“You son of a gun, shake them ‘simmons down”

10 Aug

I’ve had a few discussions this summer about the ‘simmons in “Shake Those ‘Simmons Down.” I remember being surprised when I learned years ago that ‘simmons are actually persimmons, and some of my MT families are just as wowed. I found a great article on persimmons at EdibleAustin.com, from which learned: (1) ‘simmons are actually large berries;  and (2) “shake those ‘simmons” is a lyric from an old American folk song: “Possum up in a ’simmon tree, raccoon on the ground / Raccoon said, ‘you son of a gun, shake them ’simmons down’!” Here’s a YouTube video of folk singer/storyteller Lew Dite singing that folk song, “Boil Them Cabbage Down” (or, “Bile ‘Em Cabbage Down”) — with on-screen lyrics (so you can see the ‘simmons reference for yourself).

Note: There’s another clip down below, too, of another take on the song.

And, just for fun, here’s another video clip of Andy Griffith and some folks from Mayberry singing the song on “The Andy Griffith Show.” Wouldn’t it be great if cop shows now had jug bands singing in the middle of the police department? It’s a far cry from CSI…


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2 Responses to ““You son of a gun, shake them ‘simmons down””

  1. Trish August 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    The first video also has a verse that seems to be adapted in another Music Together song, “All Around the Kitchen.” In the video, the words are shown as “peanut on the railroad track his heart was all a flutter/Around the curve come a passenger train/Toot! Toot! Peanut butter.” Those two songs are a couple of our household favorites 🙂

    • annesailer September 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

      I didn’t catch that — how great!

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