> Folk Music > Songs > Cock-a-Doodle-Do

Cock-a-Doodle-Do

[ Roud 3464 ; Ballad Index ITMACADD ; trad.]

Songs of the Ridings.

George Spicer sang Cock-a-Doodle-Do on the Veteran Tapes cassette of traditional singing in Sussex, Ripest Apples (VT107). This track was included in 2001 on Veteran's anthology of traditional folk music from rural England, Down in the Fields. Mike Yates noted:

A song from the Victorian Music Halls. Referring to a Scottish version, Sheila Douglas had this to say about the song: “…there has never been anything wrong with a good belly laugh now and then. It’s the kind of comic song to be sung straight-faced or with an expression of outraged innocence when the audience laughs.” (Sheila Douglas, Come Gie’s a Sang, Edinburgh, 1995)

The Norfolk singer Walter Pardon had a version set in London’s Victoria Park which is probably closer to the original song.

Walter Pardon sang Cock-a-Doodle-Do in a Mike Yates recording on his posthumous Musical Traditions anthology of 2000, Put a Bit of Powder on It, Father. Rod Stadling noted in the album's booklet:

The fact that there are only eight Roud entries for this salacious morsel might well indicate that it has been ignored by earlier British collectors, since many country singers, and particularly Travellers, know it—if they can be persuaded to sing it (and if the company is appropriate). It could, of course, be a quite recently-composed song. George Spicer's version is on the Veteran Tapes Ripest Apples (VT107).

Peter and Barbara Snape sang Cock-a-Doodle-Do in 2019 on their CD All in the Song. Barbara Snape noted:

A broadside printed by Pearson of Manchester. Like so many broadsides, it was absent of a tune, so we had to provide one. At a time when Lancashire was dominated by cotton and coal, this gem reminds us of Lancashire’s agricultural life in a rather amusing way.

Lyrics

George Spicer sings Cock-a-Doodle-Do

I only had three and six, I thought I’d buy some stock
I handed this man me three and six, he gave me back a cock a doodle do
It's nothing to do with you, it's a jolly fine cock,
You all know what it's me cock a doodle do
Oh! me cock a doodle do, it's nothing to do with you
It's a jolly fine cock, you all know what, it's me cock a doodle do

Now I put me cock under me arm, went walking down Loss Row
I gave me arm a bit of a twist, me cock began to crow
A lady passing by, she got a terrible shock
She said young man, if you don't do out, you're going to lose
Your cock a doodle do, it's nothing to do with you,
It's a jolly fine cock, you all know what, it's me cock a doodle do

Now I put me cock in the back yard, along with another old hen
Me cock got into an awful rage, and fluttered on top of the hen
So I called me mother to do, she gave my head such a knock
She says, You fool, why can't you see, me hens got under
Your cock a doodle do, Its nothing to do with you,
It's a jolly fine cock, you all know what, it's me cock a doodle do.

Now kind friends, I must be going, I can no longer stay
For if I sing you another song, it will take me half a day
But before I finish this song, the door I'm going to lock
Is there any young lady in the room, would like to do at me
Cock a doodle do, it's nothing to do with you,
It's a jolly fine cock, You all know what, it's me cock a doodle do

Walter Pardon sings Cock-a-Doodle-Do

When walking out the other day, along Victoria Park
Along with a very old friend of mine, we went out for a lark
We saw a man a-selling fowls, he had a lovely stock
I gave him a half-a-crown, he handed me a …

Chorus (after each verse):
Cock-a-doodle-do, cock-a-doodle-do,
Hickety, pickety, you know what, 'tis quite enough for you
Cock-a-doodle-do, cock-a-doodle-do,
Hickety, pickety, you know what, 'tis quite enough for you.

I put the old cock under my arm, a-walking along the street
Along with a very old friend of mine, my Judy I did meet
She put her arm around me and she gave me quite a shock
She put her hand right up my coat and then she got hold of my …

I took the old cock home with me, and I put him in a cage
Along with another old hen of mine, and they went in a rage
Some lady friends were passing by and thought it quite a lark
And one of them, she said to me, the hen had got hold of the …

Kind friends, what I am telling you is only a bit of chaff
The reason why I'm here tonight is just to make you laugh
And when I come this way again, I'll have a better stock
And just to please you, one and all, I'll show you all my …