Jimmy Crack Corn

“Jimmy Crack Corn” is a traditional American folk song that has its roots in the 19th century. It is also known as “Blue Tail Fly” or “The Blue-Tailed Fly” and has been popularized through various recordings and adaptations over the years. Cracking corn was an old idiom that meant sitting around gossiping. 

The song’s meaning is rooted in the experiences of enslaved people in the American South, who often used music and storytelling as a way to express their emotions and connect with each other.

The song’s first verse suggests that the singer doesn’t care about their master’s absence, implying a sense of liberation and freedom. The second verse references the idea of resistance and refusal, with the singer pushing back against their master’s orders. The third verse tells a story about a blue-tailed fly biting the master, leading to his death, which can be seen as a form of poetic justice or retribution.

Overall, “Jimmy Crack Corn” is a lively and spirited song that has endured over time as a testament to the creativity and resilience of African American culture.


As with a song of this nature, Jimmy Crack Corn is bound to have controversies around it. The word “master” in the lyrics can be seen as perpetuating the idea of slavery and the power dynamics between enslaved people and their owners. 

Another controversy is the portrayal of enslaved people as happy and carefree in the face of their oppression. The song’s first verse, with its repeated line “Jimmy crack corn, and I don’t care,” has been criticized for presenting a false and overly simplistic picture of the experiences of enslaved people. Critics argue that the song reinforces harmful stereotypes.

The song’s third verse, which tells the story of a blue-tailed fly biting the master and leading to his death, has also been controversial. Some have argued that using a fly to kill the master is a form of passive resistance reinforcing the idea that enslaved people were powerless to confront their oppressors directly.

Jimmy Crack Corn Lyrics

Jimmy crack corn, and I don’t care,
Jimmy crack corn, and I don’t care,
Jimmy crack corn, and I don’t care,
My master’s gone away.

The second verse goes:
He told me to plow, and I told him “No.”
He told me to sing, and I told him “No.”
He told me to play the old banjo,
And I called for rain and the winds did blow.

The third verse goes:
One day he rode around the farm,
The flies so numerous they did swarm,
One chanced to bite him on the thigh,
The devil take the blue-tail fly.

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