> The Watersons > Songs > I Went to Market

I Went to Market

[ Roud 544 ; G/D 8:1666 ; Ballad Index R352 ; trad.]

The Watersons sang I Went to Market with Mike Waterson in lead in their 1981 album Green Fields. This track was included in 2004 on the Watersons' 4CD anthology Mighty River of Song. A.L. Lloyd commented in the original album's sleeve notes:

This song is sung pretty well everywhere on account of the simple comedy of the often repeated word “cock”. Perhaps for the same reason it's scarce in print. According to the Watersons, this came from Derek and Dorothy Elliott by the way of the grandfather of John and Hazel Browell of Bradford.

Lyrics

The Watersons sing I Went to Market

Why, I went to market to buy a cock
And the cock did very well please me
Every time I fed me cock
Well, I fed her all under a tree

And me cock went cock a cock a cock a doodle doo
And after every farmer's cock did my cock crow

So I went to market to buy a hen
And the hen did very well please me
Every time I fed me hen
I fed her all under a tree

And me hen went cattle
Cock cock went cock a cock a cock a doodle doo
And after every farmer's cock did my cock crow

So I went to market to buy a duck
And the duck did very well please me
Every time I fed me duck
I fed her all under a tree

And me duck went quack
And me hen went cattle
Cock cock went cock a cock a cock a doodle doo
And after every farmer's cock did my cock crow

So I went to market to buy a goose …

And me goose went cackle …

So I went to market to buy a pig …

And me pig went [snort!] …

So I went to market to buy a sheep …

And me sheep went baa …

So I went to market to buy a cow …

And me cow went moo …

So I went to market to buy a wife
And the wife did very well please me
Every time I fed me wife
I fed her all under a tree

And me wife said dammit!
And me cow went moo
And me sheep went baa
And me pig went [snort!]
And me goose went cackle
And me duck went quack
And me hen went cattle
Cock cock went cock a cock a cock a doodle doo
And after every farmer's cock did my cock crow

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Greer Gilman for the transcription.