*A bee-gum is a bee-hive. Originally it was specifically a hive found in a hollow log or tree.


Roberta Perkins wrote:

"I am a re-enactor, banjo player; and historical/cultural enthusiast. I endeavor to find the African/African American sources of songs that interest me. I came across your site when I Googled 'provenance of Cluck Old Hen'. I also see two other songs that I have learned to play but the words are different from what I was given. 'Sugar in My Coffee' and 'Walkin' in the Parlor'---'Walkin' I play as a tune.

The words for 'Sugar in My Coffee' are:

How in the world do old folks know,
I like sugar in my coffee-o?
I'll tell you how they found out,
They saw sugar in the coffee spout.

I am enjoying seeing the African American origins for these tunes/songs..."


Different versions of this song exist in modern day U.S. Here's one...
Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This rhyme can be found in Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise and Otherwise, with a Study by Thomas W. Talley of Fisk University (1922).

Standard English version by Lisa Yannucci.