Browse by Title
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z #  




A Real Slow Drag

by

Scott Joplin



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Although it has words, "A Real Slow Drag" records best as an instrumental. This is the last piece from Scott Joplin's opera, Treemonisha, which was performed only once during his lifetime, the drag being a dance.
Joplin published the sheet music himself, in 1913; although a fairly unexceptional song, "A Real Slow Drag" generated a certain amount of controversy when it was claimed Irving Berlin had ripped off the music for "Alexander's Ragtime Band", the most popular song of the decade - which was copyrighted two months before Treemonisha.
Joplin himself believed this, and went to his death convinced of Berlin's duplicity, but in the last years of his life he suffered from a degenerative illness which affected his mental faculties, so it remains to be seen how seriously his claims should be taken. When Joplin's biographer Edward Berlin examined the evidence he concluded that the two songs were similar, but this was hardly surprising when one considers how popular ragtime was soon to become. "A Real Slow Drag" is in any case a much slower piece than "Alexander's Ragtime Band", as its name suggests, and the latter was in any case developed from an earlier song - "Alexander And His Clarinet" - that Berlin wrote with his boss Ted Snyder. (thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2)
Scott Joplin
More Scott Joplin songs
More songs used in plays

You have to to post comments.
Guy ClarkGuy Clark
Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.
Gym Class HeroesGym Class Heroes
Their drummer/songwriter with the story behind "Cupid's Chokehold," and how they handle Travie McCoy's solo success.
Thomas DolbyThomas Dolby
He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.
Jon Foreman of SwitchfootJon Foreman of Switchfoot
Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.