“Uncle Eph”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1931 (recording, Dunham Jazz Singers)
Keywords: animal hunting nonballad floatingverses humorous talltale
Found in: US(SE)


About Uncle Eef/Eph/Ephraem's exploits, usually in hunting raccoons. May include recitations. Chorus: "Uncle Eph's got the coon and gone on And left us looking up a tree."


Presumably the same as Bob Allen's 1878 song "Old Uncle Eph," but I haven't seen the latter to prove it.

It is interesting to note that at least two versions of this song -- Brown's #511 and the Hedy West text recorded in the Digital Tradition -- combine this with the chorus, "Where you going, Moses? None of your business.Come here, Moses. I ain't gonna do it." - RBW

Cross references



  1. BrownIII 433, "Broder Eton Got de Coon" (1 text); also 511, "The Preacher Song" (1 text, a complex mix of verses from "Turkey in the Stray" and "Some Folks Say that a Preacher Won't Steal" with the "Uncle Eph" chorus)
  2. Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 101-102, "Brother Ephrum Got de Coon and Gone On" (1 text, 1 tune, with even more floating material than usual, e.g. from "Don't Get Weary Children (Massa Had a Yellow Gal)")
  3. DT, (BRORPHUS -- on the face of it, a combination of this with a song about Moses)
  4. Roud #11775
  5. BI, RcUncEph