My Midwestern mama used to sing me this Civil War ditty when I was growing up in the frozen northland. Where she learned it, I never knew, but I can't recall a time when I didn't know what goober peas were. In fact, I've gotten to educate at least one Southerner about "goobers" since I've been down here.
Evidently the first printed version of this song was published in 1866. Notice the names on the music sheet: "A. Pindar" (also a peanut nickname) and "P. Nutt."
Sitting by the roadside on a summer's day
Chatting with my mess-mates, passing time away
Lying in the shadows underneath the trees
Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas.
Peas, peas, peas, peas
Eating goober peas
Goodness, how delicious,
Eating goober peas.
When a horse-man passes, the soldiers have a rule
To cry out their loudest, "Mister, here's your mule!"
But another custom, enchanting-er than these
Is wearing out your grinders, eating goober peas.
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 d'ya think he sees?
The Georgia Militia, eating goober peas.
I think my song has lasted almost long enough.
The subject's interesting, but the rhymes are rough.
I wish the war was over, so free from rags and fleas
We'd kiss our wives and sweethearts, and gobble goober peas.