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Quiz about Anatomy of a Song Swamp Witch
Quiz about Anatomy of a Song Swamp Witch

Anatomy of a Song: "Swamp Witch" Quiz


Just how much do you know about Jim Stafford's classic "Swamp Witch"? Pit yourself against fifteen questions about the song and/or associated facts. Song #35 in the 'Anatomy' series.

A multiple-choice quiz by FussBudget. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
FussBudget
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
304,149
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
12 / 15
Plays
435
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 15
1. Where did Hattie live? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. How does the singer describe the wildlife that surrounds Hattie's shack? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. The "Snakes hang thick from the cypress trees". What descriptive line follows this? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. "Way up the road from Hattie's shack
Lies a sleepy little Okeechobee town"

Based on this information, in which U.S. state can we assume the song is based?
Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. Which two words end every verse in the song, except for the last? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. What happened when "the rain stayed on and the swamp water overflowed"? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. Some townsfolk suspected Hattie of causing the disaster. What punishment was discussed? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. The title of which Doobie Brothers song is inadvertently mentioned in the lyrics?

Answer: (Two Words)
Question 9 of 15
9. According to the lyrics (specifically), at what time of the morning did "shadows fill the sky"? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. Where in the town did "a big black round vat full of gurgling brew" appear? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. Stafford sings: "There ain't much pride when you're trapped inside a slowly sink'n ship...". What word follows in the lyrics that rhymes with ship? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. Which of the following colours is NOT mentioned in the song? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. A party of how many men "headed for Hattie's shack"? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. Did the men bring Hattie back?


Question 15 of 15
15. What type of communication does Hattie leave at the end of the song? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Where did Hattie live?

Answer: In the swamp

The song begins: "Black water Hattie lived back in the swamp"

I think this is a great start to a great song. Stafford's lyrics set the scene from the very first line.
2. How does the singer describe the wildlife that surrounds Hattie's shack?

Answer: "Alive with a thousand eyes"

"Where the swamp is alive with a thousand eyes
And all of them watching you"

Brrr! Spooky! I'm a city boy, I'm sure not going there anytime soon.
3. The "Snakes hang thick from the cypress trees". What descriptive line follows this?

Answer: "Like sausage on a smokehouse wall"

"Snakes hang thick from the cypress trees
Like sausage on a smokehouse wall"

Remind me to stay clear of cypress trees! One snake is one too many for my liking.
4. "Way up the road from Hattie's shack Lies a sleepy little Okeechobee town" Based on this information, in which U.S. state can we assume the song is based?

Answer: Florida

Okeechobee County is located in Florida. It was named after Lake Okeechobee, which is drawn from the Hitchiti words of oka (water) and chobi (big).
5. Which two words end every verse in the song, except for the last?

Answer: Black bayou

In order, from the first to the fifth verse inclusive:

"Stay off the track to Hattie's Shack in the back of the Black Bayou"

"In the back of the Black Bayou"

"From the bowels of the Black bayou"

"It came from the Black Bayou"

and

"We'll fetch her from the Black Bayou"
6. What happened when "the rain stayed on and the swamp water overflowed"?

Answer: There was a plague

"One day brought the rain and the rain stayed on
And the swamp water overflowed
Mosquitoes and the fever grabbed the town like a fist
Doctor Jackson was the first to go
Some said the plague was brought by Hattie"

As you can see, Doctor Jackson checked out, but he never did leave. Reminds me of an Eagles song!
7. Some townsfolk suspected Hattie of causing the disaster. What punishment was discussed?

Answer: Hanging

"Some said the plague was brought by Hattie
There was talk of a hangin' too
But the talk got shackled by the howls and the cackles
From the bowels of the Black bayou"

I just love the assonance that Jim Stafford worked into the last two lines, the way he alternated time and again between the 'ack' sounds (shackled, cackles, black) and the 'ow' sounds (howls, bowels). It's like a rollercoaster ride when he sings those lines!
8. The title of which Doobie Brothers song is inadvertently mentioned in the lyrics?

Answer: Black Water

It's the first two words of the song, in fact!

"Black water Hattie lived back in the swamp
Where the strange green reptiles crawl"
9. According to the lyrics (specifically), at what time of the morning did "shadows fill the sky"?

Answer: Between dark and dawn

"Early one morn 'tween dark and dawn when shadows filled the sky"

As with many other lines in this song, Stafford provides a level of detail that makes you feel as if you could actually be there.
10. Where in the town did "a big black round vat full of gurgling brew" appear?

Answer: In the square

"Early one morn 'tween dark and dawn when shadows filled the sky
There came an unseen caller on a town where hope run dry
In the square there was found a big black round
Vat full of gurgling brew"

Oooh! I wonder if it was Hattie by any chance?
11. Stafford sings: "There ain't much pride when you're trapped inside a slowly sink'n ship...". What word follows in the lyrics that rhymes with ship?

Answer: Sip

"There ain't much pride when you're trapped inside
A slowly sink'n ship
Scooped up the liquid deep and green
And the whole town took a sip"

Yummy! Deep green unknown liquid left by an anonymous caller, suspected to be the witch that everyone is afraid of! Yep, sounds like a good idea to quaff some down. But as Stafford chillingly points out, they had nothing left to lose.
12. Which of the following colours is NOT mentioned in the song?

Answer: Red

My High School Art teacher will kill me for saying black is a colour ("Black and white are shades..."), but hey! I don't have to answer to her anymore!

No red anywhere in the song, but here are the rest:

"Where the strange green reptiles crawl"

"Black Bayou" (five separate references)

"A big black round vat full of gurgling brew"

"Scooped up the liquid deep and green"

and

"The skies again were blue"
13. A party of how many men "headed for Hattie's shack"?

Answer: Ten

"Let's thank old Hattie for sav'n our town
We'll fetch her from the Black Bayou"

Uh oh! This doesn't sound like a very good idea to me.

"Party of ten of the town's best men headed for Hattie's Shack
Said Swamp Witch magic was useful and good
And they're gonna bring Hattie back"

Hypocrites! It was only two and a half verses ago they wanted blood! I see living down the bayou doesn't save an individual from blowing in the wind any less than the next person.
14. Did the men bring Hattie back?

Answer: No

"Never found Hattie and they never found the shack
And they never made a trip back in"

Ye reap what ye sow! I have always like these lines, because it is left unclear to the listener exactly what happened on their trip in. Did they experience some of Hattie's black magic? Were they freaked out by ravenous gators, or strange green reptiles?

We never know, and that's part of the fun. Unless you are (were) one of the ten of the town's best men. Whatever happened, they "never made a trip back in..."!
15. What type of communication does Hattie leave at the end of the song?

Answer: A parchment note

"'Twas a parchment note they found tacked to a stump
Said don't come lookin' again"

Idiots. That's the thanks she got. Good for Hattie.

Stafford ends the tale with a great chilling line, full of menace.
Source: Author FussBudget

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Dalgleish before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
Related Quizzes
This quiz is part of series Anatomy of a Song - Part 7:

This is part 7 of a collection of all of my "Anatomy of a Song" quizzes. They were the originals, much imitated since. I guess I should take that as a compliment!

  1. Anatomy of a Song: "The Beat Goes On" Average
  2. Anatomy of a Song: "The Weight" Average
  3. Anatomy of a Song: "Swamp Witch" Average
  4. Anatomy of a Song: "Sky Pilot" Average
  5. Anatomy of a Song: "Hurricane" Average
  6. Anatomy of a Song: "Signs" Easier

Referenced Topics
Music   Vocabulary   Rhymes   Florida   Snake   Blue   The Color Black   Green   Blues   Lakes   Trees   Teachers   White  

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