One of the more intriguing figures in the history of the banjo in Louisiana is Picayune Butler. In Phil Rice’s Correct Method for the Banjo: With or Without a Master, published in 1858, there is a song celebrating Butler. The verses go as follows:

 

I come to town dis very day

And brought my banjo long to play

Yah ha, I raise my notes to such a sound

Dat it clear’d my heel right off the ground

Yah ha

Picayune Butler’s comin, comin

Picayune Butler’s comin, comin

Picayune Butler’s come to town . . .

2

About some twenty years ago,

Old Butler reigned wid his old Banjo

Ah, ah.

Twas a gourd, three string’d, and an old pine stick,

But when he hit it he made it speak,

Ah, ah.

3

Picayune Butler gwine to rise

And meet his friends up in de skies

Ah, ah,

Some thing else am mighty true

De Banjo gwine be dar too,

Ah, ah.