Old Bell Cow (3)

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OLD BELL COW [3]. Old-Time, Air and Reel. G Major/Mixolydian. "Old Bell Cow" is a song printed in Ethel Park Richardson's American Mountain Songs (1927). It was set in the key of G Major/Mixolydian in the Old-Time String Band Songbook (Oak Publications, 1964) by the New Lost City Ramblers (John Cohen, Mike Seegar, Tracy Schwartz, Tom Paley), who obtained their version from the 1928 recording by the Dixie Crackers. It was presented by the NLCR as a children's song, and has entered children's programming repertory on PBS [1]. One version of the lyric goes:

Partridge in the pea patch, pickin' up the peas,
Along came the bell cow kickin' up her heels!

Chorus:
Oh, the bell cow, catch her by the tail,
Oh, the bell cow, milk her in the pail,
Oh, the bell cow, catch her by the tail,
Oh, the bell cow, milk her in the pail,

The bell cow has a couple a horns
Ain’t been milk since I was born.

Went down to the cornfield to pick a mess of beans,
Along come the bell cow a-pecking at the greens.

The milk ain't whipped and the butter ain't fat,
The darned old cow ate my best hat.

I milked that bell cow couple a quarts
Sold that milk and I got me a horse.

The old bell cow, I milked her in a gourd (or "in the cord"),
Sold my milk and bought me a Ford.

Some of these days when I learn how,
I'm gonna milk that old bell cow.

It appears to have little relation to "Old Bell Cow (1) (The)" and "Old Bell Cow (2)." See also the related "Squirrel Hunters/Squirrel Hunting," and "Rooshian Rabbit."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Paramount 3151 (78 RPM), The Dixie Crackers (north Ga.) {1928}. Red Bird Records 643157372448, The New Southern Cowtippers - "Old Bell Cow" (2006).

See also listing at:
Hear/see the New Lost City Rambler's version on youtube.com [2]
Hear the Dixie Crackers 1928 recording on youtube.com [3]




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