Mister Rabbit

TITLE: Mister Rabbit
AUTHOR: unknown
CATEGORY: traditional, public domain
KEYWORDS: animal, questions, dialog
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (Scarborough)

Mister RabbitIn slavery, African-Americans developed a whole cycle of animal tales whose heroes symbolized for him his problems as a slave. The principal figure in these tales was “Br’er Rabbit” born and bred in a briar-patch, who could always out-smart “Br’er Fox,” his white master—out-think or, at least, out-run him. Many of the secular dance songs of the slaves concerned “Old Mr. Rabbit, whose ears was mighty long.” (Alan Lomax: Selected Writings, 1934-1997) 

Ruth Crawford Seeger worked on transcribing many American folk songs. “Mister Rabbit” made an appearance in her book “American Folk Songs for Children.”

OTHER TITLES AND VARIATIONS:

  • Mistah Rabbit

RECORDINGS:

YOUTUBE VIDEO:

YOUTUBE AUDIO: download
LYRIC & CHORD PRO CHART: download
PPT LYRICS FOR THE CLASSROOM: download
BONUS YOUTUBE VIDEO: marieke slovin

Mr. Rabbit

Mr. Rabbit, Mr. Rabbit, your tail is mighty white.
Yes, my lord, I’ve been gettin out of sight,
Every little soul’s gonna shine, shine,
Every little soul’s gonna shine, shine.

Mr. Rabbit, Mr. Rabbit, your coat is mighty gray.
Yes, my lord, it was made that way
Every little soul’s gonna shine, shine,
Every little soul’s gonna shine, shine.

Mr. Rabbit, Mr. Rabbit, your ears are mighty long.
Yes, my lord, they were put on wrong,
Every little soul’s gonna shine, shine,
Every little soul’s gonna shine, shine.

Mr. Rabbit, Mr. Rabbit, your ears are mighty thin.
Yes, my lord, they’re a-splittin’ in the wind,
Every little soul’s gonna shine, shine,
Every little soul’s gonna shine, shine.

Mr Rabbit, Mr. Rabbit, I’ll bid you good day.
Yes, my lord, and I’ll be on my way,
Every little soul’s gonna shine, shine,
Every little soul’s gonna shine, shine.

SOURCES:

  • Folk Song Index: A Comprehensive Guide to the Florence E. Brunnings Collection, Florence E. Brunnings, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London 1981—Amazon Books

NOTICE: I’m not the best guitar player or vocalist, but no one loves these songs more than I do. The tune and lyrics are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. The recording © copyright 2013 by Stephen Griffith and may be used by permission of the copyright holder. The variation of the song I’m posting is the version I perform and is not exactly replicating the sources cited, but is always in the same song family. If anyone has more details about this song, or believes I’ve stated something in error, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions to improve the site. Thanks. sgg

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