Leatherwing Bat

From a Finnish children's postcard.

Bits of melody and lyrics from "Leatherwing Bat" show up an many old play songs such as "The Jolly Miller" (Same old man livin' at the mill, Mill turns around by its own free will), "The Birds Courting Song", "The Crow Song". These seem to be related to some Irish songs and eighteenth century broadsides.

The version sung by Pete Seeger and Burl Ives made its appearance in Lomax' "Folksong USA". I use verses from a few other sources especially Peggy Seeger's recordings on "Songs of Courtship and Complaint" and "Animal Folk Songs for Children."

Lyrics: 

"Hi," said the little leather-wing bat,”
I'll tell you the reason that,
The reason that I fly by night,
It’s because I've lost my heart's delight."

Howdy dowdy diddle um day,
Howdy dowdy diddle um day,
Howdy dowdy diddle um day,
Hey lee lee little lye lee lo.

"Hi," said the little turtle dove,
"I'II tell you how to gain her love,
Court her night and court her day
Never give her time to say you nay."

Howdy . . .

"Hi," said the owl with head so white,
“A long old day and a lonesome night. “
Thought I heard some pretty girl say
She'd court all night and sleep all day."

Howdy . . .

Hi said the woodpecker sitting on a fence
I once loved a handsome wench
She spread her wings and away went she
And left me here a peckin’ on a tree.

Howdy . . .

Sapsucker sucking up a holler gum tree
"Once I once loved a fair lady,
She got saucy and from me fled,
Ever since then my head's been red."

Howdy . . .

“Hi” said the old lady goose
I had one and I turned him loose.
He flew back when times got hard,
To kick me around my own backyard.”

Howdy . . .

“Hi” said the rooster shakin’ his comb.
My little hen, she won’t come home
My little hen, she just won’t lay
So I clap my wings and crow fer day.”

Howdy . . .

"Hi," said the robin as he flew,
"If I were a young man I would have two,
If one got saucy and wanted to go,
I'd get me a new string for my bow."

Howdy . . .

"Hi," said the jaybird sitting in a tree,
"When I was a young one I had three,
Two got saucy and took to flight,
The one that's left don't treat me right"

Howdy . . .

Instruments: 
Tuning: 
gCGCD#

Comments

Hi Terry, really enjoyed this! First heard the tune a couple of days ago and have been looking for a video to learn from. Really appreciate the time you've put into this.

Hi Terry, really enjoyed this! First heard the tune a couple of days ago and have been looking for a video to learn from. Really appreciate the time you've put into this.