This song was recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in his usual upbeat fashion, but when it was written there was no such thing as pumping piano, and the concept of "rocking shoes", which the listener is also asked to hand down, would have left most audiences perplexed.
"Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" is regarded as a traditional song, but its authorship is often attributed to James Bland, spiritual heir of Stephen Foster, the finest minstrel composer of the late 19th Century, and the author of "Carry Me Back To Old Virginny
". Bland is credited with writing some seven hundred songs, but copyrighted only about twenty percent of them, an unforgivable sin for the son of a patent lawyer!
Although there appears to be no direct evidence that he wrote the song, his entry in the African American National Biography
(by reference librarian William Lichtenwanger), leads to some interesting speculation. Bland crossed the Atlantic with a minstrel troupe, and became a big hit in the British music halls, staying on when the others departed. As well as developing a taste for fine living he mixed with royalty, and is said to have been presented with a gold-headed ebony cane by the Prince of Wales (Edward VII). Could this be the cane alluded to in the song?