Lucy Neal

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Title: 
Lucy Neal
Type: 
Song
Description: 

[Alternately: “Lucy Neale,” “Miss Lucy Neal,”]



To listen to this song (and others) on the Artists Respond to Juba Site, Click Here and Here.



Music adapted from “A fosco cielo,” or, “Phantom Chorus,” from the opera La sonnambula (1831) with music by Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835). Lyrics unknown, however, Winans records an 1844 edition of the song as being authored by J.P. Carter (n.d.) (3). Certainly one of the more popular minstrel songs dealing with separated lovers and enslaved women, early variants of the song (c.1844) are generally considered to be indicative of a pro-abolitionist sentiment (Mahar 291; Winans 3). The song was so popular in America that regional variants appeared throughout the mid-nineteenth century, each speaking to the specific conditions of slave life in the regions (Mahar 304). Unlike “Buffalo Gals,” which was also adapted by a number of regions, the variants are reflected in the lyrical setting rather than in the title.



As Mahar suggests, this was one of the most frequently performed songs in the pre-1860 minstrel show (3). This fact is supported by the fifty instances of performance under the title “Lucy Neal” listed in this database. The popularity of the song did not endure into the twentieth century, however, and at the time of this writing only two recordings could be located.



Select Recording History:

  • Winans, Robert, music director and program consultant. The Early Minstrel Show. New World Records, 1998.


  • Pilot Mountain Bobcats. Dance By the Light of the Moon. Pilot Mountain Bobcats, 1999.



    Works Cited:
  • Mahar, William J. Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture. Chicago: Illinois UP, 1999.


  • Winans, Robert, music director and program consultant. The Early Minstrel Show. Liner Notes. New World Records, 1998.


    Mark Turner


  • Media: 
    Sheet Music Cover
    Sheet Music Cover #2
    Sheet Music Cover #3
    Sheet Music Cover #4
    Sheet Music Cover #5
    Sheet Music Cover #6
    Sheet Music Cover #7
    Sheet Music Cover #8
    Sheet Music Cover #9
    Sheet Music Cover #10
    Sheet Music Cover #11
    Lyrics
    Audio File - Minstrels in the Parlour

    Performance(s) listed of this act

    Performer(s) Troupe Event and Venue
    Minstrel Show, 19 Jan. 1846 - 23 Jan. 1846
    Hanover Square Rooms, London (city-county)

    Harrington, George
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 09 Feb. 1846 - 14 Feb. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 16 Feb. 1846 - 21 Feb. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 23 Feb. 1846 - 28 Feb. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)

    Harrington, George
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 24 Feb. 1846 - 24 Feb. 1846
    Gloucester House, Piccadilly, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 02 Mar. 1846 - 07 Mar. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 09 Mar. 1846 - 14 Mar. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 16 Mar. 1846 - 21 Mar. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 23 Mar. 1846 - 28 Mar. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 30 Mar. 1846 - 04 Apr. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 22 Apr. 1846 - 22 Apr. 1846
    Crosby Hall, London (city-county)

    Coleman, Lewin Y.
    Robinson, Joseph
    Coleman, Lewin Y. Vocal Entertainment, 22 Apr. 1846 - 22 Apr. 1846
    Concert Hall, Lancashire
    Variety, 27 Apr. 1846 - 27 Apr. 1846
    Drury Lane Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 01 May. 1846 - 01 May. 1846
    Crosby Hall, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 04 May. 1846 - 09 May. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 11 May. 1846 - 16 May. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 11 May. 1846 - 11 May. 1846
    Crosby Hall, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 18 May. 1846 - 22 May. 1846
    Sadler's Wells, London (city-county)
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 25 May. 1846 - 30 May. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 25 May. 1846 - 25 May. 1846
    Sussex Hall, London (city-county)

    Harrington, George
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 30 May. 1846 - 30 May. 1846
    Chiswick House, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 09 Jun. 1846 - 13 Jun. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 10 Jun. 1846 - 10 Jun. 1846
    Horns, The, Kennington, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 12 Jun. 1846 - 12 Jun. 1846
    Green Man, Blackheath, London (city-county)

    Harrington, George
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 29 Jun. 1846 - 04 Jul. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 06 Jul. 1846 - 11 Jul. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 13 Jul. 1846 - 18 Jul. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 20 Jul. 1846 - 25 Jul. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 27 Jul. 1846 - 01 Aug. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)

    Harrington, George
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 03 Aug. 1846 - 08 Aug. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)

    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Variety, 03 Aug. 1846 - 07 Aug. 1846
    Vauxhall Gardens, London (city-county)

    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Variety, 11 Aug. 1846 - 14 Aug. 1846
    Vauxhall Gardens, London (city-county)

    Harrington, George
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Dramatic, 08 Sep. 1846 - 09 Sep. 1846
    Theatre Royal, Bristol, Bristol (city-county) in Gloucestershire

    Sharp, J.W.
    Sharp, J.W. Variety, 10 Sep. 1846 - 10 Sep. 1846
    Vauxhall Gardens, London (city-county)

    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Minstrel Show, 13 Nov. 1846 - 14 Nov. 1846
    Mechanics' Institute, Nottinghamshire

    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Minstrel Show, 18 Nov. 1846 - 20 Nov. 1846
    Mechanics' Institute, Nottinghamshire

    Harrington, George
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 21 Dec. 1846 - 26 Dec. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)

    Harrington, George
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 28 Dec. 1846 - 02 Jan. 1847
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)

    Harrington, George
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 04 Jan. 1847 - 09 Jan. 1847
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Dramatic, 11 Jan. 1847 - 16 Jan. 1847
    Princess' Theatre, London (city-county)

    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Minstrel Show, 06 Mar. 1847 - 08 Mar. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire

    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Minstrel Show, 30 Mar. 1847 - 01 Apr. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire

    Yarico
    Female American Serenaders Dramatic, 07 Apr. 1847 - 10 Apr. 1847
    Queen's Theatre, Lancashire

    Terry, Miss E.
    Buffalo Gals Troupe (Surrey, 47) Dramatic, 19 Apr. 1847 - 24 Apr. 1847
    Royal Surrey Theatre, London (city-county)

    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Minstrel Show, 15 May. 1847 - 15 May. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire

    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Minstrel Show, 17 May. 1847 - 22 May. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire
    Minstrel Show, 26 Jun. 1847 - 26 Jun. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire

    Collins, John H.
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1847-?) Minstrel Show, 01 Nov. 1847 - 05 Nov. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire

    Collins, John H.
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1847-?) Minstrel Show, 13 Nov. 1847 - 13 Nov. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire
    Variety, 10 Jan. 1848 - 15 Jan. 1848
    Evans's Grand Hotel, London (city-county)