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Civil War Trust

Civil War Music: Eatin' Goober Peas

Popular with Southern soldiers, this song celebrates a staple of the Confederate Army’s diet, the goober pea or peanut. Its tune was easy to march to and it was sung in Southern regiments throughout the war. When finally published in 1866, the composer was listed as P. Nutt, Esq.

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Song by Starbuck and Vaughn

The lyrics are:

Sitting by the Roadside on a summer’s day, chatting with my messmates passing time away,
Lying in the shadow underneath the trees, Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!
Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! Eating goober peas! Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

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!
Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! Eating goober peas! Goodness how delicious, 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 do you think he sees, The Georgia Militia, eating goober peas!
Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! Eating goober peas! Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

I think my song has lasted almost long enough, The subject’s interesting, but rhymes are mighty rough,
I wish this war was over when free from rags, and fleas,
We’d kiss our wives and sweethearts and gobble goober peas!
Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! Eating goober peas! Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

(Lyrics courtesy of Robert Trentham)

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