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Lyr Req: Rabbit in the Pea Patch

Richie 02 Jul 09 - 10:54 AM
Richie 02 Jul 09 - 11:30 AM
Azizi 02 Jul 09 - 12:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jul 09 - 02:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jul 09 - 02:43 PM
Richie 02 Jul 09 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,BanjoRay 02 Jul 09 - 02:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jul 09 - 03:26 PM
Goose Gander 02 Jul 09 - 04:06 PM
Azizi 02 Jul 09 - 04:36 PM
Azizi 02 Jul 09 - 04:54 PM
Azizi 02 Jul 09 - 04:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jul 09 - 06:00 PM
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Subject: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Richie
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 10:54 AM

Hi,

I was looking at the song, Rabbit in a Pea Patch. I know it was in the repertoire of Uncle Dave Macon. Apparently it's an old song.

I was looking for minstrel roots and any lyric versions like the Red Caly Ramblers.

Anyone have lyrics?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Richie
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 11:30 AM

Here are some of my notes on Rabbit in a Pea Patch:

Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee.

DATE: Minstrel Origin: Referenced in "The Publishers Weeklyý" -1884. Recorded first by Uncle Dave Macon in 1927 for Vocalion.

RECORDING INFO: Chapman, Owen "Snake". Walnut Gap, Rounder 0418, CD (1999), trk# 17
Smith, Paul. Devil Eat the Groundhog, Rounder 0409, CD (1999), trk# 14
West Maryland Highballers. West Maryland Highballers, Biograph RC 6001, LP (1963), trk# B.06 (Rabbit in the Pea Patch); 1928 Pickard Family; Vernon Dalhart 1931
Melvin Wine; Kuntz (Ragged but Right), 1987; pg. 350. County 521, Uncle Dave Macon and the Fruit Jar Drinkers - "Original Recordings 1925- 1935." Flying Fish 055, The Red Clay Ramblers- "Merchant's Lunch" (1977). Supertone (Brunswick) 2071 {78 RPM}, the Pickard Family.

NOTES: D Major. Standard. AABBCC. According to Kuntz this song was "composed by Uncle Dave Macon," who first recorded it in 1927 for Vocalion. The song is from the mistrel era and can be traced to 1884 as a fiddle tune: "to the violin's monotonous iteration of The Chicken in the Bread- Trough, or The Rabbit in the Pea-Patch" [Publisher Weekly].

The tune appears in a list of traditional Ozark Mountain fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954, and is in the repertoire of southwestern Missouri Ozarks fiddler Bob Holt (b. 1930), learned from local sources. It was recorded for the Library of Congress by Herbert Halpert in 1939 from the playing of Tishomingo County, Mississippi, fiddler W.E. Claunch. [U.S. Library of Congress. Division of music. Archive of American folk song, Archive of Folk Song (U.S.), United States. Work Projects Administration (Washington, D.C.) - Juvenile Nonfiction - 1942 RABBIT IN THE PEA PATCH. Played by WE Claunch on fiddle and Mrs. Christeen Haygood on guitar. Near Guntown, Miss., Herbert Halpert, 1939]

"Rabbit in Pea Patch" is a standard tune in a square dance fiddler's repertoire, asserts A.B. Moore in his History of Alabama, 1934, and lending credence to this its being recorded in the Clarke County Democrat of May 6, 1926, as a definitive old-time piece played for a contest in Jackson, Clark County, Alabama.

"Rabbit in Pea Patch" is an African-American folk tale and a different version of the tale is found in the 1883 book "Uncle Remus" featuring Brer Rabbit. A version from Georgia appears in the JOAFL, 1913. It begins: "ONCE upon a time a rabbit went to a man pea-patch and eat most all of the pea. And the man told his girl to catch him if he come in there again." See Version 3 for an African American song using the title lyric.

The song is referenced in "The Heart of Old Hickory and Other Stories of Tennessee: And Other Stories (Page 64)" by Will Allen Dromgoole - 1895 - 208 pages. "I tetched the bow acrost the strings, Rabbit in the Pea-Patch,' — the boys began ter pat... How the boots did strike that ole puncheon floor ! Jube led."

It's referenced in "The Publishers Weeklyý" - Page 631 by R.R. Bowker Company, Publishers' Board of Trade (U.S.), Book Trade Association of Philadelphia, Am. Book Trade Association, American Book Trade Union - Language Arts & Disciplines - 1884

"The Dancin' Party at Harrison's Cove" from Craddock's "in the Tennessee Mountains"

"to the violin's monotonous iteration of The Chicken in the Bread- Trough, or The Rabbit in the Pea-Patch— all their grave faces as grave as ever.

--Richie


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 12:09 PM

From http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:eVnKFx8xFzQJ:www.newworldrecords.org/linernotes/80291.pdf+OLD+mother+hippletoe&cd=1&hl=en&ct [pp 36,37]


Old Mother Hippletoe: Rural and Urban Children's Songs New World NW 291 [vinyl record]

Play Party Songs

Band 7 Rabbit in the Pea Patch Angie Clark, vocal. Recorded 1937 in Mullins, S.C., by John A. Lomax. Library of Conress Archive of American Folk Song AFS 1030 B3

In "Rabbit in the Pea Patch," couples skip hand in hand around a lone boy, who steals the girl of his choice. Her partner then becomes the loner.

RABBIT IN THE PEA PATCH
Rabbit in the pea patch, shoo-lye love, (3 times) Shoo-lye love, my darling
You love Miss Dreslo (or other name), shoo-lye lover, …
You stole my partner,lye love, … But I'll get another one, shoo-lye love, … Pretty as the other one, shoo-lye love,…


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 02:22 PM

Looking in the Joel Chandler Harris books for the 'pea patch' story; nothing about peas in the story titles. In which story did the 'pea patch' appear?

1. 1880, Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings:...

2. 1883, Nights with Uncle Remus, Myths and Legends...
The story "In Some Lady's Garden" involves English peas and pea vines with Brer Rabbit, but there is nothing to connect it to the Macon, etc. breakdown, or the playparty cited by Azizi.

"Pea patch" was the name applied to a prison camp by a Union prisoner, (diary 1865) and is an old expression for a small vegetable garden.

3. 1889, Daddy Jake, the Runaway ...
4. 1892, Uncle Remus and His Friends,
5. 1905, Told by Uncle Remus...
etc.

The Fiddlers Companion cites "Pea Patch Jig" aka "Mechanics Hall Jig," and credits Dan Emmett, 1845. I have not seen this.

The Early Minstrel Show, liner notes: Listed as a "banjo solo in Emmett's Manuscripts"
New World

Several song sheets mention "Mechanics Hall," seemingly a popular place for dances.

The Red Clay Ramblers were among those recording a version.


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 02:43 PM

I fouled up the link to "Early Minstrel Show." Here it is bare bones-
http://www.newworldrecords.org/liner_notes/80338.pdf


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Richie
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 02:51 PM

Hi,

Thanks for the replies. Aziz, do you think there's an earlier African-american source?

Thanks Q- There's a story about the pea patch in Uncle Remus- Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Bear pg. 94. It's not important except it's story using a rabbit in a pea patch.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 02:57 PM

Uncle Dave's lyrics are pretty minimal, consisting of various combinations and repetitions of:

Scratch on the hillside rakin' up leaves
Rabbit in the pea patch eatin' all the peas

get my dog and lets go huntin'
ee-aaa, ee-aaa
get my dog and lets go huntin'
get that rabbit out of town.

It's gorgeous. Jimmy Costa does a lovely rendition when you see him on the porch at Clifftop.


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 03:26 PM

The story about "Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Bear" is not about peas or a pea patch, but about peanuts.

Brer Rabbit sang:
"Ti-yi! Tungalee!
I eat um pea, I pick um pea.
Hit grow in de groun', hit grow so free;
Ti-yi! dem goober pea."

"Sho nuff, w'en de goobers 'gun ter ripen up, ev'ry time Brer Fox go down to his patch, he fin' whar somebody bin grabblin' 'mongst the vines, en he git mighty mad."....

Goober peas are peanuts (Civil was song in another thread, "Goober Peas").

This story was published in 1880, in "Uncle Remus: Myths and Legends of the Old Plantation," not in the 1883 "Nights with Uncle Remus...."


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Goose Gander
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 04:06 PM

The Greenwood Library of American Folklore vol. 1 contains the story, "Rabbit Escapes from the Pea Patch" as told in 1900 by Sarah Demmings, an African-American women from Virginia.

Source: Bacon, A.M., and E.C. Parsons, "Folk-Lore from Elizabeth City County, Virginia." Journal of American Folklore 35 (1922): 273-74

"Tales featuring Brer Rabbit often document his ability to use singing, dancing, fiddling,a and other frivolous talents to attain his goals. Folklorist Elsie Chew Parsons notes the tale's resemblance to a Cherokee narrative, making 'Rabbit Escapes from the Pea Patch' an example of mutual influence between ethnic traditions." (p. 298)

Rabbits sings:

"Picking peas,
Land on my knees
Heard old woman call
Right over you" (p. 299)


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 04:36 PM

Richie, I've not been able to find an earlier African American source for an exact version of the play party song "Rabbit In the Pea-Patch"-Shoo-lye Love". However, I found some examples that fit the theme of a rabbit in some brier or patch.

Thomas W. Talley's 1922 collection Negro Folk Rhymes has a number of Rabbit songs. One of them "Molly Cottontail or Graveyard Rabbit" has this verse:

Molly in de Bramble-brier
Let me git a little nigher;
Prickly-pear, it sting lak fire!
Do please come pick out de brier!

[Kennikat Press edition, 1968; p. 8]

Talley also includes a song/rhyme entitled "Old Molly Hare" that include this verse:

Ole Molly har'!
What's you doin' thar?
I'se gwine cross de Cotton Patch, hard as I can t'ar"

[Kennikat Press edition, 1968; p. 22]

In addition, Talley includes a song/rhyme called "Devilish Pigs" which
contains this verse:

Dey [the pigs] roots my cabbage, roots my co'n;
Dey roots up all my beans.
Dey speilt my fine sweet-tater patch,
'An' dey ruint my tunnup greens
[Kennikat Press edition, 1968; p. 24]

And there are other examples of Negro Folk Rhymes songs that mention rabbits, and Br'er [Brother] Rabbit in particular.

I'm no musician, but it seems to me that Talley's collection also includes some songs that have the same structure as "Rabbit In the Pea-Patch-Shoo-lye love". However, in my quick review of that book I didn't find any songs that specifically use the refrain "Shoo-lye love".

Actually, the closest song with that rabbit in the pea-patch theme I found (in my admittedly brief search this afternoon*) wasn't in Talley's collection but was in Dorothy Scarborough's 1925 book On The Trail Of Negro Folk Songs. Here's an excerpt of that song:

BROTHER EPHRUM GOT DE COON AND GONE ON
I went down to my pea-patch
To see if my ole hen had hatch.
Ole hen hatch and tellin' of her dream,
And de little chickens pickin on de tambourine

chorus
Brother Ephrum got de coon and gone on and gone on and gone on,
Brother Ephrum got de coon and gone on
And left me here behind.

I see a rabbit a-runnin' down de fiel';
I say, "Mister Rabbit, whar you gwine?"
She say, "I ain't got no time to fool wid you,
Dat's a white man comin' on behind.
chorus

[Folklore Associates Edition, 1963; pp 101-102]

Of course, those dance songs and play party songs were made up of floating verses that the singers/callers remembered or made up to fit the pattern of the song. So the theme of the rabbit in the pea-patch wasn't as important as the tune and beat of the song itself.

There are a number of 19th century or earlier African American songs in Scarborough's collection that I believe have a similar structure as "Rabbit In the Pea-Patch-Shoo-lye love". Here's an excerpt of one of them which Scarborough gives the title "Dance Song":

Lead a man, di-dee-o, lead a man, di-dee-o;
Lead a man, di-dee-o, lead a man, di-dee-o.
You swing heads, di-dee-o, I swing feet, di-dee-o,
Ain't dat nice, di-dee-o, walkin' on de ice, di-dee-o!

[Folklore Associates Edition, 1963; p 115]

* In addition to those two books, I also reviewed Alan Lomax's, J. D. Elder's, and Bess Lomax Hawe's 1997 book of Caribbean children's game songs Brown Girl In The Ring. However, there was no song in that book that was similar to Rabbit In The Pea-Patch Shoo-lye Love" (which come to think of it isn't surprising since "Rabbit/Shoo-lye Love" is a dance song and not a children's game song).

Thanks, Richie, for motivating me to look through these books.

-Azizi


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 04:54 PM

I've read that the "Bre'r Rabbit and Tar Baby" story which was popularized by 'Uncle Remus' has its source in a traditional West African folktale-I think Nigerian*. But I can't give any citations for that information right now.

*This is not to say that there weren't American Indian stories or stories from other people which were similar. It's just that rabbit stories were particularly plentiful among the Yorubas and other Nigerians (while spider stories such as Ananse were more common among the Akan in Ghana, West Africa). When I was much more active as an African Storyteller than I am now, I was able to rattle off the African source for this story and that story itself.

But unfortunately that was then and not now.


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 04:57 PM

To clarify-I never told Uncle Remus type stories. Besides the so-called Black dialect [Ugh!], they just weren't my thing.

Not that it matters a hill of beans.


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Subject: RE: Rabbit in a pea patch: Lyr & Origin
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 06:00 PM

Joel Chandler Harris, in his introduction to "Uncle Remus, Myths and Legends...," 1880, quotes from Herbert H. Smith, author of "Brazil and the Amazons":
"One thing is certain. The animal stories told by the Negroes in our southern states and in Brazil were brought by them from Africa. Whether they originated there, or with the Arabs, or Egyptians, or with yet more ancient nations, must still be an open question. Whether the Indians got them from the Negroes or from some earlier source is equally uncertain. We have seen enough to know that a very interesting line of investigation has been opened."
Harris goes on to quote a story from Hartt's book, "Amazonian Tortoise Myths," which is close to to a Brer Rabbit-Brer Cooter (terrapin) story which Harris collected from the Sea Islands.
Correspondence with Powell and others at the Smithsonian added to his familiarity with similar stories from other cultures.

Harris was very careful to reproduce the dialect common in Georgia at the time of collection of the stories or legends, and comments that his later character sketches were different; marking the modification which the speech had undergone "even where education has played no part in reforming it." Writing in 1880, he said "Indeed, save in the remote country districts, the dialects of the legends has nearly disappeared." In the legends, Harris, careful scholar, has "endeavored to preserve the legends" in the form in which he found them, although also trying to make them understandable to the public.

It is unfortunate that most people who mention the legends and songs have no knowledge of the man who collected them and the great service he performed by not only preserving them, but keeping the dialect of the region in which they were found so that it could be studied by linguists interested in the American language, its dialects and its evolution.
In another thread, the tarbaby story is discussed; Harris knew of its occurrence elsewhere but I can't remember the comments.


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