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" Catch the old squirrel, eidle-dum — eidle-dum, Catch the old squirrel, eidle-dum-dum-dum, Catch the old squirrel, eidle-dum — eidle-dum, Catch the old squirrel, eidle-dum-dee!
"I'll give you fifty cents, eidle-dum — eidle-dum, I'll give you fifty cents, eidle-dum-dum-dum, I'll give you fifty cents, eidle-dum — eidle-dum, I'll give you fifty cents, eidle-dum-dee!"
Another squirrel game-song in use among the Negroes, and considered by its collector to be of undoubted African origin, perhaps brought over from the Congo, is given in an article, " Carols and Child-lore at the Capitol," by W. H. Babcock in Lippincotfs Magazine, September, 1886. Whether of jungle or plantation origin, it is such as would appeal to the Negro, who so loves the out-of-doors and gives to animals his own intense feelings. Mr. Babcock says that two players stand face to face, to represent trees, while a third, taking the part of a squirrel, peeps round the trunk of one tree, at another squirrel not visible, but apparently off-stage. The chorus goes "pat and sing":
Peep, Squirrel, peep, Peep at your brother.
Why should n't one fool Peep at another?
The fox, in the person of another player, comes up, at which the song changes to a warning:
Jump, Squirrel, jump!
Jump, Squirrel, jump! Jump, or the fox will catch you;
Jump, jump, jump!
When the squirrel sees the fox, he leaps round the tree and trots toward the other squirrel off-stage. As the fox follows him, the song becomes:
Trot, Squirrel, trot!
Trot, Squirrel, trot! Trot, or the fox will catch you; Trot, trot, trot!
The squirrel trots faster, the excitement of beating time*and singing increases, and the chorus becomes more animated: