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Mar 21, 2023 - 7:51:42 AM

WWHub

USA

3 posts since 4/28/2018

I am looking for some examples of people playing "The Preacher and the Bear".
My sister and I in the 50's, would crank up our phonograph and play Phil Harris singing that and laugh like crazy. I just fiddle around playing by ear. Thanks

Mar 21, 2023 - 9:21:23 AM
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Players Union Member

carlb

USA

2648 posts since 2/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by WWHub

I am looking for some examples of people playing "The Preacher and the Bear".
My sister and I in the 50's, would crank up our phonograph and play Phil Harris singing that and laugh like crazy. I just fiddle around playing by ear. Thanks


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mNP9f84Zk8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFD34aUpeyM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwhN-KecAHg

From the Digital Tradition (2 versions)

The Preacher and the Bear

A Preacher went out huntin, t'was on one Sunday morn
He knew its against his religion, but he took his gun along
He shot himself three mighty fine quail
      and one little measly hare
And on his way returning home,
      he saw a great big Grizzly Bear

Now the bear marched out in the middle of the road
      and waltzed to the Preacher you see
The Preacher got so excited, he climbed up a 'simmon tree
The bear sat down upon the ground,
      the Preacher climbed out on a limb
Well he cast his eyes to the Lord in the skies,
      and these words he said to Him

   Oh Lordy, didn't you deliver Daniel from the lion's den
   Also, deliver Jonah, from the belly of a whale and then
   Three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace
      so the Good Book do declare
   Now Oh Lord, if you can't help me,
      well then please don't-cha help that bear

Now the Preacher was up in that tree,
      I think it was all night
He said Mr Bear if you bother me,
      I'll give you an awful fight
Just about that time the limb let go
      and the Preacher came tumblin' down
You could see him getting his razor out
      before he hit the ground

He hit the ground cuttin' right and left,
      he put up a very game fight
Just then the bear grabbed the Preacher,
      and he squeezed him a little too tight
The Preacher dropped his razor, the bear held on with a vim
Well he cast his eyes to the Lord in the skies
      and these words he said to Him

They fought all the way to the river,
      it was a terrible fight
That bear just kept a-hanging on,
      but the Preacher was a-doing all right
He dragged that beast right down in the water
      it was three times in and out
Then the bear got up and he limped away
      and the Preacher began to shout

Oh, Lordy, didn't you deliver Daniel from the lion's den
Also, deliver Jonah, from the belly of a whale, Amen,
And oh Lord, it may not seem like much from way up there,
But the hardest thing I ever done was baptize that (bleep bleep) bear.


Background:
Composed or copyrighted in 1903 by George W. Fairman.  1905 Victor
recording by Arthur Collins was very popular, as was a Sousa's Band
version in 1906.  Riley Puckett's 1925 Columbia recording was followed
by versions by John McGhee (1927), Honeyboy and Sassafrass (1930), the
Prairie Ramblers (1936) and Puckett again in 1939.  The famous Golden
Gate Quartet made an acapella version for RCA at their first session in
1937.  Jerry Reed had a charted hit with "The Preacher And The Bear" in
1970 as a single (RCA 9904) that stayed on the charts for 11 weeks,
reaching No. 16.  The recording by John McGhee has been reissued on
an LP, Old Homestead OHCS-141 "West Virginia Hills" (Old Homestead
Records, Box 100, Brighton, MI 48116).  The second version is by Hylo
Brown, found on Rural Rhythm 176, "Folk Songs Of Rural America"  (Uncle
Jim's, Box A, Arcadia, CA 91066).  Max Wiseman had a version and Yvonne
Reuge who sang it at the 1970 Tenio Old Time Music Festival. DP
     Phil Harris did it, too. RG

The Preacher and the Bear (2)
Joe Arizona

[Bb] Now a preacher went out walkin'
Was [Eb] on one Sunday [Bb] morn'
It was against his religion
But he [C] took his gun a-[F] long
He [Bb] shot himself some mighty fine quail
And [Eb] one little "measly" [Bb] hare
But [Eb] on his way [Bb] returnin' home
He met a [F] great big grizzly [Bb] bear;

NARRATION: Well, the bear got down in the middle of the road
On all fours like a great big toad
And looked that preacher right square in the eye
And the preacher looked at him and said: "Bye-bye."
Started down the road and took out to run
The bear right after that preacher did come
Run and they run for about a mile
Then they both sat down and rested awhile
The preacher got up - started again
The bear he started out with more vim
They ran and they ran til he spotted a tree
Said: "Up on the limb is the place for me."
The bear got close - made a grab for him
Preacher leaps up and he made the limb
Pulled himself up and turns about
Cast his eyes to the skies and he did shout;

 

Refrain: "[Bb] Oh, Lawd, you delivered [Eb] Daniel from the lion's [Bb] den
Also delivered Jonah from the [C] belly of the whale and [F] then
The [Bb] Hebrew children from the fiery furnace
So the [Eb] good book do [Bb] declare
Yes! [Eb] Lord, if you can't [Bb] help me,
For goodness [F] sake don't help that [Bb] bear."

 

NARRATION: Just about then the limb let go
And the preacher came tumblin' down
Reached in his pocket, pulled his razor out
Just before he hit the ground
He hit the ground with an awful bang
It was a terrible sight
The preacher and the bear, with a razor in his hair
Just a-cuttin' left and right
Well, they rolled around on the ground
The preacher was up and then he was down
The bear let out an awful moan
It looked like the preacher was holdin' his own
"Lord, if I get out of here alive
That Good Book I will abide
I'll never sin on Sabbath day
And Sunday come, I'll pray and pray."
To the heavens, he did glance
Said; "Lord, just gimme one more chance."
Then his suspenders gave away
And he knocked that bear ten feet away
Then the preacher got up and made a bound
To the tree where he'd be safe and sound
Pulled himself up and turned about
Cast his eyes to the skies and he did shout:


Refrain:

from a 1968 recording by Phil Harris.

Mar 21, 2023 - 11:14:23 AM

WWHub

USA

3 posts since 4/28/2018

Thank you but I have looked at all of the U-Tube stuff already and I know the words. I also see the chord progression,

I am looking for it played on the fiddle by itself.

Mar 21, 2023 - 6:32:43 PM
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fiddledawg

Canada

50 posts since 8/1/2008

Have you seen this one?

youtu.be/okyZOVLFp-w

Mar 22, 2023 - 11:10:08 AM

WWHub

USA

3 posts since 4/28/2018

Nice song but it is not the same tune as carlb listed.

Mar 22, 2023 - 11:36:15 AM

DougD

USA

11895 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

It is the same tune, its just "morphed" quite a bit along the way.
Its easy enough to find the original sheet music for this song, as originally published in the early 1900's. But you say you play by ear - have you ever tried just playing along with a singer? Phil Harris, for example, if that's the recording you liked. I would think that would be about the same thing, since its not really a fiddle tune to begin with.

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