Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 5 03:42:12 UTC 2010


Possum up a simmon tree
Raccoon on the ground.
Raccoon says, "Mister Possum,
Won't you shake some simmons down?"

Unca Reuben got a coon, dang-GON'T (chick-a-chick),
dang-GON'T (chick-a-chick), dang-GON'T (chick-a-chick),
Unca Reuben got a coon, dang-GON'T (chick-a-chick),
And left me here behind.

(That is, "dang-gonnit" and a voiceless repeated mouth sound that really
doesn't have any vowels.)

Here the raccoon doesn't seem more skillful at all, and ends badly.

I learned the song off a record (LP? 78?) as a kid in the 50s. I may be able
to track it down if anyone cares.

m a m

On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 8:40 PM, George Thompson <george.thompson at>
> Raccoons are reputed to be very clever.  A folksong as old as 1822 begins
> Opossum up a Gum Tree
> Tinkey none can follow;
> Him damn quite mistaken,
> Racoon in de hollow.
> Opossum him creep softly,
> Racoon him lay mum,
> Pull him by de long tail,
> Down opossum come.
> Jinkum, jankum, beaugash,
> Twist'em, twin'em, run:
> Oh de poor opossum,
> Oh de sly racoon
> George A. Thompson
> Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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