Author Topic: Add: All the little Chickens in the Garden


Posted - 02 Jul 03 - 03:39 pm

All the little Chickens in the Garden

When first I come down Yorkshire, not many years ago,
Why, I met with a little Yorkshire girl and I'll have yez all to know
That she was so blithe, so buxom, so beautiful and gay.
Now listen whilst I tell you what her daddy used to say.

"Treat me daughter decent. Don't do her any harm
And when I die I'll leave you both me tidy little farm,
Me cow, me pigs, me sheep and goat, me stock, me fields and barn
And all the little chickens in the garden."

When first I went to court the girl, she was so awful shy,
Why she never said a blummin' word while other folks stood by.
But as soon as we were on our own she made me name the day,
Now listen while I'll tell you what her daddy used to say.

And so I wed me Yorkshire gil so pleasing to me mind,
I always been proved tru to her and she's proved true in kind.
We've had three bairns, they've growed up now with a grandun' on the way,
And when I look into her eyes I can hear her father say.

Source: Milner D and Kaplan P, 1983, Songs of England, Ireland and Scotland, Oak, New York

Collected from Joe Udall, a Cumbrian shepherd, in 1974 by Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy.

Database entry is here.

Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 02 Jul 03 - 04:23 pm

Roud 2552

Reported a number of times in English tradition, but more documented in the USA. It appears to derive from a song written by James A. Bland, The Farmer's Daughter, or, the Little Chickens in the Garden. Sheet music of 1883 can be seen at  The Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection:

The Farmer's Daughter

Mr Happy

Posted - 03 Jul 03 - 08:35 am

An alternative version:

Gobblers in the garden [chickens in the garden] Kipper Family

Well when first I wed me Norfolk girl, we all went back to Trunch
To drink a toast and cut the cake and have a bite of lunch
Now she and I was eager for to start the honeymoon
But her father made a speech, which went on half the afternoon

He told me: [chorus:]
Treat me daughter decent don?t do her any ill
And when I go I?ll leave you my smallholding in my will
I?ll leave me muck heap and me silage, me slurry and me swill
And all the great big gobblers in the garden
When he finally finished me eyelids felt like lead
So me and my new missus said we thought ?twas time for bed
In the coach I said I thought we?d never get away from him
But when we cuddled up the driver turned round with a grin

And he said: Chorus
He drove us to our lodgings and he said ?Cheerio!?
But I finally made him realise it was him that ought to go
And soon we lay together me wife said go to town
But my ambition withered when a window pane flew down

This voice said: Chorus

She said you?ve really got to laugh but I was proper riled
I was so fed up I couldn?t even raise a smile
I couldn?t see the joke at all, all I saw was red
For every time we kissed he?d call from underneath the bed

And he said: Chorus
Now we?ve been married seven years and we?ve got three young pups
Well twice he went on holiday and once we tied him up
And every hour of the day his promises we?ve heard
Now me and my old twelve bore think that?s time he kept his word

His words are: Chorus

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