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rabbit up a gummy stump poem or song?

GUEST,rcutrer@attglobal.net 11 May 04 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,GLoux 11 May 04 - 01:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 May 04 - 02:09 PM
MoorleyMan 11 May 04 - 02:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 May 04 - 02:49 PM
GLoux 11 May 04 - 05:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 May 04 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Norm Roth 11 May 04 - 09:21 PM
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Subject: rabbit up a gummy stump poem or song?
From: GUEST,rcutrer@attglobal.net
Date: 11 May 04 - 01:17 PM

I am looking for the author or more verses to the following short poem   This was a rhyme that grandparents of a friend told her everytime they saw her.

Rabbit up a gummy stump
Coon in a holler
A rattlesnake
A june Bug
Stole a half a dollar


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Subject: RE: rabbit up a gummy stump poem or song?
From: GUEST,GLoux
Date: 11 May 04 - 01:55 PM

There's a traditional fiddle tune called Possum Up A Gum Stump that I've heard with words like this poem. Notes to a collection of Alabama fiddlers by the same name (PUAGS) say the tune "probably originated among black musicians on southern plantations and was spread across the country by blackface minstrels."

I seem to have lost my cookie, so I'm a GUEST...

-Greg


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Subject: RE: rabbit up a gummy stump poem or song?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 May 04 - 02:09 PM

There are bound to be steam dozen versions. Usually it is a possum up de gum stump, as noted above.
Here is a version from Thomas W. Talley, "Negro Folk Rhymes."

Lyr. Add: 'Possum Up the Gum Stump

Possum up de gum stump,
Dat raccoon in de holler;
Twis' 'im out, an' git 'im down,
An' I'll gin you a half a dollar.

Possum up de gum stump,
Yes, cooney in de holler;
A pretty gal down my house
Jes' as fat as she can waller.

'Possum up e gum stump,
His jaws is black and dirty;
To come and kiss you, pretty gal,
He run like a goobler tucky.

'Possum up de gum stump,
A good man's hard to fin';
You'd better love me, pretty gal,
You'll git de yudder kin'.

Talley says that there are many versions collected from both black and white sources. Collectors (Brown, Randolph, White, Lomaxes, Scarborough, etc. have published many verses. Floating verses often added or morphed.


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Subject: RE: rabbit up a gummy stump poem or song?
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 11 May 04 - 02:12 PM

Greg's on the right track I think. There's a CD by Tom, Brad & Alice (Been There Still, if my memory serves me)containing the tune with the words sung - but no doubt there's plenty of Mudcat old-time enthusiasts with deeper knowledge than me who can inform you of other recordings!


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Subject: RE: rabbit up a gummy stump poem or song?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 May 04 - 02:49 PM

There actually was a recording, "Rabbit Up the Gum Stump," Victor V-40239, Hiter Colvin 1930 (also Monkey Ward 1939). See Traditional Ballad Index.
First mention, Barrow, 1882. Collected with "Rabbit" from Alabama, 1915-1916. See N. I. White, "American Negro Folk Songs," 1928 (reprint 1965).


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Subject: RE: rabbit up a gummy stump poem or song?
From: GLoux
Date: 11 May 04 - 05:08 PM

I have a reissue of the Hiter Colvin recording of Rabbit Up A Gum Stump and just listened to it. It is just a fiddle tune with no words. It is on Echoes of the Ozarks, Vol. 2, County CO-CD-3507.

It seems related to the Possum Up A Gum Stump recording of Ralph Whited by Joyce Cauthen. Again, no words, but there's a really annoying harmonica mixed louder than the fiddle.

I wonder who Tom, Brad & Alice's source was...

-Greg


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Subject: RE: rabbit up a gummy stump poem or song?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 May 04 - 06:13 PM

The blackface minstrels used the tune in several dances and songs as mentioned above.
"Opossum Up a Gum Tree"- Christy Minstrels, Nigga Songster, 1850.
Opossum up a gum tree
His tail has body follow
Raccoon quickly him see,
Looking out ob hollow., etc.

"Black Shaker Song," n. d. (c. 1850), no author, broadside at American Memory-
Possum up a gum tree,
Cooney in de holler
Show me de colored man
Dat stole my dollar

In "Zip Coon" - Banjo played, a dance. In American Memory:
Cooney in de hollar
Raccoon up a stump, etc.


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Subject: RE: rabbit up a gummy stump poem or song?
From: GUEST,Norm Roth
Date: 11 May 04 - 09:21 PM

Marjorie Main, the battle-axe actress of the 30's through 50's, sang
"Possum up a gum stump . . . cooney up a holler" in a 1940's comedy.
I think the movie revolved around a musical quiz show.


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