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Sunday Spotlight: The Chicken Song

November 8th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

For my Sunday Spotlight this week, I’m going right back to my songwriting beginnings with a song that was born back in 1985 on a Friday night in Kelly’s Cellars, Belfast. It wouldn’t be accurate to claim it as one of my songs as it was a spontaneous collaboration – a blues number that sort of wrote itself between a bunch of 18-year olds out for a bit of a laugh with a few pints and a sing song. For me, it became a fun song to belt out when the mood was right and it has endured in my repertoire down through the years.

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The Chicken Song
Well I said to my chicken
Why don’t you lay me an egg?
Yeah, I said to my chicken
Why don’t you lay me an egg?
Well, my chicken said to me
Why don’t you lay it yourself?

Well I woke up this morning
My poor little chicken was dead
Yeah, I woke up this morning
And my poor little chicken was dead
My chicken had died
All because of that egg.

I was real real sad
That my poor little chicken had died.
I was real real sad
That my poor little chicken had died.
I didn’t know whether to have my egg done
Raw, boiled, scrambled or fried.

Well since my chicken left me.
I found a new place to dwell.
It’s down at the end of lonely street
At Free Range Hotel.
I’ll be so lonely
I’ll be so lonely I could fry.
I’ll be so lonely
I’ll be so lonely I could fry.

Nostalgia
From what I can recall, myself and Pat McKillen were among the regular attenders at these Friday night gatherings. Saturday afternoons spent busking with Pat in Belfast City Centre are fondly remembered. When I started playing guitar, around 15 or so, I was equally drawn to playing the harmonica. Back then I recall I only had ears for Jimmy Reed in terms of the Blues, though it was probably Christy Moore that inspired me to start singing. I never was very fond of eggs.

I don’t have a studio recording of this song so I did a quick recording (with video) a couple of days ago.