Billy Barlow

The Seeger family: Barbara, Ruth, Penny, Charles, Mike and Peggy.

I decided to brush up and expand my repertoire of children's songs and ran across a real treasure trove. First, I found a couple of records by various folks named Seeger - 'American Folk Songs for Children' (Mike and Peggy) and 'Animal Folk Songs for Children' (Mike, Peggy, Penny and Barbara). These are delightful albums and even better, they represent all of the songs on Ruth Crawford Seeger's two song books by the same names. Ruth published these in 1948 and 1950 and the Seeger kids grew up with these and a wealth of other songs. I immediately ordered both books. 'American Folk Songs . . .' is still in print. Sadly, 'Animal Folk Songs . . .' is not but I found a gently used library copy.

The books are remarkable for Barbara Cooney's drawings and woodcut illustrations as well as Ruth's commentary on the songs, how they may be sung with children in school and home, how to work with and encourage kids and much more. These are real gems. When gift giving time comes consider giving a matched pair of recordings and books to a parent or teacher you know.

There were new songs here for me as well as some like 'Billy Barlow' that I had forgotten over the years.

Lyrics: 

“Let's go huntin'.” said risky Rob
“Let's go a huntin'.” said Robin to Bob
“Let's go a huntin'.” said Dan’l to Joe
“Let's go a huntin'.” said Billy Barlow

“What shall we hunt for?” said risky Rob
“What shall we hunt for?” said Robin to Bob
“What shall we hunt for?” said Dan’l to Joe
“Let’s hut for a rat.” said Billy Barlow

“How shall we git him?” said risky Rob
“How shall we git him?” said Robin to Bob
“How shall we git him?” said Dan’l to Joe
“Go borrow a gun.” said Billy Barlow

“How shall we haul him?” said risky Rob
“How shall we haul him?” said Robin to Bob
“How shall we haul him?” said Dan’l to Joe
“A mule and a cart.” said Billy Barlow

“How shall we divide him?” said risky Rob
“How shall we divide him?” said Robin to Bob
“How shall we divide him?” said Dan’l to Joe
“How shall we divide him?” said Billy Barlow

“I’ll take shoulder.” said risky Rob
“I’ll take side.” said Robin to Bob
“I’ll take ham.” said Dan’l to Joe
“Tail bone mine!” said Billy Barlow

“How shall we cook him?” said risky Rob
“How shall we cook him?” said Robin to Bob
“How shall we cook him?” said Dan’l to Joe
“How shall we cook him?” said Billy Barlow

“I’ll broil shoulder.” said risky Rob
“I’ll fry side.” said Robin to Bob
“I’ll boil ham.” said Dan’l to Joe
“Tail bone raw!” said Billy Barlow

Instruments: 
Tuning: 
C standard