Bile Them Cabbage Down

DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "Boil them cabbage down, Bake that hoecake brown, Only tune that I can play is Boil them cabbage down." Fiddle tune, with floating verses from anywhere, e.g. "Raccoon has a bushy tail, Possum's tail is bare" or "Raccoon up a 'simmon tree"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1924 (recordings, Uncle Dave Macon, Fiddlin' John Carson)
KEYWORDS: fiddle dancing nonballad animal food floatingverses
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Lomax-FSNA 269, "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 710, "Bile dem Cabbage Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownIII 432, "Boil Them Cabbage Down" (1 fragment); also perhaps 155, "Jaybird Up a Simmon Tree" (1 text plus mention of 1 more; both are singles stanzas, "Jaybird up a 'simmon tree, sparrow(s) on the ground," which float; I list them here because this seems the most popular of the songs with the stanza, though they might instead be "Possum Up a Gum Stump" or something else)
BrownSchinhanV 432 "Boil THem Cabbage Down" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 124-125, "Bile dem Cabbage Down" (1 text, with some unusual variants in the chorus); p. 168, "Boil Dem Cabbage Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
Coleman/Bregman, pp. 96-97, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
Parrish, p. 121, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 40, "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (1 text)

Roud #4211
RECORDINGS:
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Boil Dem Cabbage Down" (OKeh 40306, 1925; rec. 1924)
Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (Crown 3101, 1931; on KMM) (Varsity 5046, n.d.)
Dixie Crackers, "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (Paramount 3151, 1929)
Earl Johnson & his Dixie Entertainers, "Boil Dem Cabbage Down" (OKeh 45112, 1927)
Uncle Dave Macon, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (Vocalion 14849, 1924; Vocalion 5042, c. 1926)
Clayton McMichen's Wildcats, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (Decca 5436, 1937)
Riley Puckett, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (Columbia 254-D, 1924; Harmony 5127-H, n.d.)
Ernest V. Stoneman, "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (on Stonemans01), "Bile 'em Cabbage Down" (on Autoharp01)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (Columbia 15249-D, 1928; rec. 1927)
Jack Youngblood, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (Columbia 21103, 1953)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Raccoon" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Possum Up a Gum Stump" (floating lyrics)
File: LoF269

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 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.