The Jubalaires - "The Preacher And The Bear"

Feb
14

SyberkaPL | December 02, 2008
Great quartet in high quality.

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The Preacher & The Bear is a folk song that was written in 1904 by George Fairman [1881-1962] in 1904. It seems he was a bit short of funds, so he sold the rights to the publisher, Arthur Longbrake, who then published it under the pseudonym of Joe Arzonia. This song has been recorded by a number of singers. Rufus Thomas is among those who recorded this song.

Here's the chorus to "The Preacher & The Bear": as sung by The Jubalaires ( I've not heard or read of this chorus being used with other renditions of this song)

Well, give me that old time religion, brother.
That old time religion, brother
Why don't you give me that old time religion, brother.
It's good enough for me.
My Lord, that old time religion, brother
That old time religion, brother.
Why don't you give me that old time religion, brother.
It's good enough for me.

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"Old" is pronounced almost like "oldah"

These words are from an old African American Gospel song whose title is "Give Me That Old Time Religion".

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It's important to note that the words to this song have been changed. Originally, the lyrics referred to the preacher as a "coon", which is a a pejorative referemt for Black people.

1 comment

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Selected viewer comments from http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments=1&v=XNzKZ7lJRUc

Posted in 2009:

doktorsung - Best one i've heard, thx!

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dropper3 - My Dad is doing the lead, Caleb N. Ginyard 111.

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Posted in 2010:

qbea5 - I stumbled upon this and I *love* it!!! It is such a charming song, and very smoothly, and gleefully performed. How wonderful to have this talent in your family 'dropper!3'! It was very cool to see Abe Lincoln's photo in the background...

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cribpointcritter - How good is this? Brilliant.

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onwebcameron- As well as an early 'rap' style, this may well be one of the first music videos that is not just a recording of the performance, (in that it is acted in an appropriately themed setting), unless it is a clip from a larger musical film.

A brilliant performance and a song worth liberating from its racist roots, (earlier versions have 'the coon' where 'the Rev' is heard here, and overdo the 'Oh Lord!' bit).

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jseelig4330- Can anyone tell me what they are saying in the refrains? I've sung a version of this wonderful song as a barbershop chorus, but I don't recall the words that they are singing here.

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Azizip17 - @jseelig4330 The Jubalaires' version of The Preacher & The Bear is very similar to several versions of this song's lyrics found online. Google The Preacher and the Bear Mudcat for a number of versions. However, The Jubalaire's version differs from the others I've found because of their addition of the chorus of "Give Me That Ole Time Religion". YT has videos of Mahalia Jackson singing that song & the Caravans among others. I'll post the chorus that the Jubalaires sang in my next comment.

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Azizip17 -Here's the chorus to the Jubalaire's version of "The Preacher & The Bear": Well, give me that old time religion, brother. That old time religion, brother. Why don't you give me that old time religion, brother. It's good enough for me. My Lord, that old time religion, brother That old time religion, brother. Why don't you give me that old time religion, brother. It's good enough for me. -snip- "Old" is pronounced almost like "oldah".

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Azizip17 - For the record (no pun intended), it should be noted that the original version of The Preacher And The Bear is considered a coon song (meaning it's racist). Although the first reference is to a preacher, in later lines the preacher is referred to as "the coon", coon being a Southern referent for a Black person. The preacher having a razor in his pocket is another indication that this was originally a song that negatively stereotyped Black people. Google Mudcat & this title for more information.

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[Here's the link to that Mudcat discussion
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=941
Lyric Req - The Preacher And The Bear

[Req is an abbreviation for "Request"]

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