Farmyard Song facts for kids
The "Farmyard Song" (Roud number 544) is a cumulative song about farm animals, originating in the British Isles and also known in North America.
It is known by various titles, such as:
- "I Bought Me a Cat"
- "I Love My Rooster"
- "I Bought Me a Horse"
- "My Cock Crew"
- "The Green Tree"
- "The Barnyard Song"
- "There Was An Old Man of Tobago"
In the first verse, the narrator tells of buying or having a rooster, cat, horse or other animal, feeding them under a tree, and the call the animal makes. Each subsequent verse introduces a new animal, then repeats the calls of the animals from previous verses.
There were several versions known in the Thames Valley in the early part of the 20th century. A version collected in Bampton, Oxfordshire around 1916 began as follows:
The very first thing my mother bought me,
It was a hen, you may plainly see;
And every time I fed my hen,
I fed her under the tree.
My hen went chick-chack,
My cock went cock-a-te-too;
Here's luck to all my cocks and hens,
And my cock-a-doodle-do.
Musicologists Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway collected "The Barnyard Song" in Kentucky in 1916. This version began,
I had a cat and the cat pleased me,
I fed my cat under yonder tree.
Cat goes fiddle-i-fee.
Some American variants are not cumulative, but instead group all the animal calls together at the end of the song.
Adaptations and recordings
- Aaron Copland included the song as "I Bought Me a Cat" in his 1950 song cycle, Old American Songs (part I).
- "I Went to Market", The Watersons, Green Fields (1981)
- "My Cock Crew", Con Greaney, Traditional Singer (1991)
- "Bought Me a Cat", Barney & Friends, on the episode "Down on Barney's Farm" (1992)
Farmyard Song Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.