Uncle Eph's Christmas


Uncle Eph's Christmas

A One Act Negro Musical Sketch


Cast of Characters:

Uncle Eph

Aunt Chloe

Eph Jr.

Village Gossip



Darky Dan/Czar of Dixieland

Parson Jones


Slob Coon

Musical Numbers include

We’s a comin’

Christmas fun is in the Air…

Czar of Dixie Land

Hot Foot Dance

Possum is De Best Meat After All


It is Christmas morning in the home of Uncle Eph and Aunt Chloe. They fuss with the children and one another as they scramble to prepare for a visit from Parson Jones and other members of the community. Uncle Eph mutes the Village Gossip with “Christmas Fun Is In The Air” and inquires about the presence of Parthenia.

Uncle Eph pulls Parthenia in to the center of the crowd and she reprises “I’m the colored girl from Vassar” and “Lovers Lane” both from the successful, Clorindy: Origin of the Cakewalk.

After Aunt Chloe insists that Uncle Eph provide hospitality to their guest and sends him out for food, Darky Dan arrives. He shares a wishbone with the blushing Parthenia and informs her that after hanging it in her doorway, the first man to enter would be her husband. As she hangs the wishbone, a package arrives for her. The visitors gather to see the package and Darky Dan laments his too early-arrival. Slob Coon emerges from the box and begins his pursuit of the fair lady to whom he’d been sent. In “Hot Foot Dance” the men of the chorus push Slob Coon out after which Darky Dan falsely asserts his bravery.

Uncle Eph returns completely intoxicated. He’s collected the possum and gin as directed by Aunt Chloe, but consumed all of the gin. He skirts any criticism with “Possum is De Best Meat After All” and dances with Parthenia to the cake-walk song.

Biographical Information

(1869-1944) Will Marion Cook studied violin at Oberlin College when he was 15. He also attended the National Conservatory of Music in New York, where he studied with Dvorak and John White. He played professionally at Oberlin, but his solo career was short-lived. He also wrote musicals but is best-known for his songs that represent an original, distinctive handling of Black folk elements in song composition. He collaborated with Paul Laurence Dunbar while composing the musical sketch comedy Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk (1898), which was Cook’s first composed score.