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Preacher and the Bear

Public domain



Preacher went out a walking, It was on a Sunday morn

Though it was against his religion, he took his gun along

He bagged himself three mighty fine quail and one little measly hare,

and on his way returning home, he saw a great big Grizzly Bear

The bear came up the middle of the road, right up to that preacher you see

Preacher got so excited he climbed up a Persimmon tree

The bear sat down on the ground, and the preacher climbed out on a limb

He cast his eyes to the Lord in the skies and this he said to him


Chorus:

Oh Lord you delivered Daniel from the lions’ den

You also delivered Joah from the belly of the whale, amen

Three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace

So the good book do declare

Lord if you can’t help me for heaven sakes don’t help that bear


The preacher spent about all night up there in that tree

Said mister bear keep a bothering me I’m gonna put up an awful fight

About that time the branch let go, Preacher came tumbling down

You could see him get his razor out before he hit the ground

He the ground cutting right and left, it was a pretty bad fight

The bear hung onto the preacher, squeezed him a little to tight

The preacher dropped that razor and the bear hug onto him

He cast his eyes to the Lord in the skies and this he said again


Chorus


They fought clean down to the river, it was a pretty bad fight

The bear hung onto the preacher, but the preacher was doing all right

He dunked that bear right down in the river three times in and out

The bear stood up and he limped away, and the preacher began to shout


Ending chorus:

Oh Lord you delivered Daniel from the lions’ den

You also delivered Joah from the belly of the whale amen

And Lord it may not look like much from way up there,

But the hardest thing I ever done was baptize that dog-gone bear





About this song….


When we would visit my mom and dad on weekends, I would often bring my ukulele along.  My dad would always request the song, “The Preacher and the Bear.”

I had never heard the song and couldn’t find it anywhere.  One summer after my dad passed away, we were at the Ann Arbor Art Fair and I was jamming with my friend Rex Benson who calls me “his brother from another mother,” when he asked if I knew the Preacher and the Bear song.   Being from the south, he had learned many of the old folk songs like this one. I about fell off my chair, so to speak, and he taught me the lyrics and the music.


By this time my mother had suffered a stroke and was in a nursing home.  To cheer her up I would often bring my ukulele and play songs for her and she always requested the Persimmon tree song.  She too, has now passed, but to honor them and just because it is such a fun song, I have included it on this CD.  

This one’s for my Mom and Dad!





Don Benson: lead vocals, guitar, ukulele

Jay Round: upright bass, guitar, background vocals

Nelson Wood: pedal steel, dobro

Bill Vits: drums, rhythm bones

Extra special thanks to Rex Benson, My brother from another mother, Love DB