Hen Cackle

DESCRIPTION: Characterized by the structure, "The old hen cackled... The next time she cackled...," E.g. "The old hen cackled, she cackled in the lot, The next time she cackled, she cackled in the pot." Material floats freely.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1923 (recording, Fiddlin' John Carson)
KEYWORDS: bird nonballad food floatingverses
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Darling-NAS, p. 252, "Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster's Going to Crow" (1 text)
Fuson, p. 157, "The Hen Cackled" (first of 12 single-stanza jigs) (1 text, perhaps from this though it's just a floating verse)

Roud #11058
DeFord Bailey, "Old Hen Cackle" (Vocalion 5190, 1927)
Fiddlin' John Carson, "The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster's Goin' to Crow" (OKeh 4890, 1923)
Bill Chitwood & Bud Landress, "Hen Cackle" (Brunswick 2811/Silvertone 3050, c. 1925; rec. 1924)
Coleman & Harper "Old Hen Cackle" (Perfect 12751, 1931) (Oriole 8095, 1931)
Homer Davenport & the Young Brothers, "The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster Crowed" (Silvertone 4009, 1925; Challenge 110 or 304, 1927 [both Challenge records as The Three Howard Boys])
George Edgin's Corn Dodgers, "Corn Dodger No. 1 Special" (Columbia 15754-D, 1932)
Fruit Jar Guzzlers, "Cacklin' Hen" (Broadway 8108, 1928)
Whit Gayden, "Hen Cacklin' Piece" (Victor V-40315, 1930)
[G. B.] Grayson & [Henry] Whitter, "Barnyard Serenade" (Victor V-40038, 1929; rec. 1928)
J. D. Harris "The Cackling Hen" (OKeh 45024, c. 1926; rec. 1925)
The Hillbillies, "Cackling Hen" (Vocalion 5020, c. 1926)
Earl Johnson & his Dixie Entertainers, "Hen Cackle" (OKeh 45123, 1927)
Clayton McMichen & his Georgia Wildcats, "The Old Hen Cackled" (Varsity 5064, c. 1942/Joe Davis 3512, n.d.)
Short Creek Trio, "The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster Crowed" (Silvertone 8178, 1928)
Gid Tanner & Riley Puckett, "Hen Cackle" (Columbia 110-D, 1924)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "Hen Cackle" (Columbia 15303-D, 1928); "Cacklin' Hen and Rooster Too" (Columbia 15682-D, 1931)
Gordon Tanner, Smokey Joe Miller & Uncle John Patterson, "Medley: Cumberland Gap/Gid Tanner's Bucking Mule/Hen Cackle" (on DownYonder)
Tennessee Ramblers, "Cackling Pullet" (Brunswick 225, 1928; Supertone S-2083, 1930)

cf. "Cluck Old Hen"
NOTES [142 words]: This merges almost continuously with "Cluck Old Hen," and readers may want to check both. The line "The old hen cackled and the rooster's going to crow" is highly characteristic of this song.
According to The Old-Time Herald, Volume 11, #10, April-May 2009, p. 26, "[Ralph] Peer recorded Carson -- grudgingly, country music lore has it -- in conditions that were less than ideal. The sound of Carson's record, Peer would later say, was 'pluperfect awful.' Nevertheless, a test pressing of 500 of Carson's debut -- "Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane" on the A-side and "The Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster's Going to Crow on the reverse -- sold out in the space of an afternoon." Although this was not the first "country" recording waxed, it began the southern music boom. For more on this, see the notes to "The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.