Who Broke the Lock?

Bogtrotters from Galax VA

Key of G. One A part (verse), one B part (chorus).

  • We learned this tune from the CD, "Feed Your Babies Onions" by Highwoods String Band [Amazon clip]
  • Fun blues version by Butch Cage [Utoob]
  • Jug band version by Loose Moose Stringband [Utoob]
  • The Unique Quartet recorded Who Broke the Lock on wax cylinder in 1896 but the recording is not public. The same group recorded another tune in 1893 and that is available [archive].
  • Richard Bowman fiddling at the Galax Fiddler's Convention 2013 [utoob]


I was down in the henhouse on my kneesI thought I heard a chicken sneeze.It was only the rooster saying his prayers,thanking the lord for the hens upstairs.
My old rooster, he's mighty oldThings he's done just can't be toldHis toes curled up, he could not scratchBut the little hens say his eggs still hatch
Said the barnyard rooster to the little red hen"You ain't laid an egg since the Lord knows when"Said the little red hen to the barnyard rooster"You don't come around quite as often as you used to"
CHORUSWho broke the lock?Chickens: "I don't know!"Who broke the lock on the henhouse door?I'll find out before I go.Who broke the lock on the henhouse door?