Folks have been singing this song since before the Civil War, each with their own version of the lyrics, so no wonder the song’s meaning is a matter of continued discussion and debate. According to Wikipedia, “…possible meanings of the term "cotton-eyed" that have been proposed include: to be drunk on moonshine, or to have been blinded by drinking wood alcohol, turning the eyes milky white; a black person with very light blue eyes; someone whose eyes were milky white from bacterial infections of Trachoma or syphilis, cataracts or glaucoma; the contrast of dark skin tone around white eyeballs in black people;[12] and possibly pterygium, a reddish-white corneal overgrowth associated with chronic sun exposure.”

So the answer to this week’s WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN is who the hell knows.

For more on Cotton Eyed Joe, click here.
Posted By:  Rick Cornish

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