[Ads-l] possible correction (?) Re: Third earliest known use of copasetic (1920)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sun Feb 26 10:24:22 EST 2017


The 1920 song "At the New Jump Steady Ball' (I mistakenly left off "At" in the title below) may or may not be earlier than the August 21 Chicago Tribune use of copasetic. If so it would be the second known use of copasetic. The uncertainty comes from differing copyright dates: April 26, July 31, and August 2, 1920 for this title by Delaney and Easton{1, 2}. The sheet music linked below has the MCMXX copyright printed on the bottom of the first score page, but which version is it--did the words or music vary? On the title page the publisher's name, Albury Delaney Music Pub. Co., appears to be pasted over a different publisher name: Palmetto Music Publishing.


In any case, the song with "copasetic" appeared after the start of Prohibition (January 1920). The 1919 novel was listed as a number one best seller in the Chicago Tribune (and elsewhere if I remember correctly) and was serialized (Bacheller later formed a newspaper syndicate). Copasetic apparently was a 1919 literary creation that may have passed into  African-American English oral tradition (with spelling variants) in part from Ethel Waters singing it, as the speakeasy "password" in the song.


Stephen Goranson

http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/


{1}

https://books.google.com/books?id=gHAcAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA638&dq=Tom+Delaney+Sidney+Easton+%22The+New+Jump+Steady+Ball%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwilhZvsga7SAhUHJiYKHQ4ZDUgQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=Tom%20Delaney%20Sidney%20Easton%20%22The%20New%20Jump%20Steady%20Ball%22&f=false


{2}

https://books.google.com/books?id=QEkhAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA965&dq=Tom+Delaney+Sidney+Easton+%22at+the+new+jump+steady+ball%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjS-Ke2gq7SAhXK4iYKHeekCDUQ6AEIITAB#v=onepage&q=Tom%20Delaney%20Sidney%20Easton%20%22at%20the%20new%20jump%20steady%20ball%22&f=false

From: American Dialect Society <...> on behalf of Stephen Goranson <...>
Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2017 12:39 PM
To: ...
Subject: [ADS-L] Third earliest known use of copasetic (1920)

After the 1919 uses of copasetic (invented, imo) by Irving Bacheller and the 1920 use of copasetic (evidently spurred by Bacheller's novel about Lincoln in Illinois) in the Chicago Tribune, the third known use (known to me; correct me if it's not the third so-far known), thanks to GDoS (though listed as 1921 there), is in 1920 in a song, "The New Jump Steady Ball," written by Tom Delaney and Sidney Easton, sheet music published in 1920, and sung by Ethel Waters, recorded on March 22, 1921.

Please note that the spelling, copasetic, matches the 1919 and Chicago 1920 spellings.

"Copasetic was the password for one and all at the New Jump Steady Ball." ("Chicago pop," champagne, also gets a mention.)

Sheet music:

https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu_cgi_viewcontent.cgi-3Farticle-3D4682-26context-3Dmmb-2Dvp&d=DwIFAw&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=IXeUyh6xP9Rztdlaxm5KL05utVEdYVGDRtuV-Sy5fz4&s=F4IwR0UqhMhH18ymlZs0FYsYt8NSQm2m2Vmd_MY27fc&e=

Lyrics:

https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__genius.com_Waters-2Dethel-2Dat-2Dthe-2Dnew-2Djump-2Dsteady-2Dball-2Dlyrics&d=DwIFAw&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=IXeUyh6xP9Rztdlaxm5KL05utVEdYVGDRtuV-Sy5fz4&s=g05k0R_v3JpHykCmdtZxcJqnnQ4r4aUBXERmLwnOhhg&e=

Ethel Waters first recording:

https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.google.com_search-3Fq-3D-2522chicago-2Bpop-2522-26ie-3Dutf-2D8-26oe-3Dutf-2D8-23q-3D-2527NEW-2BJUMP-2BSTEADY-2BBALL-2522-26-2A&d=DwIFAw&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=IXeUyh6xP9Rztdlaxm5KL05utVEdYVGDRtuV-Sy5fz4&s=sHXtCx97A6F8oHHTVwpEPTyqXXYxgUO_0ypzUbdOWmg&e=


<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.google.com_search-3Fq-3D-2522chicago-2Bpop-2522-26ie-3Dutf-2D8-26oe-3Dutf-2D8-23q-3D-2527NEW-2BJUMP-2BSTEADY-2BBALL-2522-26-2A&d=DwIFAw&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=IXeUyh6xP9Rztdlaxm5KL05utVEdYVGDRtuV-Sy5fz4&s=sHXtCx97A6F8oHHTVwpEPTyqXXYxgUO_0ypzUbdOWmg&e= >


Stephen Goranson

http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/




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