MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Blue Hen
Raymond Noseworthy NFLD 1 Tape 14 Track 1
Pouch Cove Audio:
Ballad / comic

Good people attention to what I will mention,
Of the little blue hen that I bought in the fall
Some villain he stole her to sharpen his molar
A low dirty scoundrel with plenty of gall

This hen I did pride her though ofttimes she admired her
The universe round I would roam for her then
Till some wicked savage to grace his white cabbage
Walked off with my darling beautiful hen

May his eyeballs turn red may the quilt in his bed
Oh prod him till he's dead and tormented and then
May two girls from the Nor'ard stick pins in his forehead
The villain that lifted my little blue hen

This hen she had dozens of nephews and cousins
The universe round I would roam for her sake
Till some wicked savage to grace his white cabbage
Walked off with my darling beautiful hen

He left me sad-hearted since meself and him parted
And worn to a shadow and thin as a wren
Till some sneaking […] coppers to […]
Marched off with my darling beautiful hen


Notes

Sources: Same theme as "The Bonny Brown Hen," Henry 88; Roud 9053.

History: This appears in Gerald S. Doyle's "Old Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland," where it is called "Betsy Brennan's Blue Hen" (4th ed., p. 76 and 5th ed., p. 58). Doyle gives Johnny Burke as the composer.

Text notes: The prize hen has been stolen.

Tune notes: In 6/8 metre, this tune has two 4-measure phrases in the pattern ab. The scale is mixolydian, but there is a strong emphasis on the seventh degree and the third only appears in the second last measure.

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