in his heel.


Get out of the way for Old Dan Tucker.

He’s too late to get his supper.

Old Dan Tucker, he got drunk,

He fell in the fire and kicked out a chunk,

But he got ashes in his shoe,

And laws-a-massy how the fire flew!

Old Dan Tucker is a lovely man,

He swallowed a barrel of whiskey down,

The hoops flew off, the barrel did bust,

Away went Dan in a thunder gust.

Old Dan Tucker is a fine old man,

He tried to ride a Darby ram,

He rode him east, he rode him west,

He rode him into a hornet’s nest.

Old Dan Tucker went out one day

All alone in a one-hoss sleigh;

The sleigh was broke, and the hoss was blind,

And he had no hair on his tail behind.

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 2 November 1926.