“Bile Them Cabbage Down”


Chorus: "Boil them cabbage down, Bake that hoecake brown, Only tune that I can play is Boil them cabbage down." Fiddle tune, with floating verses from anywhere, e.g. "Raccoon has a bushy tail, Possum's tail is bare" or "Raccoon up a 'simmon tree"

Cross references


  • Fiddlin' John Carson, "Boil Dem Cabbage Down" (OKeh 40306, 1925; rec. 1924)
  • Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (Crown 3101, 1931; on KMM) (Varsity 5046, n.d.)
  • Dixie Crackers, "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (Paramount 3151, 1929)
  • Earl Johnson & his Dixie Entertainers, "Boil Dem Cabbage Down" (OKeh 45112, 1927)
  • Uncle Dave Macon, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (Vocalion 14849, 1924; Vocalion 5042, c. 1926)
  • Clayton McMichen's Wildcats, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (Decca 5436, 1937)
  • Riley Puckett, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (Columbia 254-D, 1924; Harmony 5127-H, n.d.)
  • Ernest V. Stoneman, "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (on Stonemans01), "Bile 'em Cabbage Down" (on Autoharp01)
  • Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (Columbia 15249-D, 1928; rec. 1927)
  • Jack Youngblood, "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" (Columbia 21103, 1953)


  1. Lomax-FSNA 269, "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 710, "Bile dem Cabbage Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. BrownIII 432, "Boil Them Cabbage Down" (1 fragment); also perhaps 155, "Jaybird Up a Simmon Tree" (1 text plus mention of 1 more; both are singles stanzas, "Jaybird up a 'simmon tree, sparrow(s) on the ground," which float; I list them here because this seems the most popular of the songs with the stanza, though they might instead be "Possum Up a Gum Stump" or something else)
  4. Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 124-125, "Bile dem Cabbage Down" (1 text, with some unusual variants in the chorus); p. 168, "Boil Dem Cabbage Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Silber-FSWB, p. 40, "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (1 text)
  6. Roud #4211
  7. BI, LoF269


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1924 (recordings, Uncle Dave Macon, Fiddlin' John Carson)
Found in: US(SE)