Turkey in the Straw

DESCRIPTION: "As I was going down the road With a tired team and a heavy load... Turkey in the straw, Haw haw haw, Turkey in the hay, Hey hey hey... Whistle up a tune called turkey in the straw." Lyrics usually involve the strange things encountered by a teamster
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1896 (recordings, Billy Golden)
KEYWORDS: travel animal bird nonballad dancetune
REFERENCES (18 citations):
Randolph 274, "Turkey in the Straw" (2 texts plus a fragment, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 234-237, "Turkey in the Straw" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 274A)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 94, "Turkey in the Straw" (1 fragment); also 511, "The Preacher Song" (1 text, a complex mix of verses from "Turkey in the Straw" and "Some Folks Say that a Preacher Won't Steal" with the "Uncle Eph" chorus)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 94, "Turkey in the Straw"" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Sandburg-TheAmericanSongbag, pp. 94-97, "Turkey in the Straw" (2 texts plus a fragment, 1 tune; the "B" and "C" texts appear to be rewritten or mixed)
Henry-SongsSungInTheSouthernAppalachians, p. 112, "One More Drink" (1 fragment, a single stanza about the hen laying eggs all over the farm and calling for a drink; it might come from anywhere but seems more typical of this than anything else)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 49, "Turkey in the Straw" (1 text, 1 tune, plus a "Zip Coon" text)
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 83-85, "Haymaker's Jig" (1 tune with dance instructions)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, pp. 75-76, "Turkey in the Straw" (1 text, 1 tune)
List-SingingAboutIt-FolkSongsInSouthernIndiana, pp. 124-131, "(Old Zip Coon)," "(Turkey in the Straw)" (1 complete and 1 partial sheet music version of "Old Zip Coon," 1 text, 1 tune of "Turkey," both files under "The Miller Boy")
Solomon-ZickaryZan, p. 116, "Little Chicken" (1 text, listed as a parody, but using verses found in "straight" versions of the song)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 37, "Turkey in the Straw" (1 text)
Pankake/Pankake-PrairieHomeCompanionFolkSongBook, p. 23, "I Went to Cincinnati"; p. 54, "Oh, I Had a Little Chicken" (2 texts, tune referenced)
Fireside-Book-of-Folk-Songs, p. 66, "Turkey in the Straw" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuld-BookOfWorldFamousMusic, pp. 591-592, "Turkey in the Straw (Zip Coon)"
Harbin-Parodology, #275, p. 67, "A Little Chicken" (1 text, a semi-parody starting with the little chicken that wouldn't lay an egg)
Averill-CampSongsFolkSongs, p. 282, 490-491, "I Had a Little Chicken Who Wouldn't Lay an Egg"/"Turkey in the Straw" (notes only)

Roud #4247
Blue Ridge Duo, "Turkey in the Straw" (Edison 51502, 1925)
Dock Boggs, "Turkey in the Straw" [instrumental version] (on Boggs3, BoggsCD1)
Boone County Entertainers [Red Fox Chasers], "Turkey in the Straw" (Champion 15522/Supertone 9163, 1928)
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Turkey in the Straw" (OKeh 40230, 1924); "Turkey in the Hay" (OKeh 45167, 1927)
Arthur Collins, "Turkey in the Straw" (Zonophone 637, c. 1907) (CYL: Edison 4011, n.d.)
Billy Golden, "Turkey in de Straw" (Berliner 0726Z, rec. 1896) (CYL: Lambert 5079, n.d.) (CYL: Albany Indestructible 941, n.d.) (Columbia 1101, 1902; A-1291, 1913) (Victor [Monarch] 65, 1902; Victor 4515, 1905) (Imperial Berliner [Can] 587, n. d.) (Zon-O-Phone 174, 1905) (Victor 17256, 1913; rec. 1908) (Columbia A-5031, 1908; rec. 1906) (OKeh 4249, 1921; rec. 1920) (CYL: Edison 8293, 1903; on Protobilly)
[Billy] Golden & [?] Hughes "Turkey in the Straw" (CYL: Edison [BA] 1769, n.d.)
Hobbs Brothers, "Turkey in the Straw" (Jewel 5458, 1928)
Peg Leg Howell & Eddie Anthony, "Turkey Buzzard Blues" (Columbia 14282-D, 1928; on Protobilly)
Kessinger Brothers, "Turkey in the Straw" (Brunswick 235, 1928)
Silas Leachman, "Turkey in de Straw" (Victor A-804, c. 1901)
Neil Morris & Charlie Everidge, "Turkey in the Straw" [dance calls] (on LomaxCD1701)
George Reneau, "Turkey in the Straw" (Vocalion 5031/Vocalion 14812, 1924)
Doc Roberts, "Turkey in the Straw" (Conqueror 7741, 1931; Perfect 12929/Melotone 12746, 1933)
Eck Robertson, "Turkey in the Straw" (Victor 19149, 1923)
Stove Pipe No. 1 [pseud. for Sam Jones], "Turkey in the Straw" (Columbia 201-D, 1924; Harmony 5100-H, n.d.)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "Turkey in the Straw" (Columbia 15084-D, 1926)

cf. "The Old Tobacco Box (There Was an Old Soldier)" (tune, floating lyrics)
cf. "Old Zip Coon (I)" (tune, floating lyrics)
cf. "The Catfish (Banjo Sam)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Bunkhouse Orchestra" (tune)
cf. "Charleston Gals (Clear the Kitchen)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Mary Mack (I)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "There Was an Old Lady" (tune)
cf. "The Delhi Jail" (tune)
cf. "Whoa! Ha! Buck and Jerry Boy" (portions of tune)
Old Zip Coon (File: RJ19258)
Do Your Ears Hang Low? (File: ACSF104E)
Did You Ever See a Fishie? (File: ACSF142D)
The Doughnut (File: ACSF096D)
Old Farmer Brown (Pankake/Pankake-PrairieHomeCompanionFolkSongBook, p. 145)
There Was a Little Rooster (Pankake/Pankake-PrairieHomeCompanionFolkSongBook, p. 196)
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Turkey in the Hay" (OKeh 45167, 1927)
Carson Robison, "1942 Turkey in the Straw" (Bluebird B-11460, 1942)
Quadrille (VI) (square dance call) (Welsch-NebraskaPioneerLore, pp. 118-119)
We Ain't Down Yet ("Oh, the mule's gone lame, the hens won't lay") (Harbin-Parodology, #56, p. 20)
Tough Luck Song ("Oh, his horse went dead, and his mule went lame") (Harbin-Parodology, #75, p. 24)
The Bunch/The Best Bunch ("O! The ??? bunch is the truest and the best") (Harbin-Parodology, #144, p. 43 = #235, p. 59)
Early in the Morning ("Very early in the morning we hop right out of bed") (Harbin-Parodology, #227, p. 58)
The Old Duck ("O there was an old duck And she had a web foot") (Harbin-Parodology, #267, p. 65)
Glad I Came ("How do you do; who are you? I'm the guy that ate the pie") (Harbin-Parodology, #269, p. 66)
NOTES [77 words]: Generally regarded as a rewriting of "Old Zip Coon." Sometimes regarded as the forerunner of "The Old Tobacco Box (There Was an Old Soldier)" (with which it often shares a tune), but the latter also has its own independent tune and form. - RBW
Paul Stamler found a source which attributed this to Bob Farrell, but that was probably a reference to "Old Zip Coon." And it's an open question whether he wrote even "Old Zip Coon"; see the notes to that song. - (PJS, RBW)
Last updated in version 6.4
File: R274

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