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Origins: Rattlesnake / Muskrat / Groundhog / etc.

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GROUN'HOG


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GUEST,Pat 01 Jun 06 - 07:55 PM
Peace 01 Jun 06 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,Pat Kelly 01 Jun 06 - 10:29 PM
Arkie 01 Jun 06 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,Pat Kelly 01 Jun 06 - 10:42 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jun 06 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,Pat Kelly 02 Jun 06 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Pat Kelly 02 Jun 06 - 07:27 AM
Scoville 02 Jun 06 - 02:48 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jun 06 - 03:01 PM
Scoville 02 Jun 06 - 03:47 PM
Scoville 02 Jun 06 - 03:58 PM
Ragman 02 Jun 06 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Leftfield LT 14 Jun 06 - 11:40 PM
John Minear 30 Mar 07 - 10:26 AM
John Minear 31 Mar 07 - 01:11 PM
John Minear 01 Apr 07 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,JJJ 19 Jan 10 - 04:09 AM
dick greenhaus 20 Jan 10 - 12:52 AM
GUEST 09 Jul 12 - 01:57 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Jul 12 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Murray D 07 Jun 13 - 09:26 PM
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Subject: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: GUEST,Pat
Date: 01 Jun 06 - 07:55 PM

Hi.

I was hoping someone here could help me. I'm looking for a version of the song "Muskrat." This version is one that plays during the end credits of an episode of "Deadwood" on HBO. It's very sparse musically, with what sounds like some time of percussion, and definitely not as cheerful as some versions I've found (Watson, Seeger, etc). The lyrics that are heard are:

Rattlesnake, oh, rattlesnake,
What makes your teeth so white?
I've been living in the bottom all my life.
I ain't done nothing but bite.
Well, I ain't done nothing but bite.

Muskrat, oh, muskrat,
What makes you smell so bad?
I've been living in the bottom all my life,
I'm mortified in my head.
Well, I'm mortified in my head.

Groundhog, oh, groundhog,
What makes your back so brown?
It's a wonder I don't smotherfy from living down in the ground,
Oh, from living down in the ground.

Jaybird, oh, jaybird,
What makes you fly so high?
I've been a-robbin' your corn patch all my life.
It's a wonder if I don't die.
It's a wonder if I don't die.

Rattlesnake, oh, rattlesnake,
What makes your teeth so white?
I've been living in the bottom all my life.
I ain't done nothing but bite.
Well, I ain't done nothing but bite, yeah"

Can anyone help, or point me in the right direction? I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance. :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: Peace
Date: 01 Jun 06 - 08:33 PM

Found this:


Ground hog, oh ground hog.
How come your backs so brown?
How come your liven in the ground so darn long?
It's a wonder I ain't brown now, it's a wonder I ain't brown.

Red bird, red bird
What makes your head so red?
How come pickin your corn all a day long?
It's a wonder I ain't dead, it's a wonder I ain't dead dead it's a wonder I ain't dead

Ooh Rattlesnake, Oh Rattlesnake
Well what makes your teeth so white?
How comin sittin in the son all a day long?
You're lucky I don't bite, you're lucky I don't bite bite, you're lucky I don't bite.
You're lucky I don't bite bite, you're lucky I don't biiiiiiiite.

Muskrat, oh Muskrat.
Ooh, why do you smell so bad?
How come liven in the ground all my life?
I'm bonafide if I had, I'm bonafide if I had had,
I'm bonafide if I had, I'm bonafide if I had had.


from

www.mxtabs.net/ tabs.php?path=Guitar,c,17569,Chilliwack,Ground+Hog,134846


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Subject: RE: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: GUEST,Pat Kelly
Date: 01 Jun 06 - 10:29 PM

Thanks for that. :-) I'm trying to find out if that's the song I'm looking for. Much obliged.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: Arkie
Date: 01 Jun 06 - 10:34 PM

It is probably not the version you heard, but Merle Travis recorded an interesting version of this song in which the guitar appears to repeat the words of the last line of each verse.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: GUEST,Pat Kelly
Date: 01 Jun 06 - 10:42 PM

Yeah, I heard his version. The one I heard was kinda, I dunno how to describe it....darker? I wish I could let you all hear it.


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Subject: ADD version: 'Muskrat'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jun 06 - 04:32 AM

Hi, Pat - take a look at the versions of this song in the Groundhog thread (click). Can anybody give any more background information on this song?


The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection has a recording. Here are the lyrics from the Max Hunter site:

The Muskrat Song

(As sung by Mr. John Mullins in Springfield, Missouri on May 22, 1960)

VERSE 1
Muskrat, muskrat, what makes your tail so slick
Been livin' in th water all my life
It's a wonder I ain't sick, I ain't sick, I ain't sick
I ain't sick, I ain't sick, I ain't sick

VERSE 2
Jaybird, jaybird, what makes you fly so high
Been eatin' this acrons all my life
It's wonder I don't die, I don't die
I don't die, I don't die, I don't die

VERSE 3
Groundhog, groundhog what makes your back so brown
It's a wonder I don't suffocate
Just a livin' in th' ground, in th' ground
In th ground, in th ground

VERSE 4
Tom cat, tom cat, what makes your tail so long
Well, th way thse boys been pullin' my tail
It's a wonder I ain't gone, I ain't gone
I ain't gone, I ain't gone, I ain't gone


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Subject: RE: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: GUEST,Pat Kelly
Date: 02 Jun 06 - 07:08 AM

Thanks, Joe. Some of those lyrics in the other thread sound so close...

Still don't know who sings it, though. It's a man in the version I heard. Unforunately, it isn't John Mullins. That version I *could* find.

Sigh. Thanks again for looking.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: GUEST,Pat Kelly
Date: 02 Jun 06 - 07:27 AM

Okay, I recorded the bit of the song off my "Deadwood" Season 2 DVDs, and made an mp3 out of it. If it makes it any easier to identify the singer or song version (if you have a minute), you can download it here:

http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=837CACB80D83E278

Thanks everyone. :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: Scoville
Date: 02 Jun 06 - 02:48 PM

THere's always the really terrifying Everly Brothers version . . .


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Subject: RE: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jun 06 - 03:01 PM

I keep trying NOT to think of Catpain & Tenille singing "Muskrat Love" - is that the Everly version? If not, can you give us the Everly lyrics?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: Scoville
Date: 02 Jun 06 - 03:47 PM

No, it's the old "Muskrat" in 1950's pop style. Makes me want to both laugh and cry.

I'll post the lyrics when I get home. I don't have the CD with me right now.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MUSKRAT (from Everly Brothers)
From: Scoville
Date: 02 Jun 06 - 03:58 PM

Oh, wait--found it online. Sort of. Everybody has the "jaybird" verse posted as "tapir", which is a pretty hilarious mondegreen, really.

I never said it made sense, anyway.

"MUSKRAT" a la the Everly Brothers

Muskrat, muskrat, what makes your back so slick?
I've been livin' in the water all my life,
It's a wonder I ain't sick,
I ain't sick, I ain't sick, I ain't sick,

Groundhog, groundhog, what makes your back so round?
I've been livin' in the ground all my life,
There's no wonder I ain't drowned, [?]
I ain't drowned, I ain't drowned, I ain't drowned.

Jaybird, jaybird, what makes you fly so high?
I've been eatin' these acorns all my life,
It's a wonder I don't die,
I don't die, I don't die, I don't die.

(instrumental)

Rooster, rooster, what makes your beak so hard?
I've been scratchin' in the barnyard all my life,
It's a wonder I ain't tired,    [said "tahrd", of course]
I ain't tired, I ain't tired, I ain't tired.

Bobcat, bobcat, what makes your tail so long?
I've been prowlin' around all my life,
It's a wonder I ain't gone,
I ain't gone, I ain't gone, I ain't gone.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Looking for a version of 'Muskrat'
From: Ragman
Date: 02 Jun 06 - 06:08 PM

Doc Watson recorded this song several times in the 60s and 70s. He was the first person I heard singing it. I always thought his was the definitive version. There's a great CD called "The Best of Doc Watson" C 1999 Vanguard Records, where he has his son Merle accompanying him. The flatpicking guitar on this album is wonderful!
You can easily find all about his recording and most of his lyrics on the web.


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Subject: RE: help on locating a song: Rattlesnake/Muskrat
From: GUEST,Leftfield LT
Date: 14 Jun 06 - 11:40 PM

The version of rattlesnake you are looking for is by Spider John Koerner and is included on his album StarGeezer...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Muskrat / Groundhog
From: John Minear
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 10:26 AM

Can anyone help decipher the lyrics to Roby Monroe Hicks' version of "Muskrat", found on Volume II of The Warner Collection, entitled: Nothing Seems Better To Me, The Music of Frank Proffitt and North Carolina, track #42? The Warners recorded this in 1941. It's very scratchy and I can't make out very much of what Mr. Hicks is singing.

Muskrat, Muskrat,
Where you been so long?
I've been down....
Diggin' up...corn.

And the second verse may be something about a dog, but I can't make any sense of it. I did not find this song in the book by the Warners.
Thanks for your help and your better ears than mine!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Muskrat / Groundhog
From: John Minear
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 01:11 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Muskrat / Groundhog
From: John Minear
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:31 PM

Refresh,again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Muskrat / Groundhog
From: GUEST,JJJ
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 04:09 AM

The name of the song is "Rattlesnake".

The artist is Spider John Koerner.

The name of the album is Stargeezer.


http://onmuddysavariverbank.blogspot.com/2010/01/john-spider-john-koerner-stargeezer.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: Muskrat / Groundhog
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 12:52 AM

The Travis recording was, I believe, 1947.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rattlesnake / Muskrat / Groundhog / etc.
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 01:57 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoCimxCFa4w


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rattlesnake / Muskrat / Groundhog / etc.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 04:12 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoCimxCFa4w clickificated.

John


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rattlesnake / Muskrat / Groundhog / etc.
From: GUEST,Murray D
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 09:26 PM

Check out The Best of Buufy Ste. Marie album. Her version is also very good. No one has mentioned her yet. I believe hers is titled "Groundhog".


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