Tom Tobin's Dickey Bird (Pad John Welsh) video
#1405: YouTube video by bayboynfld
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

midi1   alt: midi2

(Sung to the tune of Muirsheen Durkin)

Come all ye friends and comrades,
this story I will tell,
'Tis all about a family,
on French Head they did dwell;
T'was Tom and Don and Joss
and John and Julie twenty-three,
And a cock-eyed bull,
a dickey bird, made up the family.

'Twas the middle of November,
or somewhere there about,
The family barred up their home
and traveled to the south;
Says Tom, will cost me fifty cents,
its passage for to pay,
Now who will take my dickey bird
while I am gone away?

Well, Tom he met Tom Hurley
and this to him did say,
You'll take my hen and dickey bird
while I am gone away;
Oh, Tom, you got a clever dick
likewise a handsome hen,
Oh, yes, I'll take your dickey bird
till you get back again.

Well, Tom he ran into the house
to break the news to Em,
I got Tom Tobin's dickey bird
till he comes back again;
If I should go to the Northeast Point
or to the Southern End,
This rooster will be company
till I get back again.

Well, Em she clapped her tiny hands
and shouted out with joy,
Oh, Tom, you thinks so much of me,
you great big handsome boy;
Go get your hammer and your saw
and build for him a crib,
I long to see that rooster,
I know he must be big.

Well, Tom brought in the rooster
and laid him on the floor,
While Em declared she never saw
the like of him before;
She said she never saw the like
or had she ever heard,
Of a rooster any bigger than
Tom Tobin's dickey bird.

Well, Em she loved the rooster,
she loved to see him stand,
She used to pat his bony head
and take him in her hand;
The rooster he enjoyed the sport,
with pleasure he did share,
With the wife of Thomas Hurley
when Tom Hurley wasn't there.

Well, Tom he went to Em and said,
I cannot understand,
How you can love the rooster
of another married man;
Oh, Tom, I love the rooster,
I'm not despising you,
You know you're rooster number one,
there's rooster number two.

Well, the rooster he got saucy,
as you may understand,
And had to be beheaded
by a jealous minded man;
We all sat 'round the table
with our dish and spoon and scoop,
And filled our belly's to the brim
with saucy rooster… soup.

####.... Pad John Welsh of Grey Islands ....####
Recorded by The Rampikes and by Mike Meaney on Newfoundland & Labrador Folklore: A Sampler Of Songs, Narrations and Tunes (a project of The Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place, and Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive, 2007).

The video above features an acapella performance by Mike Meaney in his home in St Mary's Bay, Newfoundland at Christmas, 2007.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Dicky - rooster; dick; dickey; dickie.


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