Annotation:Old Rattler Hare

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OLD RATTLER HARE. AKA - "Here Rattler Here," "Old Rattler," "Rattler." Old-Time. An old time song and dance tune in the repertoire of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, guitarist and banjo player Elizabeth Cotton and others. "Old Rattler Hare" is presumably a miss-hearing of the title "Here Rattler, Here." A version of this song/tune was recorded in 1975 from the playing and singing of Everett Griggs, of Clinton, Arkansas, who sang:

Grandad had an ole blind dog,
As blind as he could be;
Every night, at supper time,
You'd think that dog could see.

Here Rattler, here,
Here Rattler, here;
Ole Rattler's bound t' bark,
Here Rattler, here.

Ole Rattler, treed th other night,
I thought he'd tree'd a coon;
N' when I come t' find out,
He's a barkin' at th moon.

Grandad had a muley cow,
She's muley when she's born;
Took a jaybird, forty years,
To fly from horn t' horn.

Thomas Talley collected the lyric from African-American sources and printed it in his Negro Folk Rhymes in 1922:

Go call ole Rattle from de bo'n.
Here Rattler! Here!
He'll drive de cows out'n de co'n,
Here Rattler! Here!

Rattler is my huntin' dog,
Here Rattler! Here!
He's good fer rabbit, good fer hog,
Here rattler! Here!

He's good fer 'possum in de dew,
Here Rattler! Here!
Sometimes he gits a chicken, too.
Here Rattler! Here!

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