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THE PREACHER AND THE BEAR

A Preacher went out huntin, t'was on one Sunday morn
He knew its against his religion, but he took his gun along
He shot himself three mighty fine quail
and one little measly hare
And on his way returning home,
he saw a great big Grizzly Bear

Now the bear marched out in the middle of the road
and waltzed to the Preacher you see
The Preacher got so excited, he climbed up a 'simmon tree
The bear sat down upon the ground,
the Preacher climbed out on a limb
Well he cast his eyes to the Lord in the skies,
and these words he said to Him

Oh Lordy, didn't you deliver Daniel from the lion's den
Also, deliver Jonah, from the belly of a whale and then
Three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace
so the Good Book do declare
Now Oh Lord, if you can't help me,
well then please don't-cha help that bear

Now the Preacher was up in that tree,
I think it was all night
He said Mr Bear if you bother me,
I'll give you an awful fight
Just about that time the limb let go
and the Preacher came tumblin' down
You could see him getting his razor out
before he hit the ground

He hit the ground cuttin' right and left,
he put up a very game fight
Just then the bear grabbed the Preacher,
and he squeezed him a little too tight
The Preacher dropped his razor, the bear held on with a vim
Well he cast his eyes to the Lord in the skies
and these words he said to Him

They fought all the way to the river,
it was a terrible fight
That bear just kept a-hanging on,
but the Preacher was a-doing all right
He dragged that beast right down in the water
it was three times in and out
Then the bear got up and he limped away
and the Preacher began to shout

Oh, Lordy, didn't you deliver Daniel from the lion's den
Also, deliver Jonah, from the belly of a whale, Amen,
And oh Lord, it may not seem like much from way up there,
But the hardest thing I ever done was baptize that (bleep bleep) bear.


Background:
Composed or copyrighted in 1903 by George W. Fairman. 1905 Victor
recording by Arthur Collins was very popular, as was a Sousa's Band
version in 1906. Riley Puckett's 1925 Columbia recording was followed
by versions by John McGhee (1927), Honeyboy and Sassafrass (1930), the
Prairie Ramblers (1936) and Puckett again in 1939. The famous Golden
Gate Quartet made an acapella version for RCA at their first session in
1937. Jerry Reed had a charted hit with "The Preacher And The Bear" in
1970 as a single (RCA 9904) that stayed on the charts for 11 weeks,
reaching No. 16. The recording by John McGhee has been reissued on
an LP, Old Homestead OHCS-141 "West Virginia Hills" (Old Homestead
Records, Box 100, Brighton, MI 48116). The second version is by Hylo
Brown, found on Rural Rhythm 176, "Folk Songs Of Rural America" (Uncle
Jim's, Box A, Arcadia, CA 91066). Max Wiseman had a version and Yvonne
Reuge who sang it at the 1970 Tenio Old Time Music Festival. DP
Phil Harris did it, too. RG

@animal @fight
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