Old Mister Rabbit

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OLD MISTER RABBIT. American, Song and Reel. USA; Virginia, Kentucky. The song belongs to a widespread and varied traditional song family. Although lyrics and melody can vary to some degree, the following songs are related: "You Get a Line and I’ll Get a Pole," "Honey Babe," "The Crawfish/Crawdad Song," "The Gambler's Song," "Sweet Child" (Marion Thede), How Many Biscuits Can You Eat," among others. Banjo player Dan Tate, of Fancy Gap, Carroll County, Virginia, sang these words for Mike Yates in 1979:

Oh, what you gonna do when your meat gives out, baby?
What you gonna do when your meat gives out?
Sit in the corner with your mouth stuck out, babe.

What you gonna do when it comes a-snow, baby?
What you gonna do when it comes a-snow?
Catch them rabbits as they go, babe.

Catching rabbits ain't no sin, baby,
Catching rabbits ain't no sin.
Turn them loose and catch 'em again, babe.

Old Mister Rabbit your hair is mighty thin, baby,
Old Mister Rabbit your hair is mighty thin.
Yes, by Jove I split the wind, babe.

Old Mister Rabbit your tail is mighty white, baby.
Old Mister Rabbit our tail is mighty white.
Yes, by George, I'm siccin' out of sight, babe.

Old Mister Rabbit your eyes are mighty red, baby,
Old Mister Rabbit your eyes are mighty red.
Yes, by George, I'm darn nigh dead, babe.


Additional notes





Recorded sources : - County 788, Clyde Davenport (Monticello, Ky.) - "Clydeoscope: Rare and Beautiful Tunes from the Cumberland Plateau" (1986). Field Recorder FRC506 - "Dan Tate." Musical Traditions MTCD321-2, Dan Tate - "Far in the Mountains, vols. 1 & 2" (2002).




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