The Hen’s March Through The Midden march

Also known as Cackling Of The Hens, The Hen’s Concert, The Hen’s March O’er The Midden, The Hen’s March Over The Midden, The Hen’s March Ower The Midden, The Hen’s March To The Maiden, The Hen’s March To The Midden, Hens March Tae The Midden, Hens March Through The Middens, The Hens March Through The Middens, The Hens March To The Midden, The Hens March To The Middens, Major Hen’s.

There are 13 recordings of this tune.

This tune has been recorded together with

The Hen’s March Through The Midden has been added to 9 tune sets.

The Hen's March Through The Midden has been added to 93 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: The Hen's March Through The Midden
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A2|:d2 A2 defg|agfe e4|dcde f2 f2|gfg^g a2 a2|
agfa gfeg|fedf e2 A2|df eg fa gf|e2 c2 d4:|
A2 c2 A2 c2|A2 c c3 e2|d2 f2 d2 f2|d2 f f3 a2|
d2 g g3 b2|d2 f f3 a2|d2 g g3 b2|d2 f f3 a2|
agfa gfeg|fedf e2 A2|df eg fa gf|e2 c2 d4:|
X: 2
T: The Hen's March Through The Midden
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:A|d2 A2 d>ef>g|(3fga g>f e2 A2|d2 d>d f2 f2|g>fg>^g a2 a>a|
a>gf>a g>fe>g|f>ed>f e3 A|d>fe>g (3fga g>f|1 e2 A2 d3:|2 e2 A2 d4||
|:A2 e2 A2 e2|A2 A>c e2 f2|d2 f2 d2 f2|d2 d>e f2 a2|
d2 d>e g2 b2|d2 d>e f2 a2|d2 d>e g2 b2|d2 d>e f2 a2|
a>gf>a g>fe>g|f>ed>f A4|d>fe>g (3fga g>f|e2 A2 d3:|

Twenty-four comments

Hens march

This tune goes really well with the four poster bed. In the B part on the fiddle you "scrape" the bow on the dotted crotchets. This is quite a slow reel

The supreme "daggy"!!

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Is this tune really supposed to have a 9-bar A-section and 13-bar B-section? I’ve heard it before and don’t remember this . Also A sharps in the fourth bar - colourful. Intentional? Maybe the read better as B flats.

Kenny: daaaag, pure daaag!

The Hen’s March

I think that the abc is wrong.The series of eight quarter notes at the end of each part should be eighth notes.

Also, if you want to make a note sharp, you put the # sign (^) before the note, not after.

According to the Fiddler’s Companion, this was originally a Scottish tune.

Fairport convention

I first learned this tune off the History of Fairport Convention album that my dad has on vinyl record, so i’m not surprised if nobody has heard of it but it’s a really great set with the Four Poster Bed.


thanx for all the tips

i think it comes frome the Shettlands (as well as the 4 poster bed)

There was a good version on Dave Swarbrick "rags reels and airs".

It’s also on the Dubliners "instrumental.".I think it’s also played by Aly Bain..

From the Fiddler’s Companion:

"Cooke (‘The Fiddle Tradition of the Shetland Isles’, 1986) claims the tune, while of British origins, survived in Shetland in near original form and was reintroduced to the Scottish mainland as much by the playing of Tom Anderson as by anyone else".

Alter ABC

Could someone alter the ABC as suggested above - it would be better for folks to see/hear the tune as it was intended. Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚


happy now?

Hens March

I came running here to check, having just been asked by SO to give her the chords to this for her ukele ( ! ) and realising I’d never analysed the tune, just played it on the concertina; yes, it really is 8 bars ( repeated ) for the A part, and 12 bars ( repeated ) for the B.
And why not ?
You could use it as a 48-bar reel instead of a 3-part tune ( if it didn’t confuse the dancing audience ).

8 & 12 makes sense GP, the problem is with 9 & 13… See the dots. Fortunately the ABCs have been corrected… ๐Ÿ˜

So, let’s see what chords you’ve decided to tie to this?

How daggy more can you make it? ~ by Kenny & Dow’s estimation… ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Chord sequence

could someone please tell me the chord progression for this piece. i desperately need it for the folk band i play in.

also its a shetland reel. so yeh its originally scottish



Sounds a lot like Jeremiah Clarkes Trumpet and Air . Baroque period

he also wrote trumpet voluntary
I’d be interested if there’ an earlier record of the Hen’s March

Fiddler’s Companion site says it was performed in a pantomime at Drury Lane in 1753 and that trumpet marches were popular at the time So Clarke’s theme maty have been lifted for the novelty number. i can just see a big panto hen strutting his stuff like Foghorn Leghorn!

Now hold…..ah say,hold on there, boy…………….."

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The Hen’s March

David Johnson in ‘Scottish Fiddle Music of the 18th Century’ says this tune was written/arranged in the (then) fashionable style of a Baroque march where bird calls etc were often imitated. See Vivaldi’s Four Seasons or Concerto Rustico! He also mentions trumpet marches and the panto as noted previously above. I didn’t think it was so daggy after I read that! Would have to be a march not a reel wouldn’t it?

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