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Origins: The Drummer and the Cook

08 Aug 01 - 03:29 AM (#523283)
Subject: Sea Chanty
From: Lee Shore

Okay, here's a tough one, y'll. Anyone have the lyrics & chords to an ancient sea chanty called. I think, "The Drummer and the Cook." All I can remember is the line: "With her one eye on the pot and t'other up the chimney,with a bow wow wow..." Anybody?

08 Aug 01 - 04:43 AM (#523310)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Sea Chantey
From: IanC

It's in DT here.

Use the "Digitrad and Forum Search at the top left of the screen.



Oh there was a little drummer
And he loved a one [wall]-eyed cook
And he loved her, oh he loved her
Though she had a cock-eyed look,

cho: With her one eye in the pot
And the other up the chimney
With a bow-wow-wow
Fal-lal the dow-a-diddy

When this couple went a-courtin'
For to walk along the shore,
Sez the drummer to the cookie,
"You're the girl that I adore."

When this couple went a-courtin'
For to walk along the pier,
Sez the cookie to the drummer,
"An' I love you too my dear. "

Sez the drummer to the cookie,
"'Ain't the weather fine today?"
Sez the cookie to the drummer,
"Is that all ye got to say?"

Sez the drummer to the cookie
"Will I buy thy weddin' ring? "
Sez the cookie, "Now you're talkin'.
That would be the very thing."

Sez the drummer to the cookie,
"Will ye name the weddin' day?"
Sez the cookie "We'll be married
In the merry month of May."

When they went to church to say
"I will" the drummer got a nark,
For her one eye gliffed the Parson,
And the other killed the clerk.

nark: "a disagreeble surprise caused by a person, and not by a
gliff: "frighten"
From Strawberry Fair, 51 Traditional Songs, A&C Black
Recorded by Ives, Bellafonte
filename[ DRUMCOOK


There was a little drummer, and he loved a one a (eyed) cook
She was a handsome creature, but she had a squinting look
And every night the drummer came, he eyed her look so nimbly
With the one eye on the pot and the other up the chimney.

cho: Wi' his wak-row-de-dow, fal-al-daddie
Wi' his wak-row-de-dow, fal-al-a-ral-a-ray

It happened on a night, when all was fast asleep
That the drummer, little rogue, from his barracks he did creep
An' he came, he brought his drum; his heart it beat like thunder,
An' like the very mischief he gied in below the window.

The cook she knew the signal she rose and let him in
The supper being over it caused him for to grin
As down he sat to a goose quite fat, an' aye he twigged a bottle
But scarcec had he begun when a bone stuck in his throttle.

The cook took up the drumstick, she gave him such a souch
She gave him such a souch, till she wakened all the house
Her master rose wi' his night clothes, came down the stair a-smoking
Where he found the cook a-fighting and the little drummer choking

When she saw her master she gave another blow
She gave him such a blow, till down the bone did go
The drummer up an' to his heels, it was just for to run, sir
When the first step that he took was right into his drum, sir.

He tried for to get out of it, but could not make it out
So he dunted out the bottom o't an' hauled it round [his waist] (about)
An' when he ran right doon the streety, he tumbled in the gutter
Syne the police, he bawled out, "Such a walking kit of butter".

The drummer got some stripes for this, which caused him get disgrace
The cook she lost her character, besides she lost her place
Now all ye cooks an' maidens fair, jist coort when ye think proper
Tell your sweetheart ere he comes to be sure he tak's his supper.

From The Grieg-Duncan Collection
Collected 1908
@courtship @food @soldier @cook
filename[ DRUMCOO2

08 Aug 01 - 10:23 AM (#523466)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Sea Chantey
From: Charley Noble

You'll regret getting that tune in your head; it's like a virus and runs for days!

08 Aug 01 - 10:26 AM (#523468)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Sea Chantey
From: Naemanson

Its on the Johnson Girls CD.

08 Aug 01 - 10:38 AM (#523476)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Sea Chantey

The cook was a woman? I didn't think they allowed women on whaling ships.

08 Aug 01 - 11:16 AM (#523507)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Sea Chantey
From: Charley Noble

Usually only the captain's wife. I don't believe the cook in question was aboard ship.

08 Aug 01 - 11:22 AM (#523508)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Sea Chantey
From: MMario

the ABC for the tune was posted here by snuffy
X: 79
T:The Drummer and the Cook
N:filename[ DRUMCOOK
G2G2|G4 |d2ef|gdec|
B2A2|G4 ||

19 Oct 20 - 05:34 PM (#4076036)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: The Drummer and the Cook
From: Steve Gardham

The tune is a variant of the ubiquitous 'Bow Wow Wow' of the 18th century. Also used for the trad song 'Shooting Goshen's Cocks up.'

Hugill was incorrect when he claimed it was based on a sea song 'Barney Buntline'. Both are based on a comic song which compared politicians to different breeds of dogs, hence the chorus 'Bow Wow Wow. In the early 19th century numerous comic songs were written to the tune. See Universal Songster for one source.

13 May 24 - 02:46 PM (#4202461)
Subject: Origins: The Drummer and the Cook
From: Joe Offer

Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Drummer and the Cook, The

DESCRIPTION: A drummer is in love with a cook. He sneaks in to see her one night, she gives him a meal and he chokes on a bone. She tries to knock it out of him and wakes the house. The master comes down, chases them, the drummer falls into his drum, both get fired.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1856 (broadside, Bodleian Johnson Ballads 1885)
KEYWORDS: cook shanty nightvisit humorous courting disability escape food soldier
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Greig/Duncan2 314, "The Drummer and the Cook" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
Hugill-ShantiesFromTheSevenSeas, p. 460, "The Drummer and the Cook" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kinsey-SongsOfTheSea, pp. 56-58, "The Drummer and the Cook" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #3136
Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 1885, "Walking Tub of Butter" ("There was a little drummer"), J. Cadman (Manchester), 1850-1855; also 2806 b.10(163), Harding B 16(299a), "The Walking Tub of Butter"; Harding B 15(132a), "Hump-back'd Drummer, and the Cross-eyed Cook"; Firth c.14(306), "The Little Drummer"
cf. "Sailor's Consolation" (similar chorus)
cf. "The Way to Swig It" (tune, per broadside Bodleian Firth c.14(306))
The Drummer
The Little Drummer
NOTES [131 words]: [Regarding Hugill-ShantiesFromTheSevenSeas's 1926 date:] Hugill says this is from one of Richard Runciman Terry's books, unfortunately he didn't specify which one [It appears to be Shanty Book 2 - RBW]. Terry supposed that this was a music hall song which was taken wholesale into the shanty repertoire. He says he learned it from Cap'n John Runciman, who in turn had it from the cook of the Blyth brig Northumberland. Harry Belafonte recorded this in the 1950s. - SL
If not a music hall song, it certainly came from the popular press, as the broadsides show. - RBW
The cook "had a squinting look" ["cross-eyed" in Bodleian Harding B 15(132a)] that plays little part in the story but leads to the best known line of the song: "She had one eye in the pot, and another up the chimney." - BS
Last updated in version 5.1
File: Hugi460

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