Pop Culture | 90s

There Is A Deeper Meaning To "Cotton-Eyed-Joe" That No One Knows

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We all know the song. It played at every middle school dance we ever attended, and honestly it still plays at most weddings. "Cotton-Eyed Joe" is a foot stomping, jump-up-and-down, goofy song that makes us all get out of our chairs and onto the dance floor.

Turns out, the character the classic 90s song is about actually originated a long time ago. He even predates the American Civil War! Cotton-eyed Joe has had many versions over the last century, but one thing is always the same: "If it hadn't been for Cotton-eyed Joe, I'd been married long time ago."

The verses had changed over the years, but the general story seemed to always stay the same. Joe is always a villain-type character who steals the girlfriend of the singer. He steals them away and brings them to Tennessee in a lot of the versions, leaving the singer alone and unmarried.

There are a lot of theories about what "Cotton-Eyed" really means, and while it's impossible to know for sure it's interesting to see what people think...

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