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Lesson 5: Rabbit Where’s your Mammy and “Rabbit Where’s Your Mammy” Bowing Pattern

This rhythm is easier than the last one.  This is also where I introduce what I call “ornaments” which are rhythmic variations that don’t change the fundamental underlying rhythm.  In other words you can play the ornament while someone else is playing the foundational rhythm and they will fit together seamlessly.

In this case I am using what I call “double pushing” or “up-up”. Brad Leftwich calls this the Hornpipe ending (because of it’s frequent use in hornpipes) or the Baby-O ending where an extra syllable is added (baby-o, mammy-o, rabbit-o, etc…) in order for the lyrics to mimic the rhythm.

A note on playing/practicing alone:

I encourage you to find a place where you can play out of earshot of other people.  When we are aware of others listening to us it shifts the dynamic from practicing to performing.  Performing has it’s place but at this stage in the game practicing is more important.  And never forget that we are PLAYING music not WORKING music.

Rabbit Where’s Your Mammy

Rabbit Where’s Your Mammy is a common tune but this version is particularly uncommon.

Rabbit Where’s your mammy, Tell me where’s your mammy

I ain’t got time to tell you, the greyhound’s right behind me

Rabbit Where’s your mammy, Tell me where’s your mammy

I ain’t got time to tell you, I am bound for Alabamey

About the fiddler:

Stanley E Bailey (1914 – 1988) was from Nashville, Georgia (Berrien Co). Unfortunately, there isn’t much biographical information available on Stanley. We know that he built his own cigar-box fiddle at age 9, and that he was the Georgia State Fiddle champion in 1932 and 1934. Several of his tunes were recorded in the field by Ohio fiddler Joe Larose.

stanley bailey
stanley bailey

Brad Leftwich

Here is different and popular version played by Crockett’s Kentucky Mountaineers.