Mule on the Mountain
DESCRIPTION: The singer or captain has a mule on the mountain called Jerry. Who will ride him? I will. Jerry is hiking down the Southern main line; didn't stop for water and made it on time.
EARLIEST DATE: 1935 (Hurston)
KEYWORDS: floatingverses nonballad shanty worksong animal
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Frye, p. 184, ("I got a muley on the mountain") (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Zora Neale Hurston, Mules and Men (New York: Harper
Perennial,1990 (paperback edition of J.B. Lippincott, 1935 original)), pp. 269-270, "Mule On de Mount" (1 text, 1 tune)
Crew of the Charles J. Colonna, ("Lord I got a muley") (on VaWork)
Menhaden Fishermen, "Mule on the Mountain" (on USMenhaden01)
Northern Neck Chantey Singers, "Mule on the Mountain" (on USMenhaden02)
NOTES: As a menhaden work song this is lined out. For example, ("o hiking jerry O LORDY HIKING DOWN THE MAIN LINE SOUTHERN (chatter)"(2x) "o he did on time boys O LORDY LORD LORD HE DID ON TIME (chatter)"), where: lower case is the chanteyman calling the verse line; upper case is the crew's response; "(chatter)" is directions called out by the crew about hauling.
The VaWork song is part of the "Evalina" track.
Hurston p. 269: "The most widely distributed and best known of all Negro work songs. Since folk songs grow by incremental repetition the diversified subject matter that it accumulates as it ages is one of the evidences of its distribution and usage. This has everything in folk life in it. Several stories to say nothing of just lyric matter. It is something like the Odyssey, or the Iliad." Hurston's version includes sections from menhaden chanteys besides "Mule on the Mountain": "Evalina" and "I'm Gonna Roll Here." - BS
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