My Lady Nicotine, 1910. Will Marion Cook, 1869-1944. Music Division, Library of Congress. Call number: M1508.C
Very little has been written about My Lady, Nicotine (Smoke! Smoke!), composed by Cook with lyrics by F. Clifford Harris. In her 2008 biography of Cook, Swing Along, Marva Griffin Carter lists the piece as part of Cook's last major work for musical theater, Darkydom (1915).
A lyrical ode to the joys of smoking, My Lady, Nicotine notably features the use of syncopated, ragtime rhythm (mm. 9 and 17) and high tessitura. The melody reaches a high A at the verse climax, "She's the mad little, bad little queen of smoke." The duple meter of the verse changes to triple in m. 23, introducing an enthusiastic waltz refrain for solo or unison chorus, "Smoke! Smoke! The vapory cloak of my Lady Nicotine."