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ADD: Old Riley / Here Rattler Here

Related thread:
Lyr Req: Old Rattler (Leadbelly) (5)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Rattler (version recorded by Bradley Kincaid)


Karen Kenna 28 Jul 97 - 05:12 PM
Barry Finn 28 Jul 97 - 10:59 PM
Gene 29 Jul 97 - 04:23 AM
Bob 29 Jul 97 - 08:30 AM
Gene 29 Jul 97 - 11:41 AM
dick greenhaus 29 Jul 97 - 11:51 AM
Whip 31 Jul 97 - 11:55 AM
Barry Finn 24 Aug 97 - 12:04 PM
Joe Offer 25 Aug 97 - 03:55 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 22 Jan 02 - 02:26 PM
Bud Savoie 23 Jan 02 - 06:43 AM
MMario 28 May 03 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Q 28 May 03 - 11:58 PM
Jimmy C 29 May 03 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Q 29 May 03 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Q 30 May 03 - 02:23 PM
Ely 30 May 03 - 06:43 PM
Stewie 30 May 03 - 08:06 PM
GUEST 16 Jun 03 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Q 16 Jun 03 - 03:27 PM
Giac 16 Jun 03 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Q 16 Jun 03 - 04:21 PM
Giac 16 Jun 03 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,Jim Clark 04 May 04 - 02:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 May 04 - 03:05 PM
Dani 04 May 04 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Bob 17 Aug 04 - 09:34 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Nov 05 - 10:05 AM
Flash Company 07 Nov 05 - 10:41 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Nov 05 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,WC Reed 23 Sep 06 - 07:03 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Sep 06 - 11:27 PM
Tannywheeler 24 Sep 06 - 10:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 06 - 12:04 AM
Snuffy 25 Sep 06 - 08:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Sep 06 - 12:38 PM
open mike 08 Apr 07 - 11:37 AM
Flash Company 09 Apr 07 - 10:50 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Apr 07 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,robert 12 Jul 07 - 04:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jul 07 - 07:11 PM
nickp 13 Jul 07 - 06:27 AM
kendall 13 Jul 07 - 07:19 AM
Barry Finn 13 Jul 07 - 10:27 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 07 - 01:57 PM
nickp 14 Jul 07 - 06:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 07 - 01:09 PM
Barry Finn 14 Jul 07 - 04:30 PM
Janie 14 Jul 07 - 05:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 07 - 05:42 PM
Barry Finn 14 Jul 07 - 06:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 07 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,Jeffrey Silverstone 05 Apr 09 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 06 Apr 09 - 08:48 AM
Barry Finn 06 Apr 09 - 07:06 PM
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Subject: Here Rattler Here
From: Karen Kenna
Date: 28 Jul 97 - 05:12 PM

Does anyone have the words to "Here Rattler Here" by Grandpa Jones? I would appreciate any help.


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Jul 97 - 10:59 PM

I have no idea how GP Jones did this, but I have a few versions of it as a prison work song used for flatweeding. Let me know if this would be close; Well ole Rattler here's a marrow bone. Here Rattler Here You can eat it, you can leave it alone Here Rattler Here

I don't want no marrow bone Here Rattler Here I want that man that's long gone Here Rattler Here Rattler, beside being the dog to beat all, was the name, traditionally given to the lead dog on each prison farm. I'll check back. Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD RATTLER (Grandpa Jones)
From: Gene
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 04:23 AM

Hi Karen, I think this is the one you're looking for! Enjoy!

OLD RATTLER
As recorded by Grandpa Jones

[G] Old Rattler was a good old dog, as fine as he could [D] be
Ev'ry night 'bout suppertime, I believe that dog could [G] see.

REFRAIN: [G] Here, Rattler, Here! Here! ? Here, Rattler! [D] Here!
Call old Rattler from the barn: Here, Rattler! [G] Here!

Old Rattler treed the other night and I thought he'd treed a 'coon
When I come to find out he was barkin' at the moon. REFRAIN

Well, grandma had a yeller hen. We set her as you know
We set her on three buzzard eggs and hatched out one old crow. REFRAIN

Grandpa had a muley cow. She was muley when she's born
It took a jaybird forty year to fly from horn to horn. REFRAIN

Now if I had a needle and thread as fine as I could sew
I'd sew my sweetheart to my back and down the road I'd go. REFRAIN

Old Rattler was a smart old dog, even though he was blind
He wouldn't hurt one single thing though he was very fine. REFRAIN

One night I saw a big fat 'coon climb up in a tree
I called old Rattler right away to get him down for me. REFRAIN

But Rattler wouldn't do it because he liked that 'coon
I saw them walkin' paw in paw later by the light of the moon. REFRAIN

Now old Rattler's dead and gone, like all good dogs do
You better not act a dog yourself, or you'll be goin' there too. REFRAIN


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: Bob
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 08:30 AM

Gene, I think that first line ended, "blind as he could be." Fits better with the next line.


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: Gene
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 11:41 AM

Hi Bob..you are right, thanks!


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 11:51 AM

The one verse I recall is: Rattler was a good ol' dog Blind as he could be Chased a purty gal 'round the bard I b'lieve that dog could see.

Don't know where I heard it, though.


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: Whip
Date: 31 Jul 97 - 11:55 AM

Didn't Belafonte also record this? I seem to remember hearing it years ago.


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Aug 97 - 12:04 PM

This Tracer is great, can get back to stuff I forgot about.

Whip, Belafonte did this on his 'Swing Dat Hammer', RCA LPS-2194. It was collected widly in the Prison in the mid 30's. In "Sketches & Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett, of West Tennessee", New York, 1833, is a story of Davy 's dog named "Ratler".


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD RILEY / OLD RATTLER (Lead Belly)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 97 - 03:55 AM

Lead Belly combined "Rattler" with another song and came up with this. I think the Weavers recorded this version, too.

OLD RILEY
Words & Music by Huddie Ledbetter. Collected and adapted by John A. and Alan Lomax. Copyright 1951, Folkways Music Publishers.

Old Riley walked the water,
Old Riley walked the water
In them long hot summer days.

Old Riley he is gone,
Old Riley he is gone
In them long hot summer days.

Riley walked the water;
Here, Rattler, here
Old Riley walked the water;
Here, Rattler, here.

Old Riley's gone like a turkey in the corn
Here, Rattler, here.
Old Riley's gone like a turkey in the corn
Here, Rattler, here.

Rattler come when I blow my horn
Here, Rattler, here.
Old Rattler come when I blow my horn
Here, Rattler, here.

Old Rattler's got him a marrow bone,
Here, Rattler, here.
Old Rattler's got him a marrow bone,
Here, Rattler, here.

Old Riley's gone like a turkey in the corn,
Here, Rattler, here.
Old Riley's gone like a turkey through the corn,
Here, Rattler, here.

Old Riley walked the water
Old Riley walked the water
In them long hot summer days.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD RATTLER
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 02:26 PM

Lyr Add: OLD RATTLER I

Here, Rattler, here, Rattler, here!
Here's old Rattler, here, Rattler, here!

Oh, believe to my soul that a nigger's gone, here, Rattler, here!
Believe to my soul that de nigger's gone, here, Rattler, here!
Went right down through the corn, here, Rattler, here!
Think I heard a horn blow, here, Rattler, here!
Tryin' to find a way that nigger must go, here, Rattler, here!
He tripped this time, he can trip no more, here, Rattler, here!
I'm goin' take him through the biggest fold, here, Rattler, here!
He's gone where the good niggers go, here, Rattler, here!

I heard the horn blow, Hoo! Here, Rattler, here!
I think I heard the horn blow, here, Rattler, here!
I heered the horn blow, Hoo! Here, Rattler, here!
Rattler, here's a beef bone, here, Rattler, here!
You can eat it, you can leave it alone, here, Rattler, here!
You can eat it till the day's all gone, here, Rattler, here!

What is the matter with the niggers today? Here, Rattler, here!
Everyone is runnin' away, here, Rattler, here!
Rattler, here's a beef bone, here, Rattler, here!
You can eat it, you can leave it alone, here, Rattler, here!
Take it till we cut all the corn, here, Rattler, here!
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Here, Rattler, here!

That old Rattler's comin' along; here, Rattler, here!
There's the blowin' of the horn, here, Rattler, here!
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Here, Rattler, here!
That old Rattler's comin' along; here, Rattler, here!
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Here, Rattler, here!
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! here, Rattler, here!
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Here, Rattler, here!
Jes' put that nigger right up a tree, here, Rattler, here!
Runnin' so full he dodged(?) a knee, here, Rattler, here!
Run so full he dodged a knee, here, Rattler, here!
Master says he blow that horn, here, Rattler, here!
You killed a spade, that nigger is gone, here, Rattler, here!
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Here, Rattler, here!
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Here, Rattler, here!

Sung by Rev. Moses (Clear Rock) Platt, Wyandot, Taylor, Texas; sometime inmate of the Texas State Prison Farms.
The ironic, bitter, understated humor of the Black convicts on the Texas State Prison Farms is evident here. Recorded over 60 years age, little has changed except that the guards methods are more sophisticated. Lomax can be heard in the background, exhorting Platt to repeat parts for the recorder.
John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip. Click on Links at top of page and scroll to Lomax Collection for sound recording and notes (Sec. 11).
@prison @work @Negro

OLD RATTLER II

An' it's HEAH, Rattler, here, Rattler, here!
An' it's HEAH, Ol' Rattler, here, Rattler, here!

Ol' Rattler, here some nigger gone, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
You can ketch him or you can leave him alone, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
Go call that sergeant, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
Tell him, gwine lose a trusty, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
Tell that sergeant, come with me, suh, here, Rattler, here! (twice)

Went to callin' ol' Rattler, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
An' it's HEAH, Rattler, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
Ol' Rattler come a-leapin', here, Rattler, here! (twice)
Ol' Rattler heah dat nigger gone, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
You can ketch him, Ol' Rattler, bite 'im, ol' dog! Here, Rattler, here! (twice)

Lawd, dey talk about ol' Rattler, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
Lawd, dey ought to see dat Logan dog, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
Lawd, dat dawg he could trail a hawg, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
Lawd, dey talkin' 'bout dat Logan dog, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
But dey oughta seen dat Queen dog, here, Rattler, here! (twice)
Bet dat dog she could trail a cop, here, Rattler, here! (twice)

Tommy Woods and group of Negro convicts, Clemens State Farm, Brazoria, Texas. John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip. Click on Links at top of page and scroll to Lomax Collection for sound and notes.
@prison @work @Negro

More songs and discussion Here


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 06:43 AM

Why is Rattler such a common name for hounds in the South?


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Subject: Tune Add: RATTLER (from Bradley Kincaid)
From: MMario
Date: 28 May 03 - 01:55 PM

X:1
T:Rattler
N:Bradley Kincaid
N:'Favorite Old-Time Songs and Mountain Ballads' Book 2
I:abc2nwc
M:4/8
L:1/16
K:Db
z6A2|d2 d2 f3 e|d2 d2 d3 A|d2 d2 B2 A2|
E6A2|c2 c2 c2 c2|e2 e2 e3 B|A2 A2 G2 E2|D6z2


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Subject: Lyr Add: HERE, RATTLER, HERE
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 28 May 03 - 11:58 PM

Lyr. Add: Here, Rattler, Here

Why don't you here, Rattler, here,
Oh don't you here, Rattler, here.
This Old Rattler was a walker dog,
Says he'll trail you 'cross a live oak log.
Says Old Rattler hit the man's trail,
Says he run and bit him on the heel,
And you oughta heard that man squal.
You holler, here, here, Rattler,
Hollerin' here, here, Rattler.
Says old Rattler was a walking dog,
He could trail you 'cross a live oak log.

Says the captain come a'riding,
Asking where is that sergeant,
Says I believe there's a man gone.
Says the sergeant come riding,
Popping his whip upon the ground,
And Old Rattler turning round and round.
He said here, Old Rattler,
Says Old Rattler, here's a marrow bone,
You can eat it, you can leave it alone.
I don't want no marrow bone.
I just want the man that's long gone.
Says Old Rattler went a-skipping through the morning dew,
And old sergeant pop the whip upon the ground
And Old Rattler begin to turn round and round.
He cried, here, Old Rattler,
Crying, here Old Rattler.

Says Old Riley got worried,
He come running with a letter,
Says you oughta to heard what that letter read.
Says Old Riley says that irene's dead,
Say come home, pretty papa,
Yes, come home, pretty papa.
Says Old Riley he got worried,
Says to the captain that you was a-running,
You just tell him I was flying.
If he asks you was I laughing,
You can tell him I was crying.

And it's here, Old Rattler,
And it's here, Old rattler,
And Old Rattler got to the Brazos,
Well, he left him there a-howling.
Old Rattler hollered, oooh, ooh, ooh,ooh!
He hollered ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh!
And I heard that sergeant blowing his horn,
Oughta heard that sergeant blowing his horn,
Blowed it doo, doo, doo, doo!
Blowed it oo, oo, oo, oo!
Says I believe he crossed the river,
Believe he crossed the big Brazos.
He gonna give up Old Riley,
Take another day back on the way.
I'm going to call Old Rattler,
Hollering here, Rattler, here,
Won't you here, Rattler, here, here,
Won't you here, Old Rattler.

Sung by Rev. Moses Mason, originally recorded by Paramount, 12702A, reissued by Folkways on No. FA 2952, American Folk Music, Vol. II.

Published in Negro Folk Music U. S. A., Harold Courlander, 1963, Columbia University Press, pp. 103-105. An extended version of this classic prison song.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HERE, RATTLER, HERE
From: Jimmy C
Date: 29 May 03 - 11:25 AM

Have a version on an old record, no names given, and the cover is lost. May be portions missing. Probaly taken off the version posted by Joe.

Here Rattler Here


Old Riley crossed the water,
On them long hot summer days
Old Riley crossed the water.
On them long hot summer days,

Oh Sic 'im, oh sic 'im
Oh sic 'im done gone,
here rattler here
Oh sic 'im, oh sic 'im.
Oh sic 'im done gone,
Here rattler here

Riley crossed the water;
On dem long hot summer days
Riley crossed the water
On dem long hot summer days
He's headed for the river;
As sure as your born.
Here, Rattler, here.
He can hear the sheriff blowin his horn
Here, Rattler, here.

Here old rattler
Here rattler here
Hey old rattler
Here rattler here

Oh Sic 'im, oh sic 'im
Oh sic 'im done gone,
here rattler here
Oh sic 'im, oh sic 'im.
Oh sic 'im done gone,
Here rattler here

Riley crossed the water;
On dem long hot summer days
Riley crossed the water
On dem long hot summer days

He's headed for the river;
Where we can't go.
Here, Rattler, here.
Headed up north for freedom land
Here, Rattler, here.

Hey old rattler
Here rattler here
Hey old rattler
Here rattler here

Oh Sic 'im, oh sic 'im
Oh sic 'im done gone,
here rattler here
Oh sic 'im, oh sic 'im.
Oh sic 'im done gone,
Here rattler here


Old Riley crossed the water
In them long hot summer days.
Old Riley crossed the water;
In them long hot summer days.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OL' RATTLER (from Lomax and Lomax)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 29 May 03 - 02:42 PM

American Ballads and Folk Songs, Lomax and Lomax, 1934 (and reprints), has another version, apparently from the fertile mind of Moses Platt (pronounced 'Plawp'), who claimed that when he ran away from prison, "ol'" Rattler, "de fastes' an'de smellin'es' bleedhoun' in de South" trailed and treed him.
This version, with sheet music, is quite different from the one Moses Platt recorded for Lomax in 1939 (see Old Rattler I, posted 22 Jan 02). He was also known as Big Foot Rock or Clear Rock.
How this song originated and who wrote it is not known, but Moses Platt certainly contributed to its development and variety of verses. He was born about 1880. Was he the originator of the Rattler songs? Old Riley seems to have had a different origin, but was combined into some versions.

Lyr. Add: Ol' Rattler

If you wants to hear ol' Rattler moan,
Heah, Rattler, heah,
Jes' put him on a nigger gone,
Heah, Rattler, heah.

Refrain:
Heah, Rattler,
Hear, Rattler, heah,
Heah, Rattler,
Heah, Rattler, heah.

B'lieve to my soul dere's a nigger gone,
Heah, Rattler, heah,
He went right down through dat corn,
Heah, Rattler, heah.

He cross right 'cross dat ol' foot log,
I b'lieve to my soul da's a nigger dog.
(Interspersed lines Heah, Rattler, heah left out
in this and following verses)

I think I hear a horn blow
Ef I trip dis time, I'll trip no mo'.

You got to ride, ride, sergeant,
Ol' Rock's walkin' de Brazos.

Got a baby here, got a baby there,
Gonna take my baby to the worl'y fair.

Dey tell me one, dey tell me two,
Now ef you stay on de groun' Rattler'll sho' ketch you.

Ol' Rattler jumped a cottontail,
Run dat fool off de trail.

I wouldn' stop ef I see myse'f dyin',
I'm on my way to de long-leaf pine.

I didn' have no time to make no thimpathee,
My nighes' route was up a tree.

I had a face all full of frowns,
You won' never ketch me on de groun'.

Now, hol' on boys, let's stop an' see,
Dey got Big Foot Rock settin' in a tree.

Lomax and Lomax, 1934, American Ballads and Folk Songs, pp. 66-67.

I don't believe that Rattler was a common name for a hound in the south. Certainly a good name for a bloodhound in Texas.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RATTLER (from Talley)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 30 May 03 - 02:23 PM

Rattler seems to have originated in rural, rather than prison song.
The earliest version was printed by Natalie Curtis Burlin in Hampton Series, Negro Folk Songs, vol. 4 (p. 38) in 1919, under the title "Hyar, Rattler." Seemingly,it is much like the following, but I haven't seen it. Mentioned in Talley.
This one, from Talley, was collected in the 1920s.

Lyr. Add: RATTLER

Go call ole Rattle from de bo'n.
Here Rattler! Here!
He'll drive de cows out'n de co'n,
Here Rattler! Here!

Rattler is my huntin' dog,
Here Rattler! Here!
He's good fer rabbit, good fer hog,
Here rattler! Here!

He's good fer 'possum in de dew,
Here Rattler! Here!
Sometimes he gits a chicken, too.
Here Rattler! Here!

Talley, Thomas W., 1922, Negro Folk Rhymes. From reprint, 1991 edition, University of Tennessee Press, 63, pp. 40-41.

Tally mentions an early commercial recording by George Reneau, from East Tennessee, "Here, Rattler, here," Vocalion 14814, 1924.


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: Ely
Date: 30 May 03 - 06:43 PM

Elizabeth Cotten recorded it, too. I don't have her words to it on hand at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: Stewie
Date: 30 May 03 - 08:06 PM

The title of the folk song on which Grandpa Jones' famous recording was based was 'Calling the Dog'. The earliest recording was by [Blind] George Reneau in NYC ca April 1924 and issued as Vocalion 14814 in July 1924: 'Here Rattler Here [Calling the Dog]'. Recordings by Reneau marked Vocalion's entry into the hillbilly market - Uncle Am Stuart and Uncle Dave Macon were to soon follow him into the studio. Charles Wolfe noted that Reneau was 'one of the relatively few traditional musicians to make the transition from wandering street corner minstrel to recording artist' [JMFQ 15, #50, Winter 1979]. Unfortunately, he contracted pneumonia while working the streets of Knoxville and died at the tender age of 32. As far as I am aware, his 'Old Rattler' has not been reissued.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HERE, RATTLER, HERE
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 02:22 PM

My Great Grandfather was born in Arkansas. This is the version of this song he used to sing.

Rattler he was a good ol' dog
Blind as he could be
Every night 'bout supper time
I'd swear that dog could see

Here rattler here
Here rattler here
Callin' rattler from the barn
Here rattler here

Rattler he was barkin' and I
Thought he'd tree'd a coon
When I went outside to see he was
Barkin' at the moon

Here rattler here
Here rattler here
Callin' rattler from the barn
Here rattler here

Grandpa he had a muley cow
She was muley when she's Born
Take a Blue Jay half the morn
To fly from horn to horn

Here rattler here
Here rattler here
Callin' rattler from the barn
Here rattler here


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Subject: Lyr Add: HERE, RATTLER, HERE (from Max Hunter coll
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 03:27 PM

The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection has a version very close to the one posted by Guest, 16 June 03.
Sung by Everett Griggs, Clinton, AK, 1975, it can be heard in RealAudio at: Here, Rattler

Chorus:
Here Rattler, here
Here Rattler, here
Ole rattler's bound t' bark
Here Rattler, here.

Grandad had an ole blind dog
As blind as he could be
Every night at supper time
You'd think that dog could see.

Ole rattler, treed th' other night
I thought he'd treed a coon
N' when I come t' find out
He's a barkin' at the moon.

Grandad had a muley cow
She's muley when she's born
Took a jaybird forty years
To fly from horn t' horn.

I wonder how the ole blind dog would know the moon was out?


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: Giac
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 04:09 PM

I didn't know Max Hunter collected songs in Alaska, Guest Q.**Grin**

The postal abbreviation for Arkansas which really isn't properly used in text, is AR, not AK.

Nothin' personal, I've also suggested several times that those same errors be corrected in the Digitrad, but no one pays any attention.

Thanks for the lyrics anyhow.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 04:21 PM

Giac, that is why I usually address my mail with the full state name.
Or use an old abbreviation. Never can remember.
Arkansas used to be Ark. Who was the dumbkopf who assigned AK to Alaska? Should have been assigned AL (Oh, grin me no more grins!). And Arizona ---. Even worse with the M's.


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Subject: RE: Here Rattler Here
From: Giac
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 04:31 PM

I'm pretty sure the postal codes and state abbreviations pre-date Alaska statehood. As you may, or may not know, postal codes and state designations were assigned from the upper east coast, going down to Florida, move West a bit, go back north, over a bit, go back down to the Gulf, and so on. So AL was given to Alabama anyhow, by virtue of its geographic location.

Some folks do confuse the Arkansas (AR) and Arizona (AZ) abbreviations, but Arkansas came first in the designation department.

As a newspaper editor and later a magazine editor, I made those changes too many times to count. Sigh.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: GUEST,Jim Clark
Date: 04 May 04 - 02:52 PM

Another version

Cisco Houston recorded this song on his LP "Sings American Folksongs" His version is at:
http://www.ciscohouston.com/lyrics/old_riley.shtml
with a reference to this page


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 May 04 - 03:05 PM

Link to Cisco Houston; Old Riley


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Dani
Date: 04 May 04 - 03:58 PM

Yup, Elizabeth Cotten recorded a version of it, short and sweet, getting the audience to sing, "Here Rattler here here". And told a funny story about a dog getting into an auditorium where she was playing, and when they sang that call and response, the dog sat down and just looked, and looked!

Dani


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 17 Aug 04 - 09:34 PM

I learned the first verse as follows:

Rattler was a fine old dog,
As fine as he could be.
Every night at supper time,
he'd take a bite of me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 10:05 AM

Great to see all these lyrics. I will always associate this song with Lonnie Donegan, as that's where I first heard it. His was kinda like Leadbelly's but shortened to fit in a three minute time constraint. And, like most of his songs, it became a rave-up.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Flash Company
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 10:41 AM

Hi Jerry, Lonnie D recorded 'Ole Riley' before he went solo, I had it on an EP which also included Dickie Bishop singing 'Gypsy Davy'.
Ramblin' Jack Elliott recorded 'Here Rattler' on an EP called 'Kid's Stuff', As I recall his first verse went :-
Rattler was a fine ole dog, fine as he could be,
He'd tree a 'possum in a holler log and never let him be.

FC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 02:29 PM

FC: I have Old Riley on an l.p. of Lonnie's, An Englishman Sings American Folk Songs... great album and one of the first folk albums I ever heard. It was a great introduction to folk music, Donnegan style..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: GUEST,WC Reed
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 07:03 AM

My grandfather taught me an "ole rattler" verse in the late 1940's and it went like this:

Here Rattler here,
Here Rattler here.
Call Ole Rattler from the barn,
Here Rattler here.

A raccoon has a ringy tail,
A possum has no hair,
Shake him from a 'cimmon tree,
And touch him if you dare.

Here Rattler here,
Here Rattler here.
Call Ole Rattler from the barn
Here Rattler here.

Much to the chagrin of my wife and other relatives, Ive passed this along to my children and grandchildren and they sing it with delight. At family gatherings we'll get it started and everyone has a good time - outsiders have no idea what we're singing!
WCReed
Kingsport, TN


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 11:27 PM

Thanks for sharing your version.
"They don't hardly make them like that no more."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 24 Sep 06 - 10:26 PM

The tree he's being shaken from (the possum) is a persimmon, so the short form would probably be a 'simmon.         Tw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 12:04 AM

'simmon' it is.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 08:20 AM

Persimmon, eh? One of our traditional mummer's plays in Warwickshire ends with a version of Old Bob Ridley which includes the following verse:

A possum sat in a cinnamon tree
Looking cunning down on me
I picked up a stick all on the sly
And I hit him - ZIP - right in the eye.

Looks like we Yookers have mondegreened persimmon into something more familiar.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 12:38 PM

I suppose the greenhouses at Kew would contain a cinnamon tree (small, evergreen). The species with the spicy bark comes from India and Malaya but now I think grown commercially elsewhere in the tropics.
Most persimmons are Chinese-Japanese, but the one associated in verse with the 'possum (Opossum) is American, a tree that grows to 50 feet. Persimmons are grown in gardens in England, since most are temperate in climate preference.
The opossum in the American south is edible to some people but a nuisance to many. The true opossums are a New World group, but the name also is applied to some Australian relatives (relatives? I'm guessing).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: open mike
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 11:37 AM

i think it is 'simmon tree--short for persimmon...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Flash Company
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 10:50 AM

Ramblin' Jack Elliott on a record called 'Kid Stuff'

Well Rattler was a fine ole dog,
As fine as he could be,
He'd tree a possum in a hollow log,
And never leave him be.

An' it's here Rattler, here, here,
Here Rattler here,
Come on Rattler from the barn,
Here Rattler here

One night I saw a big fat 'coon
A'hidin in a tree,
I went and got ole Rattler
To fetch him down for me,
But rattler would not do it,
Because he liked that 'coon
I saw them walkin' paw in paw
Later by the light of the moon,

CH

Also used the 'mooly cow', 'yellow hen' and 'Needle and thread' verses quoted by Gene way back in '97

FC


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Hyah, Rattler!
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 12:37 PM

Lyric Add: HYAH, RATTLER!
(from Curtis-Burlin, 1919)

A rattler went daown dat holler lawg,
Hyah! Rattler! Hyah!
Ma dawg, --Rattler!
Ma dawg, --Rattler!
Hyah! Rattler! Hyah!

As I was runnin' 'cross de fiel',
A rattlesnake bit me on de heel,
Hyah! Rattler! Hyah!
Ow! Ow!* -- Hyah! Rattler!
Ow! Ow! -- Hyah! Rattler!
Hyah! Rattler! Hyah!

* imitating the bark of a dog.
With score. Collected at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Virginia.
Natalie Curtis-Burlin, 1918-1919, "Negro Folk-Songs." The Hampton Series, Books I-IV. G. Schirmer, Inc., New York.
These extremely rare little books have been reprinted by Dover Publications, 2001; new pagination, Hyah, Rattler! p. 155, score p. 157.

This short version, the first collected, is a far cry from the extended version sung by Moses (Clear Rock) Platt and fellow inmates at the Texas State Prison Farms; also quite different from the version by Grandpa Jones with its borrowings of lines and verses from other songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: GUEST,robert
Date: 12 Jul 07 - 04:53 PM

how about doc reese's version? anyone know the words?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jul 07 - 07:11 PM

Doc Reese- "Hey Rattler."
Available on cd, but haven't seen the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: nickp
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 06:27 AM

I'm with Bud Savoie from some years ago....

"Why is Rattler such a common name for hounds in the South?"

apart from rattlesnakes biting on heels which surely can't be the reason...

Nick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: kendall
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 07:19 AM

There are so many verses it's hard to know which ones were never in the original. For instance, my favorite verse may have been taken from Whoa Mule:
"Granpa had an old grey mule,
Rode him into town,
'For he got his shopping done
The buzzards had him down."

I wonder what the author was thinking when he wrote,...One night I saw a big fat coon climb up in a tree,
I called old Rattler right away to get him down for me.

That's silly. The dog trees the coon, no way can he "get him down".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 10:27 AM

Kendall, didn't Hank Williams answer that with a song called Howlin At the Coon, HaHa.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 01:57 PM

The song is widely known; taking the name for your houn'dog (or imitation thereof) would be expected.
Original? No one knows. No author known. The earliest versions in print, Talley and Curtis-Burlin, I have posted above. Much was added when the song went to prison.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: nickp
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 06:20 AM

Hi Q, good point. Now all we need to know is which dog the original version of the song was named after!! Nick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 01:09 PM

One could probably eliminate all of the AKC designer hounds so popular with the new invaders from the north. Probably an old sad-eyed droopy-eared, slobbering, flea- and tick-ridden multi-breed with touches of blood and coon hound somewhere in his knotty family tree.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 04:30 PM

From the glossary of "Wake Up Dead Man" by Bruce Jackson
" Rattler. The original tracking hound, the one who can follow any trail, walk a log, swim the trecherous Brazos River (all Teaxs work camps were based along the Brazos). There is a well known songabout him (#62, a,b,c,d) & he is sometimes mentioned in other songs. I've been told that it is traditional to name at least one dog on each farm "Rattler". See notes for song62 for more about the name.

Notes to song 62
Rattler is the superhound; he can do all the things that any dog sergeant would want his best dogs to enjoy doing if they were smart enough to know what their master really wantedof them; he prefers tracking convicts to chewing on a bone. etc.

Botkin reprints in Tresuary of American Folklore 91944,p.19) a story in which Davy Crockett's dog in named "Rattler" (the story is taken from 'Sketches & Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett, of West Tennessee', New York,1833, pp125-127).

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Janie
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 05:11 PM

I can think of a couple reasons some one might name a hound Rattler.

1. The sound the chain makes as the dog shifts around on the end of it where he is chained on the porch or under the front steps. Paw, sittin' on the sofa cleaning his gun, "That pup out there sure is a live wire. Just listen to him fidget." Maw, threading the last of the seasons bean pods onto strings to dry into leatherbritches for the winter larder, "Yer right, Paw. He orta be called Rattler, the noise he makes with that chain."

2. When you watch a dog face off with some small animal that fights back, say, a groundhog, the dog will kinda lean back, draw back it's neck while keeping the angle of the nose down, then leap forward and strike, grabbing the groundhog by the throat. The motion does rather look like that of a snake, poising, then striking.

3. None of the above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 05:42 PM

Texas Prison Systems land holdings constitute 100,000 acres, with some 149,000 employees, er, prisoners (in 1999). Dunno how many Rattlers.
Not all of the farms are on the Brazos.

The song, however, seems to have originated outside the prison system (see posts above); Janie's No. 1 is possible.

The 1833 date mentioned by Barry Finn puts the use of the name back a fair piece.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 06:06 PM

The work farms were the convict gangs were house were located along the Brazo, I didn't mean to say that all the units were along the Brazos.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 08:01 PM

Not all prison farms were, or are, along the brazos River.
At the Rusk State penitentiary system in East Texas, convict gangs produced tobacco and harvested timber from the Piney Woods region for the prison's sawmill. Fruit, vegetable and livestock operations also were carried out. For a number of years, the prison was a large pig iron producer; I dont know how the work gangs were constituted for the iron, brick and manufacturing operations. Prison operations at Rusk closed in 1931.

The Huntsville area in Walker and adjacent counties has the largest concentration of prison farms. The prison farms here were producing significant amounts on cotton by the time of the Civil War. There are numerous prison farms, some of which are 50 or more miles from the Brazos and closer either to the Trinity or Navasota Rivers. Much of Walker County is controlled by the prison system and much of the rest by the National Forest Service. Sugarland and Oyster Creek prisons and their farms are here.

Towards the Gulf, Brazoria County, near the mouth of the Brazos, has the Darrington, Retrieve, Clemens and Ramsey Prison Farms.

Jester State Farm near Richmond, close to the Colorado River,
produced both cane and bricks. It held over 5000 acres in the 1920s but I don't know the present holdings or products.

Grimes County has two large prison farms, near Navasota.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: GUEST,Jeffrey Silverstone
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 08:36 AM

There is a version by James "Sparky" Rucker on his record "Cold & Lonesome on a Train" which is different than above. None of the verses reference a dog, but the song is consistant with people making up verses while ad hoc to a refrain while working in a chain gang. My four old son loves it because the instrumentation is percussion by rattling chains and the yelps in the refrain.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 08:48 AM

As to reasons to name a hound Rattler, adding to Janey's above:

4. He's a rattling good hound. ("Rattling" is an intensifier in the south as in some other places. This is a rattling good thread. Hope my answer is a rattling good answer.)

5. Some dogs are adept at killing rattlesnakes -- this was what I always assumed was the origin of the name in Grandpa Jones's song ... he was such a good hound he'd even kill you a rattler and never turn a hair.

OK, now I'm rattled.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Here Rattler Here
From: Barry Finn
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 07:06 PM

In B.A. Botkin's "Treasury Of American Folklore" (p.19) is a story taken from 'Sketches & Eccentricities of Col. David Crokett, of West Tennessee" mentioning tha "Davy Crokett's dog was named 'Ratler'".

From the glossary of "Wake Up Dead Man"
Rattler: The original tracking hound, the one who can follow any trail, walk a log, swim the treacherous Brazos River. I've been told that it is traditionalto name at least one dog on each farm Rattler.

Barry


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