Grandpa Jones,Ramona Jones, Joe and Rose Lee Maphis performs “Liza Jane” Live Video On Hee Haw 1980.

Song also known as "Little Liza Jane", "Liza Jane" and "Goodbye Liza Jane", has become a perennial standard of American music.

YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel
YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel

Li’l Liza Jane:

1916 sheet music cover
1916 sheet music cover

Song also known as “Little Liza Jane”, “Liza Jane” and “Goodbye Liza Jane”, has become a perennial standard of American music.
The first record of which is recorded, was first published in 1916 by Sherman, Clay & Co of San Francisco, California, and written by Countess Ada De Lachau. It was described as a “southern dialect song”. The melody was presented as entertaining entr’acte during the Broadway show of 1916-1917 Come Out of the Kitchen.

Single Earl Fuller's Famous Jazz Band ( Victor 1917 )
Single Earl Fuller’s Famous Jazz Band ( Victor 1917 )

But, the origins of the song are prior to the dates of the recording. Lucy Thurston remembered a song with the chorus “Ohoooooooo lil Liza, lil Liza Jane”, sung by slaves in the area of Covington, Louisiana, before the American Civil War. While the melody is not preserved in the written interview, the lyrics and their rhythm strongly suggest that it was the same or very similar to the song published decades later.

 

Single Taylor Flanagan & His Trio ( Brunswick 1932 )
Single Taylor Flanagan & His Trio ( Brunswick 1932 )

Natalie Curtis Burlin’s Black Folk-Songs book, published in 1918, documents a version that is said to be a popular black song with an associated dance game. In the “Liza Jane” dance, couples danced in a circle, with an extra man in the middle. The additional man would “steal couples” with one of the couples, and the strange man would go to the center and do a solo dance, then he would take care of another couple and the process would be repeated.

 

This song has been interpreted in many musical styles, folk, bluegrass, jazz, rock & roll. It has become one of the standards of the New Orleans band tradition.

Cover sheet book editorial Hal Leonard ( 2014 )
Cover sheet book editorial Hal Leonard ( 2014 )

Some Versions:
Earl Fuller’s Famous Jazz Band 1917 (Victor Records)
Price’s Band 1918 (Columbia)
Emerson Military Band 1918 (Emerson Records)
Al Bernard 1927 (Vocalion Records)
Taylor Flanagan & His Trio 1932 (Brunswick)
Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys 1941 (Okeh Records)
Buddy Harris 1948 (Blue Bonnet records)
Ray Bauduc & His Bobcats 1948 (Capitol)
Nina Simone 1960 (Colpix Records)
Hank Gallant 1963 (Arc Records)
Katie Laur Band 1977 (Vetco Records)
Kermit Ruffins 1994 (Justice Records)
…and many more.

Liza Jane Lyrics

Liza Jane Lyrics
Well, I got a girl that’s so good to me
(Oh, little Liza)
Well, now she ain’t more than five foot three
(Oh, little Liza)
Well, this little girl is so good to me
(Oh, little Liza)
Yeah, this little girl’s nearly half of me
(Oh, little Liza)
Little Liza Jane
I got a girl, duh-duh-goo-to-duh
(Oh, little Liza)
Yeah, this little girl turn me upside down
(Oh, little Liza)
Well, all of the little girls that I had
(Oh, little Liza)
You know this little girl drives me to despair
(Oh, little Liza)
Little Liza Jane
Yeah, I got a girl who loves me true
(Oh, little Liza)
Now she ain’t more than five foot two, yeah
(Oh, little Liza)
You know this little girl is so good for me, yeah
(Oh, little Liza)
You know this little girl’s nearly half of me
(Oh, little Liza)
Little Liza Jane
Oh yeah, I love her
Little Liza Jane
Well, I’m coming back to me love
‘Cause she’s driving insane
When will I meet her

Single Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys ( Okeh 1941 )
Single Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys ( Okeh 1941 )

Miquel Batlle
mbatllegarriga@gmail.com