I thought it was Captain Jinx but in fact it is Captain Jinks. But I did find a strange thing in surfing. there is a website that mentions 40 words that are originally from Chicago. One is jinx. “The word JINX is a Chicago term. Jinx Originally referring to curses in baseball, “jinx” first appeared in print in the Chicago Daily News in 1911. The word probably comes from either iynx, the Latin name for the wryneck bird, which was considered magical, or the title character of the 19th-century American popular song “Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines” (a connection made by the word researcher Barry Popik).”

Here are a few pictures, one of the Captain Jinks music cover and one of Elizabeth Kennedy who played a leading role in the play. She may be the racy “young lady in her teens.” although the picture would have me doubt that.

Now for those of you who like poetry or music here is the original music and words to Captain Jinks. So start practicing and send me a CD of what it sounds like. It’s pretty hot for 1880s!

Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines

I’m Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines
I feed my horse on corn and beans,
And sport young ladies in their teens
Tho’ a Captain in the Army.
I teach the ladies how to dance
How to dance, how to dance
I teach the ladies how to dance
For I’m the pet of the Army

cho: I’m Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines
I feed my horse on corn and beans,
And often live beyond my means
Tho’ a Captain in the Army.

I joined the Corps when twenty-one
Of course I thought it capital fun
When the enemy comes, of course I run
For I’m not cut out for the Army.
When I left home, mamma she cried
Mamma she cried, mamma she cried,
When I left home, mamma she cried,
“He’s not cut out for the Army.”

The first time I went out for drill
The bugler sounding made me ill
Of the battlefield I’d had my fill
For I’m not cut out for the Army,
The officers, they all did shout
They all did shout, they all did shout,
The officers, they all did shout,
“Why, kick him out of the Army!”

Note: An English music hall number that was very popular in the
U.S. around the turn of the (last) century: It survives chiefly
as a singing square dance call. RG
RG
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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