Possum on a Rail

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X:1 T:Possum on a Rail M:2/4 L:1/8 S:Liz Slade Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:G |:A|[G/B/](A/B/)(A/ B/)B/d|[Bg]>(f g2)|1 [e2e2] c2|e>(f e>)A| [G/B/]A/[G/B/](A/ B/)A/B/c/|d/B/d/(e/ g>)(A|B/)c/d/A/ BA|G/[GB]G/ [GB]:| |2 b2g2|e>f e>e|gg/g/ g/a/g/(A/|B/)A/B/(c/ d>)(A|B/)c/d/A/ BA|[GB]|| |:(3D/E/F/|G)B/B/ A/A/B|[G/B/][Gc][G/c/] [Ec]>(A|B/)A/B/(A/ B/)c/B/(A/|B/)AB/ A ((3D/E/F/| G)B/B/ AB|B/cB/ c>(e|e/)A/d/A/ B/A/A|G/[GB]G/ [GB]:|



POSSUM ON THE/A RAIL. AKA and see "Raccoon on a Rail." Old-Time, Breakdown/Reel. USA, Mississippi. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB. The tune is attributed to fiddler Lonnie Ellis, who shared fiddling duties in the Mississippi Possum Hunters with fellow fiddler John Holloway (although the two did not play fiddle together on record, but one would switch to a different instrument while the other fiddled. On their 1930 recording Ellis played fiddle, Pete Herring played guitar and John M. Holloway played cello). The tune is similar in the second strain to "Bile Them Cabbage Down," and has similar chord progression (I, IV, I, V, I). A year later the tune was recorded as "Raccoon on a Rail" by the north Georgia-based Hometown Boys (Bill Helms, fid., Gid Tanner, banjo, and Riley Puckett, gtr.).

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - fiddler Lonnie Ellis with the Mississippi Possum Hunters [Phillips].

Printed sources : - Johnson (The Kitchen Musician No. 2: Occasional Collection of Old-Timey Fiddle Tunes for Hammer Dulcimer, Fiddle, etc.), 1982 (revised 1988 & 2003); p. 14. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), 1994; p. 186.

Recorded sources: -County 528, Mississippi Possum Hunters - "Mississippi Breakdown: Traditional Fiddle Music of Mississippi, vol. 1." Document 8028, The Mississippi Possum Hunters – “Mississippi String Bands, vol. 2” (reissue). Victor 23595 (78 RPM), Mississippi Possum Hunters (1930).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear the Possum Hunter's 1930 recording on youtube.com [2]



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