Roger McGuinn·The Folk Den


March 2015 • The Crawdad Song


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My wife, Camilla was telling me how her grandma loved to fish. She didn’t use a fancy rod and reel like Opie up there, just a cane pole, a short fishing line and a hook bated with a worm (my wife had to affix the worm). Grandma caught small fish and returned them to the water. I started singing this song that I learned at the Old Town School of Folk Music over 55 years ago. Camilla asked if I’d ever recorded it for the Folk Den and I realized that I had not. So here it is!

Lyrics:

[G] You get a line and I’ll get a pole honey
You get a line and I’ll get a pole [D] babe
[G] You get a line and I’ll get a pole
[C] We’ll go down to the crawdad hole
[G] Honey [D] Baby [G] mine
Yonder comes a man with a sack on his back, Honey,
Yonder comes a man with a sack on his back, Babe,
Yonder comes a man with a sack on his back,
Got more crawdads than he could pack,
Honey, Baby mine.

What did the hen duck say to the drake, Honey,
What did the hen duck say to the drake, Babe,
What did the hen duck to the drake,
There ain’t no crawdads in this lake,
Honey, Baby mine.

Sittin’ on the bank ’til my feet get cold, Honey,
Sittin’ on the bank ’til my feet get cold, Babe,
Sittin’ on the bank ’til my feet get cold,
Watchin’ that crawdad dig his hole,
Honey, Baby mine.

What you gonna do when the lake runs dry, Honey,
What you gonna do when the lake runs dry, Babe,
What you gonna do when the lake runs dry,
Sit on the bank watch crawdads die,
Honey, Baby mine.

What you gonna do when the meal gives out, Honey
What you gonna do when the meal gives out, Babe
What you gonna do when the meal gives out
We’ll go visiting round about
Honey, Baby mine.

Crawdad Crawdad better dig deep, Honey
Crawdad Crawdad better dig deep, Babe
Crawdad Crawdad better dig deep
For I’m gonna ramble in my sleep
Honey, Baby mine

Stuck my hook in a crawdad hole, Honey
Stuck my hook in a crawdad hole, Babe
Stuck my hook in a crawdad hole
Couldn’t get it out to save my soul
Honey, Baby mine

Apple cider cinnamon beer, Honey
Apple cider cinnamon beer, Babe
Apple cider cinnamon beer
Cold hog’s head and a possum’s ear
Honey, Baby mine

What you gonna do when the meat’s all gone, Honey
What you gonna do when the meat’s all gone, Babe
What you gonna do when the meat’s all gone
Sit in the kitchen and gnaw on a bone
Honey, Baby mine

Repeat First Verse

The Folk Den Archives

  • The Crawdad Song
  • Paddy and the Whale
  • The Ash Grove
  • The Cherry Tree Carol
  • Little Moses
  • Henry Lee
  • Risselty Rosselty Now Now Now
  • Tell Ole Gil
  • Hard Times of Old England
  • Peg & Awl
  • Take A Drink On Me
  • The Lazy Farmer Boy
  • Engine 143
  • Winter’s Almost Gone
  • The Month of January
  • It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  • She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain
  • Swannanoa Tunnel
  • Jimmy Brown
  • I Heard The Voice Of Jesus
  • I’ve Been Working On The Railroad
  • We Are Crossing The Jordan River
  • Early One Morning
  • Swing Low Sweet Chariot
  • The Moonshiner
  • Banks of Newfoundland
  • John Hardy
  • We Three Kings
  • Away With Rum
  • Darling Clementine
  • Give Me Oil In My Lamp
  • Isn’t It Grand?
  • Jacob’s Dream
  • When Jones’s Ale Was New
  • Down In The Valley
  • Let My People Go!
  • Paddy West
  • Titanic
  • Eddystone Light
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlmen
  • The Cobbler
  • Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair
  • Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie
  • The Coast of Peru
  • Paul & Silas
  • Leave Her Johnny Leave Her
  • To Welcome Poor Paddy Home
  • The Squirrel
  • Polly Vaughn
  • Henry Martin
  • Barbara Allen
  • Back To Sea
  • The Bears Went Over The Mountain
  • Pay Me My Money Down
  • Rolling Down To Old Maui
  • Whoa Back Buck
  • I’m On My Way
  • All The Pretty Little Horses
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain
  • Black Mt. Rag / Soldier’s Joy
  • She Never Will Marry
  • Randy Dandy Oh
  • Take This Hammer
  • Christmas Is Coming
  • Frozen Logger
  • I’ll Fly Away
  • Drill Ye Tarriers
  • When I First Came To This Land
  • Old Chisholm Trail
  • A Roving
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  • Old Plank Road
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  • Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
  • No Payday In Detroit
  • Go Tell It On The Mountain
  • 500 Miles
  • Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho
  • Darlin’ Corey
  • Skip To My Lou
  • Going Down The Road Feeling Bad
  • I Know Where I’m Going
  • Come And Go With Me To That Land
  • Cripple Creek
  • Blow The Man Down
  • Old Joe Clark
  • Away Rio
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Old Blue
  • The Ballad of the Boll Weevil
  • Fair and Tender Ladies
  • Sugar Baby
  • The Coo Coo
  • King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O
  • The Butcher’s Boy
  • Glory Glory
  • The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry
  • The House Carpenter
  • This Little Light Of Mine
  • Joy To The World
  • Housewife’s Lament
  • Whup Jamboree
  • Perry’s Victory
  • Every Time I Feel The Spirit
  • Katie Morey
  • Pretty Polly
  • Molly Malone
  • Greensleeves
  • Wade in the Water
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb
  • St. Clair's Defeat
  • Children Go Where I Send Thee
  • Oh Mary Don't You Weep
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  • There's A Hole In The Bucket
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  • On Top Of Old Smokey
  • Old Riley
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  • Wanderin'
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  • Cindy
  • The First Noel
  • The John B's Sails
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  • Oh Freedom
  • Haul Away Joe
  • Down by the Riverside
  • Salty Dog Blues
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  • Ezekiel Saw A Wheel
  • Drunken Sailor
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  • The Gallows Pole
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
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  • Go Tell Aunt Rhodie
  • He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
  • Squid-Jigging Ground
  • 12 Gates To The City
  • Wild Mountain Thyme
  • Pretty Saro
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  • When the Saints Go Marching In
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  • All My Trials
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  • Michael Row the Boat Ashore
  • Rock Island Line
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  • Spanish is the Loving Tongue
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  • I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  • Battle Hymn of the Republic
  • America For Me
  • Streets of Laredo
  • Bring Me a Little Water, Sylvie
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  • Water is Wide, The
  • House of the Rising Sun, The
  • Colorado Trail, The
  • Catch The Greenland Whale
  • The Riddle Song
  • Stewball
  • Twelve Days of Christmas, The
  • Makes A Long Time Man Feel Bad
  • Coffee Grows On White Oak Trees
  • Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase
  • Cruel War, The
  • Star Spangled Banner
  • Willie Moore
  • Kilgary Mountain
  • Lilly of the West
  • Dink's Song
  • Greenland Whale Fisheries
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • I Saw Three Ships
  • Ain' No Mo' Cane On De Brasis
  • Fair Nottamun Town
  • Sail Away Lady
  • Trouble In Mind
  • Get Along Little Dogies
  • Liverpool Gals
  • Alabama Bound
  • Blood Red Roses
  • Old Texas
  • 900 Miles
  • Brazos River, The
  • Bonny Ship the Diamond, The
  • John The Revelator
  • Mighty Day
  • Home On The Range
  • John Henry
  • Pushboat
  • James Alley Blues, The
  • Handsome Cabin Boy, The
  • Bound To Australia
  • Finnegan's Wake
  • Brandy Leave Me Alone
  • Cold Cold Coast of Greenland, The
  • Mary Had A Baby
  • Wagoner’s Lad
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  • Go To Sea Once More
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  • This Train
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  • Sailor Lad
  • Alberta
  • In The Evenin’
  • What Child Is This
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  • Boatman
  • Tribute to Bob Gibson
  • Cold Coast of Greenland
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  • Springfield Mountain
  • Easter
  • To Morrow
  • John Riley
  • Argonaut, The
  • Virgin Mary
  • Old Paint