Ballads and Songs of Indiana - online book

A collection of 100 traditional folk songs with commentaries, historical info, lyrics & sheet music

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290 Indiana University Publications, Folklore Series
62
THE TAILOR AND THE CROW
The oldest form of this song occurs in Sloane MS 1489, and is found in several collections of the time of Charles II. The Sloane MS was written in 1627. The song appears to be an allegory, the only safe vehicle for criticism of political and religious conditions in that day. The carrion crow is Charles II, the term being applied to him because of his having deprived the puritan clergy of their livings, and possibly also because of his having ordered the bodies of the regicides exhumed. The praying of the little pigs for the old sow's soul indicates clearly enough the religion in the mind of the composer. The cloak on which the tailor is engaged represents the Genevan gown; the spoon which he requests his wife to bring is the spatula used in administering the Eucharist. The identity of the tailor himself is not clear, but the reference is possibly to some puritan divine named Taylor, who hated both the Church of England and the papacy.
For texts, English and American, see Baring-Gould, A Book of Nursery Songs and Rhymes, p. 39; Baring-Gould and Sharp, English Folk-Songs for Schools, p. 98; Baring-Gould and Sheppard, A Garland of Country Song, p. 102; Campbell and Sharp, II, 324; Dixon, Ancient Poems, Ballads and Song& of the Peasantry of England, p. 202; Halliwell, Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales, 1849, p. 12; Halliwell, The Nursery Rhymes of England, M ed., 1843, p. 57; Lang, The Nursery Rhyme Book, p. 163; Mackenzie, Ballads, p. 375; Pound, p. 13; PTFLS, VI, 231. I reproduce the Dixon text here as B.
A
"The Sow and Little Pigs." Contributed by Mr. A. T. McAllister, of Stendal, Indiana. Pike County. Learned from his mother. July 16, 1935.
1.     Don't you see a milk-white crow,
Turn a long down pully down kimo,
A-laughing at a tailor a-cutting out a cloak?
Turn a long down pully down kimo.
2.     The old man cocked his gun and he did shoot,
Turn a long down pully down kimo, And he shot the old sow down the throat, Turn a long down pully down kimo.
8. "Dear wife, go bring me a ladle and spoon," Turn a long down pully down kimo; *Tm sure this old sow will die right soon." Turn a long down pully down kimo.








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