The Coon Behind the Gun (1900)
Characteristic March and Two Step
Last updated: 28.01.22
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Composer: E.R. Ephraim Suppliers: dbe15.gif
Editor: Geoff Grainger Quintet A+D/T/T/B/GB(B)
Publisher: Ditty Box Enterprises Publication: DBE 463
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Length: approx. 3¾ mins. Sounds best with 1st tenor doubled.
The Coon Behind The Gun is, in contrast to most of Ephraim's compositions, a straightforward march, slightly syncopated, in AABBACCBB form in the major keys of C and F. For the story behind the title, this is what Ephraim himself had to say:

In a small village in the southern part of Mississippi, a dance was given by the elite of coontown society. It seems that a darkey by the name of "Blue Gum Ike" was slighted by the invitation committee, and, without further ceremony, proceeded to the hall armed to the teeth. When his presence became known, someone shouted, "Look out for the coon behind the gun." It did not take him long to clear the hall. Whenever a dance is now given, a sharp lookout is kept for "Blue Gum Ike", better known as the "Coon behind the gun". The following music will demonstrate why, the "Coon behind the gun" had his feelings hurt at not being invited to the elite coontown balls.

The Coon Behind The Gun was published by Continental Music Publishing Co., Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
A tempo of 80 crotchets/min. is suggested.

  Instruments Performer
  DBE MP3 Sample 
audiodbemp315.gif A+D/T/T/B/GB(B) Midi Ragtime Recorder Ens.
  Midi File(s) 
audiomidi15.gif Midi J. Pitt-Payne