Possum up a Gum Stump (1)

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X:1 T:Possum Up a Gum Stump [1] L:1/8 M:2/4 Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:D (A,|A,)/B,/D/E/ F/G/F/E/|D/E/F/A/ BA|B/A/B/c/ d/c/d/B/|A/F/D/F/ E/D/B,/G,/| A,/B,/D/E/ F/G/F/E/|D/E/F/A/ BA|B/A/B/c/ d/c/d/B/|A/G/F/E/ D:| |:ff|f/af/ aa/g/|f/e/d/f/ e/d/B/A/|f/aa/ ba|f/e/d/f/ ee/e/| f/af/ aa/g/|f/e/d/f/ e/d/B/A/|B/A/B/c/ d/c/d/B/|A/G/F/E/ D:|



POSSUM UP A GUM STUMP(, COONIE IN THE HOLLOW) [1]. American, Reel (cut time). USA; Alabama, north Georgia, Arkansas. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune was mentioned in chronicles before the year 1830 (Mark Wilson). It was cited as having been played in a 1914 Atlanta, Ga. fiddlers' contest, and listed in the Northwest Alabamian of August 29, 1929, as one of the tunes likely to be played at an upcoming fiddlers' convention. The title appears in a list of traditional Ozarks Mountains fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954. See also related tune family under the titles "Dubuque,” "Going Down to Maysville," "Willott's Hornpipe/Willet's Hornpipe," and the cognate “Green Back Dollar.”

Possum up a gum stump, coonie in the holler,
Little gal at our house, fat as she can waller.
Saddle up the old nag, martingale and collar,
Fetch her down to my house, I'll give you half a dollar. ... (Ford)

Charles Wolfe, in notes to Thomas Talley’s Negro Folk Rhymes (1991), says the first two stanzas of the song below were collected from both black and white sources, although the last two stanzas are rather rare:

‘Possum up de gum stump,
Dat raccon in de holler;
Twis’ ‘im out, an’ git ‘im down,
An’ I’ll gin you a half a doller.

‘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 de gum stump,
His jaws is black an’ dirty;
To come an’ kiss you, pretty gal,
I’d run lak 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’.

The song and its air appears in several collections, including Brown (3:207), White (236-38), Scarborough (173), Randolph (2:361) and Lomax and Lomax (American Ballads and Folk Songs), p. 238.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: - Joe Hermann with the Critton Hollow String Band (West Virginia) [Phillips].

Printed sources : - Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; p. 29. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 187.

Recorded sources: -Copper Creek CCCD-0196, Tom, Brad & Alice – “We’ll Die in the Pig Pen Fighting.” Document 8039, “The Hill Billies/Al Hopkins and His Buckle Busters: Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, vol. 1” (reissue). Flying Fish FF 355, Critton Hollow String Band - "By and By" (1985). Recorded Anthology of American Music, 1978 - "Traditional Southern Instrumental Styles." Vocalion 5118, 1926 (78 RPM), The Hill Billies (east Tennessee).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]



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