The Clocking Hen
"I remember my grandmother singing me a song when I was very young. She was born in 1889 and raised in London, U.K. but emigrated to South Africa when she got married, but I think it would have been an English song. I used to think it was wonderful." -Wendy
Below is "A Clocking Hen" - the song Wendy remembers from her childhood.
Note: A "clocking hen" is a broody hen who just wants to sit on her eggs all day to incubate them (even if they haven't been fertilized). This can go on for weeks. "Clocking" is also the sound the hen makes when she's broody. It's a loud clucking sound.
The Clocking Hen
"Will you take a walk with me,
My little wife, today?
There's barley in the barley-field,
And hay-seed in the hay."
"Thank you," said the clocking hen;
"I've something else to do:
I'm busy sitting on my eggs,
I cannot walk with you."
"Clock, clock, clock, clock!"
Said the clocking hen :
"My little chicks will soon be hatched,
I'll think about it then."
The clocking hen sat on her nest--
She made it in the hay;
And warm and snug beneath her breast
A dozen white eggs lay.
Crack, crack, went all the eggs,
Out dropped the chickens small.
"Clock!" said the clocking hen,
"Now I have you all."
"Come along, my little chicks,
I'll take a walk with you."
"Hallo!" said the barn-door cock,
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Wendy Penney for sharing this song.
This song can be found in "Aunt Effie's Rhymes for Little Children" (1860) by Effie (Aunt), Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby and it can be found in "Home Songs for Little Darlings" (1863) by T.O.H.P. Burnham, H.O. Houghton & co. and Mayhew and Baker.