Notes

Notes to this song from the Journal of American Folk-lore, "This belongs to that group of never-ending songs, the words of which are sung over and over ad nauseam. A bit of folk-humor. Some one is urged to sing. At length he says, 'I'll sing you a song of a hundred and eleven verses, no two of which are alike.' He then sings this until the company call for him to cease…"

Here's the version from "Negro Folk Rhymes: Wise and Otherwise" (1922) by Thomas W. Talley:

De ole hen she cackled,
An' stayed down in de bo'n.
She git fat an' sassy,
A-eatin' up de co'n.

De ole hen she cackled,
Git great long yaller laigs.
She swaller down de oats,
But I don't git no aigs.

De ole hen she cackled,
She cackled in de lot,
De nex' time she cackled,
She cackled in de pot.

Standard English:

The old hen she cackled,
And stayed down in the barn.
She get fat and sassy,
A-eating up the corn.

The old hen she cackled,
Got great long yellow legs.
She swallowed down the oats,
But I don't get no eggs.

The old hen she cackled,
She cackled in the lot,
The next time she cackled,
She cackled in the pot.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This version of De Ole Hen She Cackled can be found in the Journal of American Folk-lore volumes 25-6, which says, "From Mississippi; negroes; MS. of Dr. Herrington; 1909".

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