May 2002
Cylinder of the Month

See also the  Cylinders of the Month Archive.

An early recording of the popular song, In Zanzibar One of the earlier songs to broach the subject of Darwinism.

In Zanzibar
Company Columbia Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 32449
Category Baritone solo
Title In Zanzibar
Performed by J. W. Myers
Circa May 1904
Announcement "In Zanzibar, sung by J. W. Myers.  Columbia record."

J. W. Myers, one of the leading baritone recording stars of the 1890s through 1900s, recorded hundreds of songs over the years for most major record companies.

Here Myers introduces one of the hit songs from the 1904 musical comedy "The Medal and the Maid".   Notice the song's topical Darwinian references (see lyrics below).   In Zanzibar was written by Gus Edwards, the famous songwriter who later wrote By the Light of the Silvery Moon (see the July 1999 Cylinder of Month).

Myers "trademarked" this and many of his earlier recordings by announcing his name using a distinctive rising pitch.

To hear In Zanzibar   —

To hear an excerpt   —  
For help playing these sounds, click here.

In Zanzibar (My Little Chimpanzee)
Words by Will D. Cobb             Music by Gus Edwards
First verse.
In Zanzibar, great land of glory – 
A monkey Czar, so runs the story –
Came from afar with love o'er laden –
To win and woo a monkey maiden – with twang Darwinian – 
Sang this opinion.

My little Chimpanzee, you're all this world to me –
A branch I'll find for thee in my own fam'ly tree –
No monkey shine for me –
A wedding fine there'll be –
In high society – In Zanzibar.

Second verse.
In Zanzibar's great cocoanut castle –
Hail to the Czar – each monkey vassal –
Great King Gazoo – my great ancestor –
Sang to his bride as he caressed her – with chin bone chattering –
His Panzie flattering.

— This cylinder of the month is from the collection of  Stan Stanford —


To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the

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