Crow Song (I), The

DESCRIPTION: "Oh, said the blackbird to the crow, To yonder cornfield I must go, Picking up corn has been my trade, Ever since Adam and Eve was made." Regarding the life of the crow and other birds
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1916 (Randolph)
KEYWORDS: bird floatingverses food
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Randolph 275, "The Crow Song" (5 texts, 1 tune, with the "A," "B," and "C" texts being this piece though "B" and "C" texts mix with "The Bird's Courting Song (The Hawk and the Crow; Leatherwing Bat)"; "D" is perhaps "Ain't Gonna Rain No More"; "E" is "One for the Blackbird")
Arnold-FolkSongsofAlabama, p. 119, "The Song of the Crow" (1 short text, 1 tune, in which the "blackbird" asks "What makes white folks hate us so," implying a racial subtext)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 31-33, "The Three Ravens" (the two fragments in the headnotes are this piece)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 156, "Said the Blackbird to the Crow" (5 texts, though "D" and "E" appear mixed, with "D" being this combined with "Bird's Courting Song, The (The Hawk and the Crow; Leatherwing Bat)")
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 215, "The Bird Song" (1 text plus a fragment, 2 tunes, but the "B" fragment is "The Crow Song (I)"; the "A" text is "The Bird's Courting Song (The Hawk and the Crow; Leatherwing Bat)" but with some "Crow Song" lyrics)
McIntosh-FolkSongsAndSingingGamesofIllinoisOzarks, p. 60, "Said the Blackbird" (1 short text, 1 tune, which combines the "Said the Blackbird" verse with an A B C D E F G alphabet)

Roud #747?
Vernon Dalhart, "The Crow Song" (Victor V-40149, 1929) Columbia 15449-D [as Al Craver]/Harmony 992-H [as Mack Allen], 1929) (Broadway 8144 [as Lone Star Ranger], c. 1930) [Note: the Broadway recording may be by John I. White rather than Dalhart, as he is also known to have used that pseudonym. - PJS]
Whitey Johns, "Crow Song" (Oriole 1810, 1930)

cf. "The Three Ravens" [Child 26] (lyrics, theme)
cf. "Hidi Quili Lodi Quili" (floating lyrics)
cf. "The Bird's Courting Song (The Hawk and the Crow; Leatherwing Bat)" (lyrics)
cf. "Hilo, Boys, Hilo" (lyrics)
NOTES [126 words]: Some have thought this a relative of "The Three Ravens." While it's possible that the various by-blows of that austere ballad inspired this, it certainly qualifies now as a separate song. It's more likely to be derived from "The Bird's Courting Song (The Hawk and the Crow; Leatherwing Bat)"; the first verse in particular is often found with that song.
That first verse is the only one that survives in McIntosh-FolkSongsAndSingingGamesofIllinoisOzarks's version, a playparty which also includes an alphabet song; it's not really possible to know what song it derives from.
Another possibility is that some of the lyrics derive from the sea song "Hilo, Boys, Hilo," which shares quite a few words, but my guess is that the dependence is the other way. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.4
File: R275

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