Educator's Guide: The Arts: Singing Soldiers: "Goober Peas"

Goober Peas

Words: P. Pindar, Esq.

Music: P. Nutt, Esq.

"Soldiering can be a very dull job, " says Bell Irwin Wiley in his Life of Johnny Reb.

From the diary of a Confederate soldier, James Kuykendall, we get this impression: "None can imagine, who has never experienced a soldier's life, the languor of mind-tediousness of time, as we resume day after day the monotonous duties devolved upon us. ".

One way of passing the time, when not on the march or at drill, was to get together around the campfire and enjoy some informal singing, This delightful Confederate song has a spontaneity and simplicity with that spirit of songmaking and rhyme that lets the mind forget the orders, the dust and the blistering feet.

Singing Soldiers: Goober Peas
Singing Soldiers: Goober Peas

Wiley, B.I. The Life of Johnny Reb. p. 151
Bobbs Merrill Co ., by permission


1. Sitting by the roadside on a summer day chatting with my mess-mates, passing time away lying in the shadow - underneath the trees Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

Chorus: Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! Eating Goober Peas! Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

2. When a horseman passes, The soldiers have a rule, To cry out at their loudest, "Mister, here's your mule, But another pleasure Enchantinger than these, Is wearing out your Grinders, Eating goober peas!

Chorus: Peas! Peas ! etc.

3. Just before the battle, The General hears a row, He says, "The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now.'' He turns around in wonder, And what do you think he sees? The Georgia Militia, Eating goober peas!

Chorus: Peas! Peas! etc.

4. I think my song has lasted Almost long enough, The subject's interesting, But rhymes are mighty rough, I wish the war was over When free from rags and fleas, We'd kiss our wives and sweetheart And gobble goober peas!

Chorus: Peas! Peas! etc.


Last updated: April 14, 2015

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