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Crow Black Chicken
Composer: Traditional

Crow Black Chicken was played by the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers in San Carlos on June 11th 1962. The Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers were a trio formed by Jerry Garcia, Marshall Leicester and Dick Arnold in May 1962.

The Leake County Ramblers version appears to be the earliest known reference to this song. The New Lost City Ramblers acknowledge the Leake County Ramblers as their source for the song.

On the Ry Cooder album the song is credited to Lawrence Wilson. All other recordings are listed as traditional. Some recordings use the title I Like Chicken Pie.

Some of the lines of the song are parts of 'floating verses' that are used in a number of different songs.



Recordings

no info Single (Been To The East, Been To The West / Crow Black Chicken), Leake County Ramblers, 1928 (Columbia 15318)
info Sing Songs Of The New Lost City Ramblers, Tom Paley, John Cohen, Mike Seeger, 1961
info The New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 4, The New Lost City Ramblers, 1962
info Old Timey Music, The New Lost City Ramblers, 1964
no info Boomer's Story, Ry Cooder, 1972
no info New River Jam, Skyland Strings, 197?
no info Barnyard Dance, Peter Feldmann, 1980
no info Settlin' Up The Score, Michael Greene and Bob Guida, 1985
info New Lost City Ramblers: The Early Years: 1958-1962, The New Lost City Ramblers, 1991
no info Delusions Of Banjer, Bad Livers, 1992
no info Rural Route 2, Bob Bovee and Gail Heil, 1996
no info One Shoe Left, Ben Winship, 1997
info Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1: 1927-1928, The Leake Country Revelers, 1998
no info Good Fellow, Peter Feldmann, 1998
no info Zydeco Dependents, Zydeco Dependents, 2000
no info Country in This Country, Vol. 2, Various Artists (Beans, Bacon & Gravy), 2002
no info Live at Brewbakers, John Keith, 2003
no info On the Air, The Shivers, 2003
no info Fresh from the Market, Hoosier Hotcakes (Mitch & Eileen Rice), 2004
no info Cluck Old Hen: Celebrating 150 Years Of The Rhode Island Red, Bob Webb, Craig Edwards & Helen Richmond Webb, 2004
no info Old Bell Cow, The New Southern Cowtippers, 2005
no info Brand New Mind, The Loose Acoustic Trio, 2005
no info An Old-Time Portland Potluck, Various Artists (Flat Mountain Girls), 2005
no info One Foot in the Gravy, The Hillbillly Gypsies, 2006
no info Live at Thirteen, The Tequila Mockingbirds, 2006
no info Traditional American Music, Harmon's Peak, 2007
info 50 Years: Where Do You Come from, Where Do You Go?, The New Lost City Ramblers, 2009

Lyrics

The lyrics used in the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers version are as follows;

I went up on the mountain to give my horn a blow,
I thought I heard my true love say 'Yonder goes my beau.'

(Chorus)
Crow black chicken and crow for day,
Crow black chicken and fly away,
Crow black chicken and crow for day,
I love chicken pie.

Chicken crow for midnight, chicken crow for day,
Along comes an owl, ooh-haa! Knocked that chicken away.

Chorus...

Chicken crow for midnight, chicken crow for day,
Along comes a Ford, ooh-haa! Knocked that chicken away.

Chorus...

The hardest work I ever done was plough a field of rye,
The easiest work I ever done was eating chicken pie.

Chorus...

Oh wish I had a big frame house, fifteen stories high,
Every story in that house was filled with chicken pie.

Chorus...

 
  album cover

album cover

album cover