Annotation:Grey Cock (The)

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X:1 T:Grey Cock, The M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Air S:John Rook music manuscript collection (Waverton, Cumbria, 1840, p. 227) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G|G>A B>c|d2 d>d|e2 a>g|{g}f2 e>d|g2 f>g|{f}e2d2|d3|| c|B>A B>g|b2 A>G|A>G A>B|c2 d>e|e>d B>d|d>c B>A|G3||

THE GREY COCK. AKA and see "Saw You My Father?" English, Air (2/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "The Grey Cock" is a 16th century Child Ballad [Child 248, Roud 179] of the supernatural night-visiting type, AKA "The Lover's Ghost." It takes its name from the relating of two lovers disturbed by the early crowing of a cock. The first two stanzas go:

'I must be going, no longer staying,
The burning Thames I have to cross;
I will be guided without a stumble,
Into the arms I love the best.

And when he came to his true love's window,
He knelt down gently all on a stone;
And it's through the pane he has whispered slowly,
My darling dear, do you lie alone.

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Elliot & Kay (Calliope), 1788; p. 121.

Recorded sources : - Shanachie Records, Tim Hart & Maddy Prior - "Summer Solstice" (1971). Pyewackett - "The Man in the Moon Drinks Claret."

See also listing at :
See entry at Mainly Norfolk [1]
Read a Mudcat thread on the song [2]
See/hear Vic Gammon's deep analysis of the tune family in his presentation "Crowing Cocks and Melodic Ghosts" from an October, 2020, Traditional Tunes and Popular Airs Conference [3]

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