I stood beside the silken rope, Five dollars in my hand, And waited in my patient hope To sit anear the Band, And hear the famous Louie play The best hot trumpet of today.
And then a waiter loafing near Says in a nasty tone: "Old coon, we don't want darkies here, Beat it before you're thrown." So knowin' nothin' I could do I turned to go and--there was Lou.
I think he slapped that Dago's face; His voice was big an' loud; An' then he leads me from my place Through all that tony crowd. World-famous Louie by the hand Took me to meet his famous Band.
"Listen, you folks," I heard him say. "Here's Grand-papa what's come. Savin' he teached me how to play, I mighta been a bum. Come on, Grand-pop, git up an' show How you kin trumpet Ol' Black Joe."
Tremblin' I played before his Band: You should have heard the cheers. Them swell folks gave me such a hand My cheeks was wet wi' tears . . . An' now I'm off to tell the wife The proudest night o' all ma life.