|Traditional African-American song. During slavery in the United States, hunting raccoons & possums was used to supplement the meager diets of enslaved African-Americans. "Possum Up The Gum Stump” (or "Opposum Up The Gum Stump") is a dance song that was composed by one or more anonymous African-Americans during this time. It was spread across the country by blackface minstrels.|
Dat (That) raccoon's in de (the) holler
Twis' (Twist) 'im (him) out and get 'im down
An' I'll gin (give) you half a dollar.
'Possum up the gum stump
Yes, cooney's in de holler'
A pretty girl down my house
Jes (Just) as fat as she can waller.
Possum up de gum stump.
His jaw is black an' dirty.
To come an' kiss you, pretty gal
I'd run lak (like) a goobler tucky (turkey)
Possum up the gum stump
A good man's hard to fin' (find):
You'd better love me, pretty gal
You'll git (get) de yudder (other) kin' (kind).
Note: The words in parenthesis are the standard form of the preceding word.
‘Possum' is a shortened form of the word 'opossum'. “Cooney” is a referent for raccoon. A “gum stump” means the stump of the gum tree. A ‘holler” (“hollow”) means a hole in the ground. “Waller” means “to wobble”. The term “a “goobler” turkey” comes from the “gooble, gobble, gobble” a sound the Americans say that a turkey makes. a "hollow" is not a hole in the ground.. it is a depression in the landscape, a small valley or a basin and usually associated with a stream running through it.