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"
EARLIEST DATE: 1973
KEYWORDS: animal hunting nonballad floatingverses
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Silber-FSWB, p. 38, "Uncle Reuben" (1 text)
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
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.