Uncle Reuben

DESCRIPTION: "Uncle Reuben caught a coon, done gone, Chick-a-chick, done gone... and left me here behind." Assorted verses about animals, hunting, love: "Rabbit running through the grass, Foxes close behind, Trees and weeds and cockleburrs Is all the foxes find"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1973
KEYWORDS: animal hunting nonballad floatingverses
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Silber-FSWB, p. 38, "Uncle Reuben" (1 text)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Possum Up a Gum Stump" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Uncle Eph" (floating lyrics)
NOTES: This seems to be almost purely floating verses (e.g. "Possum up a 'simmon tree..."), but the collection as a whole does not seem to go with any other song, and so it gets its own listing.
Paul Stamler has suggested that this is a version of "Uncle Eph." They probably have some common ancestry. But this is less of a talltale, and the form is different, so I tentatively split them -- at least until I find out where the Silber version came from. (A perpetual problem with Silber.) - RBW
Silber's version almost certainly came from folk-revival singer Tom Glazer, who recorded it in the early 1950s on his album "Olden Balads." The "Chick-a-chick" is the most important clue. My guess is that Glazer conflated "Uncle Eph" and some floaters. - PJS
File: FSWB038

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