Cluck Old Hen

This is a square tune with two parts. Key of A modal (A major with G major chord).

  • The Hillbillies [old record on the tube]. This might be the best known variant.
  • Grayson & Whitter on a collection of old recordings of chicken songs [mp3 at Old Hat Records].
  • John Ashby's version. Old recordings of John Ashby on [tube] and [mp3 at Slippery Hill]. Bigfoot performed this version onstage at Clifftop [tube].
  • Variants at Slippery Hill: Clyde Davenport includes fiddle plucks [mp3]. Ed Weaver key of G [mp3]. Find about 10 with this search.
  • Good instructional solo banjo on the porch, key of G [tube], by Aubrey Atwater.
  • Wild performance video by Toubab Krewe with Rayna Geller on fiddle [IndyMusicTV]


My old hen, she's a good old hen.She lays eggs for the railroad men.Sometimes one, sometimes two.Sometimes enough for the whole darn crew.My old hen, what she won't do.She lays eggs, and potatoes too.Sometimes one, sometimes two.Sometimes enough for potato stew.My old hen, she had a wooden leg.It weren't nothing but a little wooden peg.It went 'knock knock' as she walked around the barn.Another drink of whiskey wouldn't do me no harm.CHORUSCluck old hen, cluck and sing.Ain't laid an egg since way last spring.Cluck old hen, cluck and squall.Ain't laid an egg since way last fall.