Harry Beard Collection thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Harry Beard Collection

Sheet Music
ca. 1898 (published)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Outer cover of the sheet music for Why did yer slope wide de yaller man, Susie? written by J.P.Harrington, composed by George Le Brunn and sung by Tom Birchmore of 'The Moore & Burgess Minstrels'. This was an important minstrel troupe, established at St. James' Hall, Piccadilly in 1865, which later amalgamated with the 'Mohawk Minstrels', their final performance being June 16th 1900.

The back sheet is printed with a list of Francis, Day & Hunter's 'Newest Comic Songs', its inner cover is printed with the lyrics for the song and music and words for the first verse and chorus.

Half of the front sheet is painted with a pale grey wash. In the bottom left hand corner is the sketch of an elderly gentleman, his mouth downcast, raises a spiked staff as if threatening to strike. At its centre is an illustration on a pale peach background. This consists of a head and shoulders illustration of a man in a white shirt, brown waistcoat and red spotted neckerchief. The man's makeup is characteristic of that associated with a form of entertainment known as 'Blackface minstrelsy'. The minstrel performance tradition originated in the United States around 1830 and featured theatrical makeup which was based on racist stereotypes of African Americans. White performers (and sometimes black) used burnt cork, greasepaint or shoe polish to blacken their skin and exaggerate their lips. The look was completed with 'woolly' wigs, gloves, tailcoats and/or ragged clothes. Blackface was a performance tradition in American theatre for over 100 years and was also popular overseas. Stereotypes embodied in the stock characters of blackface minstrelsy played a significant role in cementing and proliferating racist attitudes.


Object details
Category
Object type
Materials and techniques
Lithograph
Brief description
Outer cover of the sheet music for Why did yer slope wid de yaller man, Susie? published by Francis, Day &Hunter, circa 1898, Harry Beard Collection.
Physical description
Outer cover of the sheet music for Why did yer slope wide de yaller man, Susie?. Half of the front sheet is painted with a pale grey wash. At its centre is an illustration on a pale peach background. This consists of a head and shoulders illustration of a man in a white shirt, brown waistcoat and red spotted neckerchief. In the bottom left hand corner is the sketch of an elderly gentleman, his mouth downcast, raises a spiked staff as if threatening to strike.

The back sheet is printed with a list of Francis, Day & Hunter's 'Newest Comic Songs', its inner cover is printed with the lyrics for the song and music and words for the first verse and chorus.
Dimensions
  • Height: 35.4cm
  • Width: 25.5cm
Width recorded is size of 'folded' sheet.
Marks and inscriptions
John P. Harrington (Signature in purple ink, possibly that of the lyricist.)
Subject depicted
Literary referenceWhy did yer slope wid de yaller man susie?
Summary
Outer cover of the sheet music for Why did yer slope wide de yaller man, Susie? written by J.P.Harrington, composed by George Le Brunn and sung by Tom Birchmore of 'The Moore & Burgess Minstrels'. This was an important minstrel troupe, established at St. James' Hall, Piccadilly in 1865, which later amalgamated with the 'Mohawk Minstrels', their final performance being June 16th 1900.



The back sheet is printed with a list of Francis, Day & Hunter's 'Newest Comic Songs', its inner cover is printed with the lyrics for the song and music and words for the first verse and chorus.



Half of the front sheet is painted with a pale grey wash. In the bottom left hand corner is the sketch of an elderly gentleman, his mouth downcast, raises a spiked staff as if threatening to strike. At its centre is an illustration on a pale peach background. This consists of a head and shoulders illustration of a man in a white shirt, brown waistcoat and red spotted neckerchief. The man's makeup is characteristic of that associated with a form of entertainment known as 'Blackface minstrelsy'. The minstrel performance tradition originated in the United States around 1830 and featured theatrical makeup which was based on racist stereotypes of African Americans. White performers (and sometimes black) used burnt cork, greasepaint or shoe polish to blacken their skin and exaggerate their lips. The look was completed with 'woolly' wigs, gloves, tailcoats and/or ragged clothes. Blackface was a performance tradition in American theatre for over 100 years and was also popular overseas. Stereotypes embodied in the stock characters of blackface minstrelsy played a significant role in cementing and proliferating racist attitudes.
Other number
F69-18 - H Beard Collection Numbering
Collection
Accession number
S.235:1-1989

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

Record createdApril 6, 2010
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest