Catfish, The (Banjo Sam)

DESCRIPTION: "Catfish, catfish, goin' up stream, Catfish, catfish, where you been? I grabbed that catfish by the snout, I pulled that catfish inside out, Yo-ho! Banjo Sam." Other verses also tall tales, usually involving animals, e.g. the terrapin and the toad
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1918 (Cecil Sharp collection)
KEYWORDS: animal nonsense talltale floatingverses fishing humorous music
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
BrownIII 182, "The Catfish" (1 text plus 3 fragments)
SharpAp 251, "The Jackfish" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 98, (no title) (1 single-stanza text, regarding the terrapin and the toad, which could be from this or almost anything else); also p. 199, (no title) (1 fragment, probably from this though it's too short to tell)

Roud #7010
RECORDINGS:
Poplin Family, "Catfish" (on Poplin01)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Turkey in the Straw" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Sweet Heaven" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor" (fish story)
NOTES: This is complicated, because every one of Brown's verses is associated with "Turkey in the Straw." But the three texts all lack that chorus, and "A" has a "banjo Sam" chorus line of its own. And apparently all had a different tune. When in doubt, we split. - RBW
For some reason, this song makes me think of "Whoa Back Buck," but not quite enough for a cross-reference. It almost certainly derives from minstrel sources, and shouldn't be confused with the popular "Catfish Blues." - PJS
File: Vr3182

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