Gwine to Run All Night, or De Camptown Races

Original Text: 
Foster's Plantation Melodies as sung by the Christy & Campbell Minstrels and New Orleans Serenaders, Written Composed and Arranged by Stephen C. Foster (Baltimore: F. D. Benteen; New Orleans: W. T. Mayo, 1850). Facsimile in Stephen Foster, Minstrel-Show Songs, introduction by H. Wiley Hitchcock, Earlier American Music 14 (New York: Da Capo Press, 1980). M780.82 E13 no. 14 Toronto Metro Public Reference Library.
2[Solo] De Camp-town race-track five miles long -- [Chorus] Oh! doo-dah day!
3[Solo] I come down dah wid my hat caved in -- [Chorus] Doo-dah! doo-dah!
4[Solo] I go back home wid a pocket full of tin -- [Chorus] Oh! doo-dah day!
5Gwine to run all night!
6Gwine to run all day!
7I'll bet my money on de bob-tail nag --
9[Solo] De long tail filly and de big black hoss -- [Chorus] Doo-dah! doo-dah!
10[Solo] Dey fly de track and dey both cut across -- [Chorus] Oh! doo-dah-day!
11[Solo] De blind hoss sticken in a big mud hole -- [Chorus] Doo-dah! doo-dah!
12[Solo] Can't touch bottom wid a ten foot pole -- [Chorus] Oh! doo-dah-day!
13Gwine to run all night!
14Gwine to run all day!
15I'll bet my money on de bob-tail nag --
16Somebody bet on de bay.
17[Solo] Old muley cow come on to de track -- [Chorus] Doo-dah! doo-dah!
18 [Solo] De bob-tail fling her ober his back -- [Chorus] Oh! doo-dah-day!
19[Solo] Den fly along like a rail-road car -- [Chorus] Doo-dah! doo-dah!
20[Solo] Runnin' a race wid a shootin' star -- [Chorus] Oh! doo-dah-day!
21Gwine to run all night!
22Gwine to run all day!
23I'll bet my money on de bob-tail nag --
24Somebody bet on de bay.
25See dem flyin' on a ten mile heat -- [Chorus] Doo-dah doo-dah!
26Round de race track, den repeat -- [Chorus] Oh! doo-dah-day!
27I win my money on de bob-tail nag -- [Chorus] Doo-dah! doo-dah!
28I keep my money in an old tow-bag -- [Chorus] Oh! doo-dah-day!
29Gwine to run all night!
30Gwine to run all day!
31I'll bet my money on de bob-tail nag --
32Somebody bet on de bay.


1] Camptown: a town in Pennsylvania on highway 706. A horse race (now a footrace) took place over the five miles from Camptown to Merryall, Pennsylvania. Foster was born in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. Back to Line
8] bay: reddish brown horse. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.