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GUEST,Laura Origins: The Preacher and the Bear (41) RE: Lyr Req: The Preacher and the Bear 09 Nov 09


Hey, I know the one Saunis is looking for, and it must be the exact one, because I know the part about baptizing the bear and it's in that metre, with the words Linda supplied being close, but not exact. Also, my version never had any coon references, and it's the one my Daddy from east TN used to sing to us. Maybe it's regional. This is the closest I can remember (and no explanation as to why the preacher didn't just shoot the bear):

The Preacher and the Bear

Well a preacher he went out a walkin'
it was on a sunday morn
And it was against his religion
but he took his gun along
he shot himself some mighty fine quail
and one little measly hare
but on his way returning home
he met a great big grizzly bear

Well the bear came out to the middle of the road
just as mean as he could be
and the preacher he commenced to shakin'
and he climbed a persimmon tree
That bear stood up and he rolled his eyes and he shook his ugly head
And the preacher he looked up to the skies
and these are the words he said:

Chorus:
Oh, Lord, you delivered Daniel from the lion's den
You delivered Jonah from the belly of the whale and then
The Hebrew children from the fiery furnace so the good book do declare
Oh Lord Oh Lord if you can't help me, for goodness sake don't you help that bear.
Oh Lord, Oh Lord if you can't help me for goodness sake don't you help that bear.

Now the bear started coming after, and it made the preacher sore
So the preacher he kept on climbin', til he couldn't climb no more
Just about then that limb gave way and they both came a-tumblin' down
And when that preacher began to pray, you could hear him for miles around!
(Chorus)

Now the two commenced to 'rasslin' and it was a terrible fight
The bear he was really layin' it on, but the preacher he was doin' all right
He drug that beast right down to the water; it was three times in and out
Then the bear got up and he limped away, and the preacher he began to shout:

Oh Lord, you delivered Daniel from the lion's den
You delivered Jonah from the belly of the whale and then
Oh Lord, it may not seem like much from where you sit up there
But the hardest job I ever had was baptizin' that bear!
But the hardest job I ever had was baptizin' that bear!


    Note from Joe Offer: as explained below, the "baptizin'" version of "Preacher and the Bear" should be credited to Randy Sparks, 1960. The original version was published in 1905 and credited to the pseudonomous "Joe Arzonia" but actually written by George Fairman.


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