Cum Plung Gum

Come Plung Gum

Wrigley, publisher.

Detail, Oh Bob Ridley, O., H. de Marsand,  Masthead

H. de Marsan, publisher

There is a published version of this song that credits the composition (and dance) to Joe Murphy, of San Francisco, California.  The concept of "authorship" - a formal recognition (often a legal assignment) of responsibility, royalties, and restrictions on reproduction, was in flux throughout much of the American 19th century.  Cotton and Murphy had a professional relationship both before and after the Civil War.  When Cotton left California he went straight to New York.  It is probable that this song sheet was published then. Wrigley, the publisher, like many others in the the business of publishing music, were adding graphics to their printed materials.  The graphics were rarely signed by the artist and frequently recycled among the publishers.  The imagery bordering Cotton's version of "Come Plung Gum" drew from Shakespearian scenes of courtship.  The same border was used by de Marsan (another contemporary New York publisher) in renditions of the song, "Old Bob Ridley, O.," performed by other blackface minstrels.