Old Bell Cow (2) (The)
X:1 T:Belled Cow R:Reel N:From Ruthie Dornfield on "Ways of the World" M:4/4 L:1/8 Z:Transcribed by Bruce Thomson K:E efe=d BdBA|GBAG E=DB,D|EFGA Bc=dB|c2c3 BAc| efe=d BdBA|GBAG E=DB,D|EFGA Bc=dB|c2c3 BAc:| |:B3B B2 BA|GFGA BGE2|A3G F2A2|A2G2 FEFG| B3B B2 BA|GFGA B2c2|=d2c2 BcBA|GFGA BGE2:|
OLD BELL COW . AKA and see "Squirrel Hunters (The)." Old-Time, Breakdown. E Dorian/Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The 'bell cow' was the dominant cow of the herd, which was belled to keep track of distant ranging herds in the hills (since all would be grouped around the leader). Boys would be given the task of turning the cows out in the morning, then going out to listen for the sound of the cow bell in the afternoon to gather them home for the second milking of the day. Different sized bells (different timbres) would also help denote one's herd from his neighbors. One of the earliest American references to a bell cow comes from the diary of New Hampshire native Matthew Patten, who noted in his entry of May 3, 1767: "Our bell cow calved a bull calf."