Week #114 ~ Possum up a Gum Tree (Possum up a Gum Stump) (OT)

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Possum up a Gum Tree (Possum up a Gum Stump) (OT).

    I'm not familiar with this, and haven't found the ABC yet, but hopefully, someone will, and add them!

    Here is the tune on You Tube, by the Woodstove Flapjacks

    Here is a link to Hetzler's fakebook, which has the midi to this tune

    Here is some notation and tab
  2. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    I found this one on the Fiddlers Companion with words:-

    T:Possum Up a Gum Tree
    S:Willis & Co., London (c. 1824)
    Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion

    EAA>B c2 {B}A2 | df B2 df B2 | EAA>B c2 {B}A2 | AcE2 AcEE |
    EAAB c2 {B}A2 | dfB2 dfBE | EAA>B c2{B}A2 | AcE2 Ac e2 |
    e>f e>c B2A2 | f>g fd c2 Be | efec {c}B2AA | AFGE EA3 ||

    W:Possum up a Gum-Tree,
    W:Up he go, up he go
    W:Racoon in the hollow
    W:Down below, down below.
    W:Him pull him by hims long tail,
    W:Pully hawl, pully hawl,
    W:Then how him whoop and hallow
    W:Scream and bawl, scream and bawl.
    W:Possum up a Gum Tree
    W:Racoon in the hollow
    W:Him pull him by hims long tail
    W:Then how him whoop and hallow.
  3. Toycona
    I started learning "Possum Up the Simmon Tree." Hopefully it's similar...
  4. Toycona
    Nope..not evern close!
  5. mculliton123
    TEF file for Std Notation and TABs
  6. Marcelyn
    This clip's for mountain dulcimer, but it's the most helpful one I found for learning the tune by ear. I also liked his tips on improvisation.

  7. Eddie Sheehy
    I seem to remember Joe Nobling posting this some time ago... I'll check...
  8. Eddie Sheehy
    We have Cat Clumb up the Gum tree and Rattler treed a Possum...
  9. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    This looks fun! During a trip to Fiddlers Companion, my go-to source, I discovered that one can play an entire evening of fiddle tunes in the possum genre. Apparently possums hold a powerful sway over the imagination of fiddlers. I have heard the same said of squirrel-inspired tunes, which are near and dear to Mr. Mike Compton's heart. The below version is Mr. Howdy Forrester's. I trust you all took off your hats and put them over your hearts at the mention of Mr. Forrester. This was transcribed by Mr. John Hardford no less. We are speaking, my friends, of the Gold Standard in old-time fiddle tunes. Speaking of which, Mr. Joe Nobling, an OT fiddler of some note, is, indeed, a distinguished expert in all matters pertaining to possums.

    T:Possum Up a Gum Stump
    S:Howdy Forrester, transcribed by John Hartford
    e2g2|g/e/a/g/ e/g/g|e2 gg/a/|g/e/d/c/ A/c/c|e2g2|g/e/a/g/ eg/g/|c’b ag|e/g/a/g/ e/d/c:|
    |:E/(c/c) c>d|c/A/G/c/ A/B/c|G,/C/E/G/ A/B/c/d/|c/A/G/E/ D/A,/C|
    G,/C/E/G/ A/B/c/d/|c/A/G/c/ A/c/c|e2 e>d|c/A/G/E/ D/C/C:|
  10. Marcelyn
    Yes, Mike, the opossom is a noble beast. His determined efforts to cross busy highways and dangle by tail from tree branch testify to his bravery--and he doesn't taste half bad either.
  11. Eddie Sheehy
    I just lost my appetite...
  12. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    The picture accompanying this video is from Kew Gardens and is of an Australian possum in a Eucalyptus gum tree. Played on a Savannah.

  13. Marcelyn
    Nice job, Duncan. That has a real toe tapping feel. It's funny that there seem to be a few different tunes under this title. Here's this one, which doesn't match all the Youtube clips I looked through.

    Just to ease Eddie's stomach, I haven't tasted possum personally, but that might just be from lack of opportunity. I regularly spend too much money for raw fish. I love crawdads, and I've sampled eel, frog legs, snails, oysters, octopus, and alligator tail. Wherever possum falls on that continuum, I've crossed the line a good way back.
  14. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Nice marcelyn! What notation did you use for that one?
  15. Marcelyn
    I used the tune from that dulcimer lesson I posted above, Barbara. It's slow enough to figure out by listening. There were a few fiddle clips on Youtube that seemed to be the same, but others that seem pretty different. To me, the version I did sounds like a fancy "Bile Them Cabbage Down." I'm going to learn the other way I'm hearing it and see how closely they're related.
  16. Eddie Sheehy
    Thank's Marcelyn, I'm feeling better now - I was just kidding anyway. I am also a fan of crawdads, alligator tail, snails, oysters, mussels, clams, lobster, langoustines, cabbage, frog-legs, - I also believe if it tastes like chicken... it is chicken...
    I was in a restaurant recently and saw frog's legs on the menu. I called the waitress and asked her if she had frog-legs, when she said "Yes, honey" I said " Hop over to the bar and get me a beer..."
    Now back to our regular programming...
  17. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    Really nice work Duncan & Marcelyn! Those are both real toe tappers! Fine renditions - Very well done!

    Marcelyn, I see what you mean. Researching the origins of this tune (for a possible alternate title! ), I discovered that several fiddle tunes list 'Possum up a Gum Tree' as an alternate title!

    Well, here's my version, using the arrangement from the TEF file linked above. This was a fun one to learn and play, and the wife was dancing to this while I was recording...That has to be a good thing.

    Oh, and Eddie, I am officially designating the second line of the lyrics to this song as its alternate title...So, here's my rendition of Raccoon's in the Holler

  18. Eddie Sheehy
    Supper's callin'... very nice Ed.
  19. Marcelyn
    I like that version a lot, Ed. I guess when you come up with such a great tune title it's a shame to waste it on just one melody.

    Cabbage--really, Eddie? Now my appitite's gone.
  20. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Great posts so far, I've decided I'll try the version in D when I get a mo, it's a fun uplifting tune.....Alligator tail? You folks really eat that? Haven't seen that in Tesco's.........
  21. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    Toes tapping on this one for sure ... great stuff!
  22. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Here's my take based on the dulcimer link that Marcelyn posted.........

  23. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Howdy's version. Sort of. Still under construction.

  24. Toycona
    Nicely done, Tosh, and everyone. What a great tune!
  25. Marcelyn
    Tosh, those bits of improvisation on the melody were perfect. You sounded like you were having a lot of fun with it. Very nice old time feel.

    Super fiddling, Mike. I really like that version and am still trying it out on mandolin, but yours makes me want to pull out the fiddle too.
  26. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Great submissions, all yall! I wanna learn to fiddle! Maybe someday!!!!

    This is a hard tune to really get into as a solo mandolin tune! But ya'll are doing a great job!
  27. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Smoothly done, David! Hats off.
  28. Marcelyn
    Yes, David, that's the way to do it. I've been trying to play along, but you're a speed demon.
  29. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Mike, great fiddle, real authentic old time, could have been on Harry Smiths Collection !!!!.....
    David, the Sobell sounds great, nicely done as always.
  30. Marcelyn
    Okay, for a while all the versions and variations of this tune had me as confused as a blindfolded possum on a four-lane highway. Now though, through careful study of Youtube, I've figured out that there seem to be three popular tunes going by this name. First is Howdy's version. Second is the fancy "Bile Them Cabbage Down" version which Tosh and I played. And third is a tune whose A part is almost identical to Dubuke, an earlier tune of the week. Here's what I have on that last one so far.

    This one's a lot of fun, and the Possum Ridge String Band chose it to play for their Youtube clip. That's got to lend it a little bit of credibility. Here's their video.

  31. Toycona
    Marclyn, It sounds a little like "Dubuque" crossed with "Red Haired Boy" crossed with something else. It just goes to show you that some of these songs have deep roots.
  32. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Rock it out, Marcelyn! Love your version. Is that an old A-2? Here's my mando version. This is the "don't wake up the sleeping family at 12:30 a.m." Howdy version.

  33. Marcelyn
    That is outstanding, Mike. Now, I've got to try the Howdy version too. And, you're very observant. That's my A3.

    Too trueToycona. When I learned Dubuke it took me nearly fifty false starts before I could play it without running into Red Haired Boy. Now, I can't seem to start RHB without hearing it first to get Dubuke out of my head.
  34. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    Tosh, Mike, David, & Marcelyn: Great stuff from all of you folks!
    This tune really shows how dynamic, vibrant and alive this type of musical composition can be...Always changing, adding phrases where they fit, growing and being modified by regional and cultural sensibilities.
    Fantastic stuff!
  35. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Great playing everyone--Mike, Marcelyn, David, Tosh, Ed, maudlin.

    I thought the whole point of tunes having names is so we can tell them apart. Now we have multiple tunes with the same name. Blows that whole theory.

    Can't pass up learning a Hartford transcription of Howdy Forrester's playing.

  36. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    Don, what a killer version! I love the "Slow Blues Burn" goin' there. Fantastic!
    Oh, and that mandolin...Tone to die for!! What is it?
  37. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Don, that was superb, wonderfully played and as Ed said, great tone (your Gilchrist I think)......
  38. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Thanks Ed and Tosh. That's my Gilchrist Model 1.
  39. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Dang but that Gil sings, Don! I like your idea of playing this out of the second position (or whatever). Have to try that tonight.

    My favorite note in the Howdy version is the B in the penultimate measure of Part A. Every time I play it, it's like, "What's this doing here?!?" Seem like it should be a C, but the B just adds some strange backwoods mojo to the piece.
  40. Marcelyn
    Wow, really nice, Don.
  41. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Mike, I thought those long notes needed a doublestop, and that led to the second position. And I agree with you on that B note. The Model 1 is the one for sure. Thanks, Marcelyn.
  42. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    Don Grieser wrote: "That's my Gilchrist Model 1."
    Well now that explains things quite well, doesn't it? What a fantastic mandolin...and you play it masterfully!
  43. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Wow! So many variations to choose from on this one. I loved both of Marcelyn's versions, as well as the ones from David, Mike (fiddle), Tosh, Ed, Maudlin and a rare one from Don. I've selected the version in D and worked up an arrangement in the old time way. Played on a Kentucky mandolin with backup provided by a Simon & Patrick guitar.

  44. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    Michael, that's fantastic!
    Such joy and "hop"! Loved that.
  45. Mike O'Connell
    Mike O'Connell
    Another fun filled week with so many versions all played so well. And thanks, Michael, for the smile.

    Tosh, I had to smile at your question/comment. “You folks really eat that? Haven't seen that in Tesco's.” Here’s my story. In the 80’s we were stationed at an air base in Arkansas. Our next door neighbor was a fireman. One afternoon I saw him in his backyard hammering something to a fencepost. I went over and asked what he was doing. He told me he was skinning squirrels. He went on to tell me that over the course of the year the guys at the fire department, whenever they went shooting, would shoot squirrels, opossum, raccoon, rabbit, etc. Then they skinned, cleaned, and froze them. On the appointed day at the firehouse they prepared and ate this exotic meat along with a selection of greens and black-eyed peas. He did say that not all of the firefighters participated but for him it was a meal he looked forward to. As for me, living along the US Mexico border, I’ve had my share of fish tacos but that’s about as wild as I get. Bon appetit.
  46. Marcelyn
    That was awesome, Michael.
  47. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Michael, can only agree with Marcelyn there......fantastic.
  48. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    I agree too--awesome, Michael.
  49. fatt-dad
    This is how we play, "Possum up a Gum Stump" in Virginia. I'm not trying to speak for all, but I have played this tune around and it usually goes like this (not that you'd ever reckon I've been playing this for very long, but I kind of have).

    Here's my version of the tune:

  50. OldSausage
    Very nice indeed, I can certainly believe you've been playing that for a while.
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