Billy Barlow (I)
DESCRIPTION: "Let's go a-huntin', said Risky Rob, Let's go a-huntin', said Robin to Bob, Let's go a-huntin', said Dan'l to Jo, Let's go a-huntin', said Billy Barlow." They hunt a (rat/possum), kill it, cook it, and divide it. All get sick except Billy, who feels fine.
EARLIEST DATE: 1916 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: hunting humorous animal disease poison
FOUND IN: US(MW,SE,So)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 57, "'Let's Go A-Hunting,' Says Richard to Robert" (1 text)
Lomax/Lomax-OurSingingCountry, pp. 101-102, "Billy Barlow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-1ed, pp. 252-254, "Hunting the Wren" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 143-144, "Hunting the Wren" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 159, "Let's Go A-Huntin'" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scott-TheBalladOfAmerica, pp. 165-166, "Let's Go a-Huntin'" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 204, "Billy Barlow" (1 text)
Pete Seeger, "Billy Barlow" (on PeteSeeger03, PeteSeegerCD03)
cf. "The Cutty Wren" (form)
cf. "Cricketty Wee" (form)
NOTES [81 words]: Thought by many to be an Americanized version of "The Cutty Wren." The similarity, both in form and in subject matter, is there -- but the two have gone in such separate directions that it seems better to keep them distinct; it is barely possible they are independent (and quite possible that "Billy Barlow" is a deliberate parody).
I can't help but add Paul Stamler's comment, though: "If this is independent from 'Cutty Wren,' I'll eat that possum." (Yes, but would you eat the rat?) - RBW
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