"Bully" Song

  • Image for
  • Image for
2 images
Subject of
Irwin, May, Canadian, 1862 - 1938
Composed by
Trevathan, Charles E.
Owned by
McDonald, Vernon Sugg, American, 1906 - 1982
Sugg, Mary Elizabeth, American, 1839 - 1915
ink on paper
H x W: 12 5/16 × 9 in. (31.3 × 22.9 cm)
sheet music
Place collected
Sugg McDonald House, Sonora, Tuolumne County, California, United States, North and Central America
Sheet music for the song Bully Song. The front cover of sheet music features a caricatured illustration of an African American man in a blue checkered jacket, blue and white striped pants, and a small white and black hat. The man is depicted holding a razor in his proper right hand. The black ink type on front cover reads: [May Irwin's / Bully Song / AS SUNG WITH / GREAT SUCCESS / IN THE / "WIDOW JONES" / WORDS AND MUSIC / BY /Charles E. Trevathan]. Type referring to the copyright is in the bottom left corner, but it has been torn off. In the top left corner of the cover there is handwriting in blue ink that reads: [This is the only / correct publication / of the "Bully Song" / as sung by me / in "The Widow Jones." / May Irwin]. The back of the cover has the beginning of the “Bully Song” in black print.
African American
Caricature and cartoons
Minstrel (Music)
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Sylvia Alden Roberts
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
Public Domain
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Documents and Published Materials-Sheet music
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture

NOTE: Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at NMAAHCDigiTeam@si.edu.