Music > Songs

Bile Them Cabbage Down

<a href="">Bile Them Cabbage Down by Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band</a>

About Bile Them Cabbage Down

“Bile” is a phonetic writing of the word “boil.” A hoecake is a thin, flat cake made from cornmeal, originally baked on a hoe. According to some, this tune can be traced to an English country dance called Smiling Polly, first printed in 1765. As it has been played and sung throughout the South, the song integrates African and European musical elements: banjo and fiddle – slave, minstrel and mountaineer.

Lyrics to Bile Them Cabbage Down

Bile Them Cabbage Down


Bile them cabbage down, down
Bake that hoecake brown
The only song that I can sing is Bile Them Cabbage Down


Raccoon has a bushy tail
Possum’s tail is bare
Rabbit’s got no tail at all
But a little bunch of hair


Raccoon and the possum
Racin’ cross the prairie
Raccoon ax the possum
Did she want to marry?


Possum is a cunnin’ thing
He travels in the dark
And never thinks to curl his tail
‘Till he hears old Rover bark


Possum up a ‘simmon tree
Raccoon on the ground
Raccoon say to the possum
‘Won’t you shake them ‘simmons down?’


Jaybird died with the whoopin’ cough
Sparrow died with the colic
Along come the frog with a fiddle on his back
Inquirin’ his way to the frolic


Download Bile Them Cabbage Down

Video of Bile Them Cabbage Down

(none presently available at this site)

Compact Disc with Bile Them Cabbage Down

This song is available on the compact disc:
Ballad of America Volume 2: America Singing
Bile Them Cabbage Down is on the album Ballad of America  Volume 2: America Singing

Rainbow Resoure Center
Copyright © 2012 by Ballad of America, All rights reserved.