Ching-a-Ring Chaw

“Ching-a-Ring Chaw” is the last of the five songs in Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs, Set 2.

Date: 1952Composer: Aaron CoplandSong Collection: Old American Songs, Set 2

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“Ching-a-Ring Chaw” was originally a minstrel song with a text in dialect that Copland felt had to be rewritten. He explained, “I did not want to take any chance of it being construed as racist.”

–Vivian Perlis, 1998, from Boosey & Hawkes Web site


Ching-a-Ring Chaw

Ching-a-ring-a ring ching ching,
Hoa dinga ding kum larkee,
Ching-a-ring-a ring ching ching,
Hoa ding kum larkee.

Brothers gather round,
Listen to this story,
‘Bout the promised land,
An’ the promised glory.

You don’ need to fear,
If you have no money,
You don’ need none there,
To buy you milk and honey.

There you’ll ride in style,
Coach with four white horses,
There the evenin’ meal,
Has one two three four courses.

Nights we all will dance
To the harp and fiiddle,
Waltz and jig and prance,
“Cast off down the middle!”

When the mornin’ come,
All in grand and spendour,
Stand out in the sun,
And hear the holy thunder.

Brothers hear me out,
The promised land’s a-comin’
Dance and sing and shout,
I hear them harps a strummin’.

Sheet Music

Old American Songs (Complete)

Composer(s): Aaron Copland

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