The Old Dun Cow Caught Fire reel

The Old Dun Cow Caught Fire has been added to 28 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: The Old Dun Cow Caught Fire
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
ABAE G2FG|A2A2G2EF|D2C2 B,2 C2|E6 A,B,|
CD CB, A,2 CD|E2 A2 E4|ABAF GFCD|E6 AB|c2A2 B2 G2|
AAEEF2EF|1 E2 F2 E2 D2|E6 E2|C2 B,2 A,4|A2A2 E4:|2 E2 D2 C2 B,2|A,8||

Five comments

Some friends and I in a public house
Was playing a game of chance one night
When into the pub a fireman ran
His face all a chalky white.
"What’s up", says Brown, "Have you seen a ghost,
Or have you seen your Aunt Mariah?"
"Me Aunt Mariah be buggered!", says he,
"The bleedin’ pub’s on fire!"

And there was Brown upside down
Lappin” up the whiskey on the floor.
"Booze, booze!" The firemen cried
As they came knockin’ on the door (clap clap)
Oh don’t let ‘em in till it’s all drunk up
And somebody shouted MacIntyre! MACINTYRE!
And we all got blue-blind paralytic drunk
When the Old Dun Cow caught fire.

"Oh well," says Brown, "What a bit of luck.
Everybody follow me.
And it’s down to the cellar
If the fire’s not there
Then we’ll have a grand old spree."
So we went on down after good old Brown
The booze we could not miss
And we hadn’t been there ten minutes or more
Till we were quite p*ssed.

Then, Smith walked over to the port wine tub
And gave it just a few hard knocks (clap clap)
Started takin’ off his pantaloons
Likewise his shoes and socks.
"Hold on, " says Brown, "that ain’t allowed
Ya cannot do that thing here.
Don’t go washin’ trousers in the port wine tub
When we got Guinness beer."

Then there came from the old back door
The Vicar of the local church.
And when he saw our drunken ways,
He began to scream and curse.
"Ah, you drunken sods! You heathen clods!
You’ve taken to a drunken spree!
You drank up all the Benedictine wine
And you didn’t save a drop for me!"

And then there came a mighty crash
Half the bloody roof caved in.
We were almost drowned in the firemen’s hose
But still we were gonna stay.
So we got some tacks and some old wet sacks
And we nailed ourselves inside
And we sat drinking the finest Rum
Till we were bleary-eyed.

Later that night, when the fire was out
We came up from the cellar below.
Our pub was burned. Our booze was drunk.
Our heads was hanging low.
"Oh look", says Brown with a look quite queer.
Seems something raised his ire.
"Now we gotta get down to Murphy’s Pub,
It closes on the hour!"

The Old Cow’s Not For Burning

This one stirs memories - folk clubs - the sort of song sung by hearty duos who can’t quite sing, and so sound remarkably like dogs on the high notes. I wonder where it originated. Cockney?

I hope this does not happen to the Dun Cow in Durham, an estimable session hole that does a decent pint.

The Dun Cow

Here the version i used to sing. Learned from an Englishman from Shrewsbury that started our folk club.
Dun Cow

Some pals and I, in a public house
were a playin’ dominos last night.
When all of a sudden in the pub a man rushed
with a face just like a kite.
What’s up says Brown, have you seen your Aunt?
Have you seen your Aunt Mariah?
Oh me aunt Mariah be blowed says he,
The bloody pub’s on fire!

On fire says Brown, what a bit of luck
What a bit of luck says he.
Down in the cellar with the fire up here
We’ll have a gay old spree

So it’s down we went with good ol’ Brown
To beer we could not miss
We had not been ten minutes there
Before we were all like this…..

Well there was Brown, upside down,
Moppin up the whiskey on the floor.
Booze! Booze! the firemen cried,
as they came a knockin at the door.
Oh, it’s don’t let em in, til it’s all mopped up
Someone shouted McIntyre! (MACINTYRE!!!)
And we all got blue blind paralytic drunk,
When the Ol Dun Cow caught fire.

Then Johnson went to the port wine tub,
where he gave it a few hard knocks
Started takin’ off his pantaloons,
likewise his shoes and socks
Oh don’t says Stokes. if you wanna wash your feet,
there a tub of poor ale here.
Don’t you put your trotters in the port wine tub
when we got some old stale beer.

Then all of sudden, such an awful crash,
half the bloody roof gave way
And we were drowned by the fireman’s hose,
but still we were all gay….
So we got some sacks and some old tin tacks
and we bunged ourselves inside
An we got drinkin’ good old scotch,
til we was bleary eyed…

An there was Brown, upside down,
Moppin up the whiskey on the floor.
Booze! Booze! the firemen cried,
As they came knockin at the door.
Oh it’s don’t let em in, till it’s all mopped up
Someone shouted McIntyre! (MACINTYRE!!!)
And we all got blue blind paralytic drunk,
When the Ol Dun Cow caught fire.

The words given by windybear are as sung by Bob Copper on an LP " A Jug of Punch" from 1960, edited and recorded by Peter Kennedy for the EFDSS.
Sleeve note "Another nonsense song in a more boozy and less bruisy vein. Although perhaps not a folk song in the purist sense, such music-hall songs are very popular with English folk singers in the country area surrounding London"

(no grumbles yet about it not being a dance tune or air)

The album also includes Seamus Ennis singing "Football Crazy"