The Crow Song

Reprinted in AppLit with permission from the James Taylor Adams Collection
U of Virginia's College at Wise/Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College

Collected by James M. Hylton

Wise, Virginia 

NOTE: This text was recopied directly from a typewritten copy in the archives of the Blue Ridge Institute. James Taylor Adams (1892-1954) kept typewritten copies of the folklore he and others collected during the last thirty years of his life, while he lived in Wise County, VA. Typographical errors in the original have not been corrected, except for some obvious errors in spacing. Note that the informant's account shows how written sources such as family books influenced the oral tradition.


 

James M. Hylton,  

 

Wise, Virginia.

 (Folk Songs & Ballads)

 18 Lines

Related to this Writer June 2, 1942, Wise, Virginia, by Mrs. Ethel Levell, mother of two children and who has given other material to this Writer and of whose parents and life this Writer has already submitted a brief but fact History. She learned this Crow Song from an old Irish-Scotch-and English Ballad Book she had in her home for many years. It was handed down to her from some Grandparent but has been misplaced. She recalls the words and lines to it however well enough to recite same below.

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"The Crow Song"

There were three crows sat on a tree, Oh Billy Ma-gee Ma-gar!

There were three crows sat on a tree, Oh Billy Ma-gee Maggar!

There were three crows sat on a tree,

And they were black as crows should be

And they all flapped their wings and cried

Caw, Caw, Caw, Billy Ma-gee Ma-gar!

II

Said one old crow unto his mate, Oh Billy Ma-gee Ma-gar!

Said one old crow unto his mate, Oh Billy Ma-gee Ma-gar!

Said one old crow unto his mate,

What shall we do for grub to ate?

And they all flapped their wings and cried

Caw, Caw, Caw, Billy Ma-gee Ma-gar.

III

There lies a horse on yonder plain,

Whose by some cruel butcher slain,

We'll perch upon his old backbone,

And pick his eyes out one by one.

And they all flapped their wings and cried

Caw, Caw, Caw, Billy Ma-gee Ma-gar.


[JTA-9472]

Replacement photocopy made by BRI, 9/1992

copyright 2007 U of Virginia's College at Wise/Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College
all rights reserved


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