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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW: Possum's Tail Is Bare :) August 3, 2012


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/242044

maryzcox - Posted - 08/02/2012:  09:03:42



ooooooooh-the possum's tail is bare, oh the possum's tail is bare



the old coon has a ring around his tail, but the possum's tail is bare. :)



Melvin Wine used to fiddle this tune.  My basset hounds love it--and hey--who can resist a good wildlife tune?



There is a good mp3 download of Melvin doing this tune on the Digital Library of Appalachia--which I downloaded and its on my ipod for easy listening--but--after searching over an hour--just can't seem to find it there. Maybe someone else here has the link.  I really did like Melvin a lot and think this is the best recording to enjoy that WVA flavor. :)



Here's  Youtubes  from the Traditional Music project --where this tune made TOTW. There is both a fiddle & banjo version to view.



info.therealschoolofmusic.com/...-is-bare/



This is a super simple traditional tune out of West Virginia, but the little backstep in the A part where it touches C--makes it peppy. The B part sounds terribly like bile them cabbage down. :)



I did tab a simple version out for you--and I am trying to figure out how to post it here. I moved it into PDF format from Tabledit.  When I looked at the video above--I see the version I tabbed out is pretty close to the one he plays--but not exactly.



Also--this is a very fun tune on the mountain dulcimer--and I taught it last spring at the Lagnaippe festival and it was a big hit there too. Dulcimer players also like possum tunes :) I do have a simple dulcimer tab to it too and would be happy to send it to you for you if you have a dulcimer friend that would like to play this with you. (Just send me a self addressed stamped envelope and I'll send it along)



There was also a youtube of banjo, fiddle & dulcimer playing this tune last fall--but I took it down because it was before I lost weight this year--and it looks pretty jelly belly--so took it down evil



Did tape it on the banjo on my ipad to experiment--and its not great--and I'll put it up after I edit it a little if anyone wants to see it :)



 



This tune is not on any of my cds or in any of my tab books, but thought that since most old time pickers are away at Clifftop this week--that it would be fun to bring out a fun West Virginia tune for those of us left behind. cool



Best wishes,



Mary Z Cox



maryzcox.com


J-Walk - Posted - 08/02/2012:  10:04:13



That's a great tune. I have Melvin Wine's recording, but I never paid much attention to it.



It's also included in David Marshall's tab book, Old Time Songs for Clawhammer Banjo. He has made recordings of tunes available for download. It's #37, and it's a nice clean solo banjo version.


maryzcox - Posted - 08/02/2012:  10:32:17




Yes--a good possum tune can travel the world of instruments. :)
Here's a fun version :)

mzc :)

Kilted Viking - Posted - 08/02/2012:  10:49:59



quote:


Originally posted by J-Walk




That's a great tune. I have Melvin Wine's recording, but I never paid much attention to it.



It's also included in David Marshall's tab book, Old Time Songs for Clawhammer Banjo. He has made recordings of tunes available for download. It's #37, and it's a nice clean solo banjo version.






 



That google docs find is awesome. Thanks for sharing it with us J-Walk!


BANJOJUDY - Posted - 08/02/2012:  15:55:25



I actually have two recordings of this with lyrics.



The first is Pete Seeger on the album, Birds, Beasts, Bugs and Little Fishes.



A better version, in my opinion, is on the album Animal Folk Songs for Children, played and sung by Mike, Peggy, Penny and Barbara Seeger.



To my ear, the melody is identical to Fortune, especially on the Peggy Seeger version. 



Below are some lyrics I found online along with a video of "terry" playing this on banjo (songs.2quakers.net/raccoon-songs).  He comes pretty close to the Peggy Seeger version, and makes references to her, complete with her picture as a young woman.  Follow the link and see and hear for yourself.



Raccoon Got a Ring Around Tail



Raccoon’s get a ring around tail; possum tail goes bare

Rabbit’s got no tail at all just a little old hunk of hair



Raccoon and the possum racking cross the prairie

Raccoon says to the possum, honey, don’t you want to marry



Don’t you see that pretty little girl, sittin’ under the moon

Somethin’ bound to happen if the preacher don’t come soon



I met that Raccoon in the road, Raccoon where ya gwine

Look out man don’t bother me I’m huntin’ muskidine



I met the possum in the road, possum where ya gwine

He lowed it was his business and it sure weren’t none of mine



I met that rabbit in the road, rabbit where ya gwine

Look out man don’t bother me the old grey hound’s behind



There’s a thousand verses to this song. I hope I sung em well

Before I’d sing ‘em all again I’d see you all in . . . well . . .



Raccoon’s get a ring around tail; possum tail goes bare

Rabbit’s got no tail at all just a little old hunk of hair



Mary - thanks for the reminder - great tune.   The few of us who are not at Clifftop needed a good tune this week.


tkelsey - Posted - 08/02/2012:  18:28:06



quote:


Originally posted by J-Walk


It's also included in David Marshall's tab book, Old Time Songs for Clawhammer Banjo. He has made recordings of tunes available for download. It's #37, and it's a nice clean solo banjo version.






Thanks for the link, J-Walk!  I like the recordings- these are from David's book?  I haven't seen reviews, so I wasn't aware of it.  Do you have a copy, and would you recommend it?



And I really like the 'Possum's Tail' tune.  Thanks, Mary, for sharing this.


maryzcox - Posted - 08/02/2012:  18:50:24


cdm272901.cdmhost.com/cdm/sing...741/rec/5


Here's the link to the mp3 of Melvin Wine fiddling it. There is a download button for it too.
Hope this link highlights as sending this from my iPad :)

Mzc


Edited by - maryzcox on 08/02/2012 18:53:18

J-Walk - Posted - 08/02/2012:  18:56:10



Here's Mary Z's link, clickable:



cdm272901.cdmhost.com/cdm/sing...741/rec/5


J-Walk - Posted - 08/02/2012:  19:05:56



quote:


Originally posted by tkelsey

Thanks for the link, J-Walk!  I like the recordings- these are from David's book?  I haven't seen reviews, so I wasn't aware of it.  Do you have a copy, and would you recommend it?




Yep, those recordings correspond to the tunes in David's book. I don't have the book, but I sure do like those slow, clean and simple recordings he posted. Better than tab, for me.



I can't find David Marshall in the BHO member directory. But he has a one-post blog: clawhammertab.blogspot.com/


Kitt - Posted - 08/03/2012:  06:17:45



Dave Marshall Homepage on BHO. He also has a page in the teacher section.



banjohangout.org/my/dkmarshall


maryzcox - Posted - 08/03/2012:  06:50:11



tab for possums's tail is bare



Judy, thanks for your contributions--those were interesting versions



J-Walk--thanks for linking me to that Melvin Wine link. My ipad doesn't seem to let me put links on here. It also won't take PDF docs--so Bob put this tab into a jpg for me--which loads like a pix. :) I'm back on my computer now--so can actually post links etc.



Now this is not written in stone--but will sound perfectly fine played with a fiddle or other instruments. Easy variations would be to go up the neck on the A part and play it mostly on the 3rd and 4th strings for the B part for a more thumpy sound. :)



There seem to be a lot of variations on this tune and hope folks will continue to post ones they find smiley



Best wishes,



Mary Z Cox



maryzcox.com


bd - Posted - 08/03/2012:  09:32:58



Looks cool but what's the tuning for the tab?


maryzcox - Posted - 08/03/2012:  09:56:18


Hmm-- your right-- it didn't show it when we converted the format. It's aDADE :)

bd - Posted - 08/03/2012:  10:14:31



Thank ya Mary! I figured it was that but I thought I'd better ask.


JanetB - Posted - 08/03/2012:  10:36:55



Oooh, Mary, thanks for the good possum tune!  I may have recorded it in reverse, as I listened yesterday to the cello and to David Marshall's versions.  Today I heard Melvin Wine's where the "peppy part" comes first.  He recorded it in 1994, the same year as the photo of my son's pet.




Possum's Tail is Bare


Ben's possum

maryzcox - Posted - 08/05/2012:  07:53:08




Here's a simple version to go with the easy tab :) If you watch all 57 seconds--took a pix of the Melvin Wine print that is in the living room. The young fiddler is Rose--she is now grown and don't know where she is now--but my kids all played with her when we visited West Virginia about 20 years ago.:)

Tamarack - Posted - 08/05/2012:  17:10:00


Fun tune - simple and elegant

Don Borchelt - Posted - 08/06/2012:  18:34:35



I love this tune.  I really like Janet's version, some really heavenly picking there.  I learned the tune from Tim Rowell, whose video is in Mary's original post.  Tim's Traditional Music Program at the Real School of Music in Burlington, Massachusetts, has done a lot to promote old time music in the Boston area.  Tim came by Banjo Hell at Clifftop on Saturday, and this is one of the tunes we picked.  I've attached the MP3 below.  Don Couchie is playing fiddle, Tim is clawhammering, and I am picking three finger style.  If anyone is interested, they can find the three finger tab at the link below.



banjr.com/tablatures.htm#P

 





Tim Rowell



 



Edited by - Don Borchelt on 08/06/2012 18:35:43



The Possum's Tail is Bare from Clifftop 2012

   

maryzcox - Posted - 08/07/2012:  05:48:09


Thanks Don. And want to let everyone know that if you are on an iPad -- there is a new Tabledit app called Tefpad that will let you view and listen to Don's tab of possum's Tail is bare.
I just downloaded it from the app store, and when I clicked on Don's tab, it let me open it right in Tefpad.
Please do not ask me questions on how to use Tefpad as I just downloaded it a minute ago and have no idea how to work anything on it yet :)
But it looks really cool and like it will be extremely useful :)
Mzc

Danaher - Posted - 08/07/2012:  14:56:21



quote:


Originally posted by Don Borchelt




I love this tune.  I really like Janet's version, some really heavenly picking there.  I learned the tune from Tim Rowell, whose video is in Mary's original post.  Tim's Traditional Music Program at the Real School of Music in Burlington, Massachusetts, has done a lot to promote old time music in the Boston area.  Tim came by Banjo Hell at Clifftop on Saturday, and this is one of the tunes we picked.  I've attached the MP3 below.  Don Couchie is playing fiddle, Tim is clawhammering, and I am picking three finger style.  If anyone is interested, they can find the three finger tab at the link below.



banjr.com/tablatures.htm#P

 





Tim Rowell



 






Don't know if Tim knows about it, but google found Tim's clawhammer tab for this song, at rapidlibrary.com/source.php?fi...5547d4b86


Don Borchelt - Posted - 08/07/2012:  18:58:53



Danaher wrote: "Don't know if Tim knows about it, but google found Tim's clawhammer tab for this song, at..."



Danaher, The Possum's Tail Is Bare was the Tune of the Week at Tim's bi-weekly old time jam at the Real School of Music.  He posts videos and clawhammer tabs of each of the TOTW choices on the Real School Traditional Music Program website.  You can find the list at the link below:



info.therealschoolofmusic.com/...the-week/



I suspect the link you gave is one of these on-line sites that browses the web with spider bots, and steals content from other sites in order to generate traffic.  Better to use the original source.



By the way, the old time jam is every 2nd and 4th Thursday, at the Real School of Music, 56 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, Massachusetts, just down the road from the Burlington Mall.


Danaher - Posted - 08/08/2012:  04:40:13



well I feel "dumber than a bag full of hammers"  Never noticed the link to the tab on that page. 


Don Borchelt - Posted - 08/08/2012:  06:14:08



Danaher wrote: "well I feel "dumber than a bag full of hammers..." 



I sincerely apologize, I didn't mean to make you feel dumb. 


bhniko - Posted - 08/11/2012:  09:54:22


Wow...don't know where I was to miss this post. Mary Z, Janet B and Don B a delightful treat. Don's rendition reminded me of Burl Ives. Not sure if he recorded it but it sounded like it was up his alley. Plus the discovery of Don's website (who I have listened to so many, many times on BanjoHangout) unbeknown to me but the icing on the cake.

oldtimer - Posted - 08/12/2012:  21:47:46



My favorite version for the last 50 years is Frank Warner's "Old Racoon" on an early 60's Newport Folk Festival album.



It's a rowdy version, quite different from the children's song:



amazon.com/gp/product/B005Q5FG...dm_ty_trk



stay tooned...



Glenn Godsey


bhniko - Posted - 08/13/2012:  08:50:12


Glenn,
Any chance you have the lyrics? Tried Googeling for the lyrics but have had no luck. Possibly listed on the Album?

oldtimer - Posted - 08/13/2012:  22:12:05



quote:


Originally posted by bhniko




Glenn,

Any chance you have the lyrics? Tried Googeling for the lyrics but have had no luck. Possibly listed on the Album?






Lyrics as sung by Frank:



mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=8422



stay tooned...



Glenn Godsey


bhniko - Posted - 08/14/2012:  15:28:17



Thank you very much...I will stay tooned.



Enjoyed your playing Rachel...looks like a mighty large pot...would you share the make and woods used as well as size of rim?



Edited by - bhniko on 08/14/2012 15:33:12

oldtimer - Posted - 08/14/2012:  16:25:04



quote:


Originally posted by bhniko




Thank you very much...I will stay tooned.



Enjoyed your playing Rachel...looks like a mighty large pot...would you share the make and woods used as well as size of rim?






I'm playing fiddle on that one. That's my friend, Mike Long playing the cello banjo. I don't know the measurements. but it is made by Gold Tone.



stay tooned...



Glenn Godsey


bhniko - Posted - 08/15/2012:  09:25:18


Thanks

maryzcox - Posted - 08/21/2012:  05:34:51


Thanks everyone for putting up so many wonderful versions of this fine tune :)
Mzc

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