Mudcat Café message #3832901 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #88608   Message #3832901
Posted By: Joe Offer
16-Jan-17 - 03:35 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Norah / Noah / Let Your Hammer Ring
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Norah / Let Your Hammer Ring
Thread #97895   Message #1931935
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
09-Jan-07 - 09:39 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Mistah Rabbit Patting rhyme
Subject: Lyr Add: WHO BUILT THE ARK?

Some folklorists consider the Brudder Rabbit-Mistah Rabbutt rhymes and games as successors to the Brer Rabbit stories and rhymes of the 19th c. African-Americans, but there seems to be a fair amount of overlap; more Brer Rabbit stories have been collected in the years since Joel Chandler Harris made his important collections in central Georgia. Have patting games always been a part of it along with the stories?
The following patting game rhyme is of the type which may be expanded by adding more questions and answers.


Uh! whoo built de ahk?
Brudder Norah, Norah.
Uh! who built de ahk?
Brudder Norah built de ahk.

"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe head so ball?"
"Glory be toe Gaud,
Iah bin er buttin' thoo de wall."
Cho. En, uh! whoo etc.
"Say Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe eyes so big?"
"Glory be toe Gaud,
I bin er wearin' fals' wig."
Cho. Sez, uh! whoo etc.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe nose so flat?"
"Er Glory be toe Gaud,
I'se bin cot in er trap."
Cho. En, etc.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe teeth so sharp?"
"Er Glory be toe Gaud,
I've bin cuttin' caun top."
Cho. Sez, etc.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe sides so thin?"
"Er Glory be toe Gaud,
Deze bin er skeetin' thoo de win'."
Cho. En, etc.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe legs so long?"
"Glory be toe Gaud,
Deze bin hung hon 'rong."
Cho. Sez, etc.
Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe nails so long?"
"Glory be toe Gaud,
Deze bin diggin' hup caun."
Cho. En, etc.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W't makes you cote so brown?"
"Glory be toe Gaud,
Hits humble toe de groun'."
Cho. Sez, etc.
"Say, Mistah Rabbutt,
W'at makes yoe tail so w'ite?"
Glory be toe Gaud,
I keeries hit outer site."
Cho. En, etc.

"The air is accompanied with patting and shuffling of the hands and feet and a swaying motion of the body of those "wrapping him or her up" (as they term it) that can best be compared with the swaying motion of the head of a caged bear. Every few moments one of the *"wrappers" will jump upwards of a foot, and cry "Ah, Lawd!" or "Wrap hit hup, wrap hit hup!" or "Cum toe hit, boys! cum toe hit!" And they will keep this up until you wonder that both the "wrappers" and the dancers do not collapse from exhaustion."
*any connection to present-day term 'rappers'?
The rhyme "known by Virginia, Washington (D. C.) and Maryland Negroes.

From "Negro Songs and Folk-Lore," Mary Walker Finley Speers, Jour. American Folk-Lore, 1910, vol. 23, no. 90, pp. 435-436.