The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63739   Message #1038348
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
20-Oct-03 - 09:38 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Crow Scaring Songs
Subject: RE: Origins: Crow Scaring Songs
There is some material on "crow-keeping" in East Anglia in George Ewart Evans' book The Farm and the Village (Faber, 1969, chapter 5: 'The Growing Corn'). One rhyme (a chant rather than a song) is quoted:

"As soon as it was light the farmer sent the child out into the fields; and there the child remained while it was still light. Mrs Celia Jay (born 1883) of Blaxhall gave me an account of how she went crow-keeping at the end of last century:

'My father was a shepherd for Mr John Goddard of Tunstall; and I would go out to scare rooks and crows on Mr Goddard's fields. My father made me a pair of wooden clappers and I used to rattle these and call out:
Cadows and crows,
Take care of your toes.
For here come my clappers
To knock you down back'uds.
Holla ca-whoo! Ca-whoo!

Here come a stone
To break your back-bone:
Here come the farmer with his big gun
And you must fly and I must run.
Holla ca-whoo! Ca-whoo!
[Cadows are jackdaws, a word used by Thomas Tusser in the sixteenth century.]

'It was very lonely work, and I was often perished with cold before the end of the day. If I stopped making a noise, someone from the farm would soon be along to see what I was doing.' "