“Possum Up a Gum Stump”


"Possum up a gum stump, Cooney in a holler, Little gal at our house, Fat as she can waller." The first two lines are characteristic (though the animals can vary); the last two lines can seemingly be anything.


Lomax reports this as a "patting chant" -- sung to the accompaniment of hands clapping or slapping against the thighs. - RBW

Cross references


  • Hiter Colvin, "Rabbit Up the Gum Stump" (Victor V-40239, 1930/Montgomery Ward 8148, 1939)
  • Henry Truvillion, "Come On, Boys, and Let's Go to Huntin'" (AFS 3983 B2; on LC8)


  1. BrownIII 415, "Lynchburg Town" (3 texts plus 2 fragments, 2 excerpts, and mention of 2 more, all with the "Lynchburg Town" chorus, but "A" and "B" have verses from "Raccoon" and "Possum Up a Gum Stump and "D" and "E" are partly "If I Had a Scolding Wife" ("Lucy Long (I)"); only "C" seems to be truly "Lynchburg Town")
  2. Randolph 280, "Possum Up a Gum Stump" (1 short text, 1 tune)
  3. BrownIII 161, "Possum Up a Simmon Tree" (6 texts, all of a single stanza; some are probably not this piece, but they're too short to classify)
  4. Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 177, (no title) (1 fragment)
  5. Lomax-ABFS, p. 238, "Little Gal at Our House" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Roud #7782
  7. BI, R280


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1925 (Scarborough)
Keywords: nonballad animal
Found in: US(So)