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Lyr Req: Who Broke the Lock on the Henhouse Door?

chet w. 28 May 98 - 06:47 PM
farris 28 May 98 - 08:33 PM
rich r 28 May 98 - 09:45 PM
dulcimer 29 May 98 - 05:47 AM
Dale Rose 29 May 98 - 08:44 AM
harpgirl 15 Apr 01 - 11:53 PM
Abby Sale 16 Apr 01 - 08:08 PM
Troll 16 Apr 01 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Brad Sondahl 17 Apr 01 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,Eluned 17 Apr 01 - 11:32 AM
harpgirl 17 Apr 01 - 06:30 PM
Stewie 17 Apr 01 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,Brad Sondahl 18 Apr 01 - 12:57 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 21 Sep 02 - 01:43 PM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Oct 03 - 10:34 PM
AussieTex 06 Apr 05 - 08:18 AM
Jim Dixon 07 Apr 05 - 11:45 PM
GUEST 30 Nov 13 - 11:14 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Nov 13 - 04:58 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Nov 13 - 06:28 PM
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Subject: LYR REQ- who broke the lock
From: chet w.
Date: 28 May 98 - 06:47 PM

I'm sure somebody must know this one "Who Broke the Lock on the Henhouse Door?" The only source I have is an old field-recorded record called "Country Negro Jam Session" and I can understand only a few words here and there. The chorus goes: "Who broke the lock (I don't know), Who broke the lock on the henhouse door, I'm gonna find out before I go, Who broke the lock on the henhouse door." They tell the story behind the song, which involved a practice of hiding liquor buried in the henhouse, which was then locked. Of course somebody figured this out, hence the song. I'd sure appreciate it.

Chet W.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHO BROKE THE LOCK? (Highwoods Stringband
From: farris
Date: 28 May 98 - 08:33 PM

We have it on a recording of the Highwoods String Band (don't know if you can still get it, but if you can, it's amazing!) Here are the lyrics I remember, although from your discription this sounds like this may be a different variation:

Said the barnyard rooster to the barnyard hen,
"Well, you ain't laid an egg since the Lord knows when."
Said the barnyard hen to the barnyard rooster,
"Well, you ain't been around as often as you used-ter."
Chorus:
Oh, who broke the lock? 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.

Said the barnyard hen to the rooster out West,
"You know, my dear, I love you the best."
Said the barnyard rooster, "You're tellin' me a lie
"Cause I saw you flirtin' with that old Shanghai."

There's another verse I can't understand about "I thought I heard Ol' Bruno sneeze"--maybe that one's about someone sneaking around in the barn, as you suggest? I'll see if my husband knows that verse (if the knowledgeable folks here don't fix you up first). Good luck!


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Subject: RE: LYR REQ- who broke the lock
From: rich r
Date: 28 May 98 - 09:45 PM

I have a version of it by the Reel World String Band. I'll check to see if there are any additional verses on that.

rich r


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Subject: Lyr Add: HENHOUSE DOOR (from Joel Mabus)
From: dulcimer
Date: 29 May 98 - 05:47 AM

1. Hen and rooster went out west.
Said hen to rooster, "I love you best."
Rooster said, "You're a cock-eyed liar.
Caught you in the alley with the big Shanghai."

2. My old hen's a good ol' hen.
Hasn't laid an egg since I don't know when.
My ol' hen she cackles a lot.
Next time she cackles goin' to be in my pot.

3. My ol' rooster's might old.
Done a lot of things that can't be told.
His toes are curled. He can't hardly scratch.
But the little hens say his eggs'll still hatch.

4. I was down in the henhouse on my knees.
Thought I heard a chicken sneeze.
It was only my rooster sayin' his prayers
Givin' out prayers to the hens upstairs.

Chorus: Who broke the lock? 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.

I got this from Old Time Music on the Air Vol. 2--done by Joel Mabus. First time I sang it, a lady near 85 said she remembered it from her childhood.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 1-Jun-02.


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Subject: RE: LYR REQ- who broke the lock
From: Dale Rose
Date: 29 May 98 - 08:44 AM

A couple of facts with some of my opinions mixed in.

Probably the two most influential (and interesting) recordings were by Riley Puckett and the Bogtrotters. Riley Puckett's version (Riley's Hen House Door) used to be available on County 411. Fields Ward and the Bogtrotters recorded this and other fine examples of string band music for the Library of Congress in sessions from 1937-1940, which were later released on Biograph 6003. Most of the revivalist groups took their cues from these recordings. If you ever see either of these recordings available anywhere, snap them up.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHO BROKE THE LOCK?^^
From: harpgirl
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 11:53 PM

Who Broke the Lock?

as done by The Highwoods String Band

I'se down in the henhouse on my knees
When I thought I heard ole Bruno sneeze
It was nuthin but the rooster sayin his prayers
Thankin the lord for the hens upstairs

Who broke the lock, 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

Said the barnyard rooster to the barnyard hen
Ya told me a story and I know when
Ya told me that Sally made the cake so go
And don't mind the weather if the wind don't blow

chorus

Said the barnyard hen to the rooster out west
You know my dear I love you best
Said the barnyard rooster you're tellin me a lie
Cause I caught you a flirtin with a big Shanghai

chorus

Said the barnyard rooster to the barnyard hen
Well ya ain't laid an egg since I don't know when
Said the barnyard hen to the barnyard rooster
Well ya ain't been around fer somethin like ya used ta

Chorus


I just love this song. I first heard it by the Ballard Creek Bogtrotters and the other thread doesn't have a complete version...hg ^^


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Subject: RE: LYR REQ- who broke the lock
From: Abby Sale
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 08:08 PM

The all-knowing "Happy!" file says: Cousins & Demoss record "Who Broke the Lock" - It was the 1st significant folk recording on disc= 11/14/1895


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Subject: RE: LYR REQ- who broke the lock
From: Troll
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 10:19 PM

I bought some Easter eggs for my old hen,
'Cause it was Easter Sunday then.
The rooster saw 'em all green and red,
Jumped the neighbors fence and shot the peacock dead!
I learned this verse from "Cousin Thelma" Boltin who MC'd and ran the Florida Folk Festival for many years. She heard it from "Tiny" Talbot, who had a band that played dances in the Gainesville, Fla. area during the 1930's and appeared on local radio. "Tiny" later became the Superintendant of Schools for Alachua County- a position he held for over 30 years.

troll


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Subject: RE: LYR REQ- who broke the lock
From: GUEST,Brad Sondahl
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 09:09 AM

Just thinking about this song myself the other day--I like Riley Puckett's version. But I think I remember this verse, might have imagined it...-- Now Deacon Johnson and Mrs. Jones Used to fool around, when Jones weren't home. He came home one morning bout a quarter to four-- Who went out that back door?

http://pages.about.com/bsondahl


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Subject: RE: LYR REQ- who broke the lock
From: GUEST,Eluned
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 11:32 AM

LOL!!!

Troll, I just LOVE that one!
...."shot the peacock dead"...!
*chuckle*!!


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Subject: RE: LYR REQ- who broke the lock
From: harpgirl
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 06:30 PM

Thanks Troll. I remember Marty Schuman's remarks about Thelma. I never met her.

Thanks Abby. What is the happy file?

Will look up your site, Brad...hg


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Subject: Lyr Add: RILEY'S HEN HOUSE DOOR
From: Stewie
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 10:22 PM

Brad, your stanza didn't come from Riley's version. His version is clostest to verses posted by Dulcimer above:

RILEY'S HEN HOUSE DOOR

I rode up to the farmer's gate
And I blowed my horn both soon and late
The farmer's dog he wouldn't bark nor bite
But the son-of-a-gun he could read and write

Chorus:
Now, who broke that lock? I don't know
Who broke the lock on the hen house door?
I'll find out before I go
Who broke the lock on the hen house door

As I was a-going through the field
A black snake caught me by the heel
I turned around to do my best
And my left foot slipped in a hornet's nest

Chorus

Now down in the hen house on my knees
I thought I heard a chicken sneeze
Nothin' but a rooster sayin' his prayers
And giving out the hymns to the hens upstairs

Chorus

Now a hen and a rooster lived away out west
Said the hen to the rooster, 'I love you best'
The rooster told the hen, 'Youse a pop-eyed liar
I caught you in the alley with a big shanghai'

Chorus

Now there was an old rooster about 40 years old
Who done a lot of things we never been told
His toes turned up 'til he couldn't scratch
But the young hens say that his eggs still hatch

Chorus

Source: transcription of Riley Puckett 'Riley's Hen House Door' reissued on Riley Puckett 'Waitin' for the Evening Mail' County LP 411.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: LYR REQ- who broke the lock
From: GUEST,Brad Sondahl
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 12:57 AM

Okay, then I guess I created it from memory of the song--end up doing that quite frequently from having a fertile imagination and bad memory. Typical folk process.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HENHOUSE DOOR (from Joel Mabus)
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 21 Sep 02 - 01:43 PM

From Joel Mabus's site

HENHOUSE DOOR
(traditional, arranged by Joel Mabus)

 
Well, a hen and a rooster went out west
The hen told the rooster, I love you best
Rooster told the hen - you're a pop-eyed liar
I saw you in the alley with the big Shanghai
 
Who broke the lock - 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
 
Now my old hen's a good old hen
But she ain't laid a egg since I don't know when
Old hen cackle, cackling a lot
Next time she cackle, gonna cackle in the pot
 
Who broke the lock - 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
 
My old rooster's mighty old
All the things he done just can't be told
Toes curled up can't hardly scratch
But the little hens say his eggs still hatch
 
Who broke the lock - 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
 
Down in the henhouse on my knees
I thought I heard a chicken sneeze
It was only my rooster saying his prayers
And giving out hymns to the hens upstairs
 
Who broke the lock - 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


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who broke the lock
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 10:34 PM

Down in the henhouse on my knees
I thought I heard a chicken sneeze

Ahh. My grandfather used to say this when I was a wee tiny tot - far too young for my delicate ears to hear the rest of the song...

Thanks!

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who broke the lock
From: AussieTex
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 08:18 AM

The song has filtered among country folks Down Under, where we call chickens 'chooks'.
I like the original hillbilly versions such as found on www.honkingduck.com.
Problem is that for an Aussie some of the lyrics are hard to make out.
So any help you can wd be much appreciated by me and my ol' chook.
We all speak the same language, but have you noticed that they sub-title Aussie movies?
If anybody needs explanations about Aussie songs, please do not hesitate to ask Aussie Tex.
I have a cousin in Dallas. She was a war bride and she sent us a Gibson - a real heirloom.
Gday from Oz!


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHO BROKE THE LOCK ON THE HENHOUSE DOOR
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 11:45 PM

Here's my transcription of the sound file at Honking Duck:

WHO BROKE THE LOCK ON THE HENHOUSE DOOR
(As sung by H. M. Barnes & His Blue Ridge Ramblers)

1. I went down to the farmer's gate.
I blowed my horn both soon and late.
The farmer's dog wouldn't bark or bite,
But the son-of-a-gun could read and write.

CHORUS: Now, who broke that lock? Well, I don't know.
Who broke the lock on the hen house door?
And I'll find out before I go,
Who broke the lock on the hen house door.

2. Went down to the hen house on my knees.
Thought I heard old Bruno sneeze.
It was an old rooster saying his prayers,
Telling his love to the hens upstairs.

3. The meat's upon the goose, but the marrow's in the bone.
The devil's on the hillside. Don't you hear him groan?
Turkey's playing seven-up on the melon vine, [seven-up = a card game]
Goose chewing tobacco and the duck is drinking wine.

4. Said the barnyard rooster to the barnyard hen,
You told me a story and I know when. [story = lie]
You said that Sally made her cake all dough,
And never mind the weather so the wind don't blow. [so = as long as]

5. Said the barnyard hen to the barnyard rooster,
You can't hear near as well as you used ter.
I said that Sally had a dress so cute.
We could trade her our feathers, get a nickel to boot.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Who Broke the Lock on the Henhouse Door?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Nov 13 - 11:14 AM

Wow. That's all I can say.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHO BROKE THE LOCK ON THE HENHOUSE DOOR?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Nov 13 - 04:58 PM

I heard this rather nice western swing version from the 1940s on Spotify:

WHO BROKE THE LOCK ON THE HENHOUSE DOOR?
As sung by Deuce Spriggins on "100 American Cowboy Classics" (2010)

Now, down in the hen-house the other night,
Say, it was awful dark and I had no light,
So I scrambled around and got hold of a goose.
White folks said: "You better turn 'im loose,"
So I jumped the gullies,
Dodged rosebushes,
Cannonballs, too.

But who broke the lock? (I don't know.)
Who broke the lock on the hen-house door?
I'll find out before I go,
Who broke the lock on the hen-house door.

Down in the hen-house on my knees,
An' I though I heered a chicken sneeze.
Sneezed so hard with the 'hoopin'-cough,
Sneezed 'er head 'n' 'er tail right off,
And sech a sneezin'!
She must 'a' had a terrible cold.
Pee-monia set in,
Double pee-monia, I reckon.

But who broke the lock? (I don't know.)
Who broke the lock on the hen-house door?
I'll find out aforn I go
Who broke the lock on the hen-house door.

[Instrumental break]

Way up yonder in the Blue Ridge Hills
I putten myself up a liquor still.
The revenue man comed aroun' by chance,
Up and kicked me right 'n the pants.
I went slippin',
Went slidin',
And driftin' down the draw (and driftin' down the draw).

Well, they put me in the jailhouse on my knees.
All they give me was a pan o' peas.
Peas was red 'n' the meat was fat.
I got stuck with the jailer just for that,
But I got sassy with 'im.
Got im-PU-dent,
Wanted to fit with him.
Wouldn't let me out, though; he hadn't keys, the rascal!

But who broke the lock? (I don't know.)
Who broke the lock on the hen-house door?
I'll find out aforn I go
Who broke the lock on the hen-house door.

If you want to get to heaven, let me tell you how to do it:
Just grease your feet with mutton suet,
Slip right out o' that ol' devil's hand
And straight into the Promised Land,
But go easy.
Brother, I'm a-tellin' you, go greasy,
Slippin', slidin',
Up an' down the mantlepiece, lookin' for cigareet butts,
Cigar butts,
Chewin' tobacker,
Dippin' snuff,
Stuff,
An' things.

But who broke the lock? (I don't know.)
Who broke the lock on the hen-house door?
I'll find out before I go
Who broke the lock on the hen-house door.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Who Broke the Lock on the Henhouse Door?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Nov 13 - 06:28 PM

WHO STOLE THE LOCK FROM THE HEN HOUSE DOOR (sic)
As recorded by Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys on "Serenade the Mountains: Early Old Time Music on Record, CD D" (2006)

1. I went down to the farmer's gate.
I blowed my horn both soon and late.
The farmer's dog he wouldn't bark nor bite,
But that son-of-a-gun, he could read and write.

CHORUS: Now who broke that lock? (I don't know.)
Who broke the lock on the hen-house door?
I'll find out before I go
Who broke the lock on the hen-house door.

2. I went down to the hen-house on my knees.
I thought I heard old Bruno sneeze,
But it was an old rooster a-sayin' his prayers
And tellin' his love to the hens upstairs.

3. Oh, the turkey's playin' seven-up on the punkin vine.
The hen's a-drinkin' home brew; the rooster's drinkin' wine
Way down yonder in old Cedar Bluff
Where the geese chew tobacco and the the ducks dip snuff.

4. Said the barnyard hen to the barnyard rooster:
"Somehow y'all don't hear quite as well as you used ter."
Said the rooster to the hen: "Now, that may be true,
But I'd rather be deaf than be dumb like you."

5. Said the barnyard rooster to the barnyard hen:
"Y'all told me a story and I'll tell you when:
You told me that I was your only beau,
And when I asked who broke the lock you said, 'I don't know.'"

6. There was a hen and a rooster livin' way out west.
Said the hen to the rooster: "I love you best."
Said the rooster to the hen: "I know you're tellin' me a lie.
I done and caught you flirtin' with an old Shanghai."


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