Traveling Man (Traveling Coon)

DESCRIPTION: Protagonist, a trickster, makes his living stealing chickens/money; he's arrested, shot, sent home for burial, but escapes his coffin, etc. Cho: "He was a travelin' man, certainly was a travelin' man/Travelin'est coon that ever come through the land..."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1919 (Brown)
LONG DESCRIPTION: The protagonist is a trickster who makes his living stealing chickens and money; he's arrested, shot, and sent home for burial, but escapes from his coffin; he sails on the Titanic, but when it sinks he's found shooting dice in Liverpool. Carrying water ten miles from a spring, he stumbles, but runs home for another bucket and catches the water before it hits the ground. Chorus: "He was a travelin' man, certainly was a travelin' man/Travelin'est coon that ever come through the land...."
KEYWORDS: rambling travel crime theft punishment resurrection burial death gambling ship wreck England humorous talltale thief
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
BrownIII 428, "The Traveling Coon" (1 text plus mention of 1 more)
BrownSchinhanV 428, "The Travelling Coon" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)

Roud #11771
RECORDINGS:
Alabama Sheiks "Travelin' Railroad Man Blues" (Victor 23265, 1931)
Smilie Burnett, "He Was a Travelling Man" (Perfect 13011/Melotone 13046, 1934)
Virgil Childers, "Traveling Man" (Bluebird B-7487, 1938)
Sid Harkreader, "Travelling Coon" (Paramount 3101, 1928)
Tony Hollins, "Traveling Man Blues" (OKeh 06523, 1941)
Prince Albert Hunt's Texas Ramblers, "Travelling Man" (OKeh 45446, 1930; rec. 1928; on GoodForWhatAilsYou)
Jim Jackson, "Traveling Man" (Victor V-38617, 1930; rec. 1928)
Coley Jones, "Traveling Man" (Columbia 14288-D, 1928; rec. 1927)
Luke Jordan, "Traveling Coon" (Victor 20957, 1927)
Charlie & Bud Newman, "The Old Travelling Man" (OKeh 45431, 1930)
Phineas [or 'Finious'] "Flat Foot" Rockmore, "Traveling Man" (AFS 3988 B1, 1940; on LomaxCD1821-2)
Dock Walsh, "Travelling Man" (Columbia 15105-D, 1926)
Washboard Sam, "Traveling Man" (Bluebird B-8761, 1941)
Henry Whitter, "Travelling Man" (OKeh 40237, 1924)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Didn't He Ramble" (lyrics)
NOTES: This was the theme song of the East Coast medicine show singer Pink Anderson. - PJS
The oldest version, in the Brown collection, bears an interesting relation to "Didn't He Ramble"; in this text, the chorus runs, "Well, he travelled and was known for miles around, And he didn't get enough, he didn't get enough Till the police shot him down." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: RcTMTC

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