DESCRIPTION: "Tibbie Fowler [or Robie Stobie] in the glen" stole her mother's hen and got the blame. Whether roasted or raw, Tibbie ate her all.
EARLIEST DATE: 1910 (GreigDuncan8)
KEYWORDS: theft food parody chickens
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber)) US(Ap)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Greig #159, p. 2, ("Robie Stobie doon the glen") (1 text)
GreigDuncan8 1691, "Tibbie Fowler" (2 texts)
Boswell/Wolfe 10, p. 22, "Tibby Fowler" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: The current song seems a parody of another song with at least two major versions. See
David Herd, editor, Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads, etc. (Edinburgh, 1870 (reprint of 1776)), Vol II, pp. 104-105, "Tibby Fowler of the Glen"
Hans Hecht, editor, Songs From David Herd's Manuscripts (Edinburgh, 1904), #554 pp. 174-175,304-305, "Tibbie Fowler" [Not the same song as in Herd, above.]
Robert Chambers, The Scottish Songs (Edinburgh, 1829), Vol II, pp. 378-379, "Tibbie Fowler" is close to Herd.
James Kinsley, editor, Burns: Complete Poems and Songs (shorter edition, Oxford, 1969) #569, p. 673, "Tibbie Fowler" (1 text, 1 tune) is close to Hecht-Herd.
And with the usual reservations about this book, R. H. Cromek, Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, (Paisley, 1880 reissue of 1810 edition ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 83-87, "Variations of 'Tibbie Fowler'." Of this set, Hecht-Herd says, on p. 304: "worthless stuff."
In any case, none of these has a verse that is a clear base for what I assume is a parody, though the first line of the Herd version and the form of Hecht-Herd is suggestive. On the other hand, none have a good word for the subject. The chorus of Hecht-Herd: "Wooing at her, pu'in at her, Courtin at her, cannae get her: Filthy elf, it's for her pelf That a' the lads are wooin at her"
Whitelaw, writing about the Herd/Chambers text: "In the Tea Table Miscellany, Ramsay has a song 'to the tune of Tibble fowler in the Glen,' which proves that the air, at least is old.... The authorship has been ascribed to a 'Rev. Dr. Strachan late minister of Carnwath; but David Laing says that there has been no minister of Carnevath of that name for at least the last three hundred years" (source: Whitelaw-Song, pp. 61-62, "Tibbie Fowler") - BS
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