Old Cow Died, The (Little Girl)
DESCRIPTION: Game song, solo question, group answer: "Annie/Little girl, little girl,' 'Yes, ma'am," "Did you go over the river?" "The old cow died, sail around." "Did you give her hot water? Yes, ma'am." "Did you send for the doctor?" "Did she die of the cholera?"
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (Scarborough)
KEYWORDS: animal death dialog playparty food wedding food wine nonballad bird
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Carawan/Carawan, pp. 114-115, "Shoo Turkey Shoo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 396, "The Old Cow Died" (1 text)
Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 141-142, "Little Girl" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: John Stewart, Bessie Jones: For the Ancestors (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983), pp. 69-71, "Shoo Turkey" (1 text)
Janie Hunter, Mary Pinckney, and their children, "Shoo Turkey" (BeenStorm1)
NOTES: The Scarborough and Silber texts are noticeably distinct, Silber's being about the death of the cow while Scarborough's is intent upon the dialog and an adult asking a child about her activities (harvesting an egg, making corn pone, eating it, etc.) But the form is close enough that I've lumped them; the details of such songs are easily remade. - RBW
The "Shoo turkey" line is also in BrownIII #140, indexed as "Banbury Cross": "My turkey, your turkey. Shoo turkey, shoo!" The line seems out of place in BrownIII and may have floated there from this game.
BeenStorm1 liner notes have no performer credits for this song. Janie Hunter, Mary Pinckney, and their children sing the song in Carawan/Carawan and seem the likely performers on the record. - BS
Last updated in version 4.0
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