DESCRIPTION: "Riding on a hump-back mule (x2) Walkin', pawin' every(), The only song that I can sing is 'Ride that hump-back mule." "Rode him down town, four o'clock, Tied him up to (), Riding on a hump-backed mule"
EARLIEST DATE: 1939 (BrownSchinhanV)
KEYWORDS: animal nonballad
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
BrownSchinhanV 745, "Hump-Back Mule" (1 short text, 1 tune, perhaps mixed with "Paddle Your Own Canoe")
Cumberland Ridge Runners, "Ridin' on a Humped Back Mule" (Conqueror 8162)
NOTES [102 words]: The description is based on the BrownSchinhanV fragment and a version collected by Max Hunter in 1975. The latter sounds to me very much like a fiddle tune with a few words added; my guess is that this is one of those instances of someone in an early string band told that he needed WORDS to get a recording contract, and added these words to an existing tune. And then someone added some mule effects. My guess would be that this was the Cumberland Ridge Runners (aka "Karl and Harty" and "The Renfro Valley Boys"), since they were known for having a crazy fiddler (one of their songs was called "Goofus"). - RBW
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