Billy Barlow (very early version)


 

BILLY BARLOW

 

Joy Hildebrand points to a much older song than any of the Billy Barlow songs that offers an insight into the origin of Barlow, pre Mother Goose. This is an English ritual themed song associated with the hunting of the wren. When reminded of this I recognised the same song from the repertoire of Simon McDonald, the Cresswick, Victoria, singer recorded by Mary-Jean Officer and Norm O’Connor. The song had Australian provenance.

 

BILLY BARLOW

 

Let’s go hunting, says Risky Rob
Let’s go hunting, says Robin to Bob
Let’s go hunting, says Dan’l to Joe
Let’s go hunting, says Billy Barlow

 

What shall I hunt? says Risky Rob
What shall I hunt? says Robin to Bob
What shall I hunt? says Dan’l to Joe
Hunt for a rat, says Billy Barlow

 

How shall I get him? says Risky Rob
How shall I get him? says Robin to Bob
How shall I get him? says Dan’l to Joe
Go borrow a gun says, Billy Barlow

 

How shall I haul him? says Risky Rob
How shall I haul him? says Robin to Bob
How shall I haul him? says Dan’l to Joe
Go borrow a wagon, says Billy Barlow

 

How shall we divide him? says Risky Rob
How shall we divide him? says Robin to Bob
How shall we divide him? says Dan’l to Joe
How shall we divide him? says Billy Barlow

 

I’ll take shoulder, says Risky Rob
I’ll take side, says Robin to Bob
I’ll take ham, says Dan’l to Joe
Tail bone mine, says Billy Barlow

 

How shall we cook him? says Risky Rob
How shall we cook him? says Robin to Bob
How shall we cook him? says Dan’l to Joe
How shall we cook him? says Billy Barlow

 

I’ll broil shoulder, says Risky Rob
I’ll fry side, says Robin to Rob
I’ll boil ham, says Dan’l to Joe
Tail bone raw, says Billy Barlow