“Jimmy Crack Corn” is part of a song called “Blue-Tail Fly.” The song is about a slave whose job was to shoo flies away from his master's horse.
“Blue-Tail Fly” came out sometime in the 1840s. Later, the song became known as the children's song “Jimmy Crack Corn.” Despite the fact that it is a children's song, the meaning behind the story is dark.
The song tells the tale of a slave who is supposed to follow his master around and shoo flies away while he rides horseback. One day, a blue-tail fly gets by the slave and bites the master's horse, which causes it to buck. The master is thrown from the horse and breaks his neck when he hits the ground. After the death, there is an investigation, and the slave is not blamed for the death.
The original lyrics of the song used to be “Jim cracks corn.” Ye Olde English Dictionary shows that “Jim crack” used to mean cheap. The word “corn” often referred to corn whiskey. Thus, the line in the song, “Jimmy cracks corn” is referring to drinking cheap whiskey. The next line in the song is “my master's gone away.” This symbolizes that the slave is not upset with the death of his master and is drinking cheap whiskey in celebration.