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Audio Recording Cluck Old Hen

Cluck Old Hen

About this Item


  • Cluck Old Hen


  • Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
  • Jabbour, Alan (Collector)
  • Reed, Henry, 1884-1968 (Performer)
  • Reed, Watha (Performer)

Created / Published

  • Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, November 26, 1966


  • -  Instrumental music
  • -  Fiddle tunes
  • -  Folk music--Appalachian Region
  • -  Breakdowns
  • -  Reels
  • -  Guitar music
  • -  Ethnography
  • -  Music
  • -  Field recordings
  • -  United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn


  • Ethnography
  • Music
  • Field recordings


  • -  Meter: 4/4
  • -  Key: A
  • -  Strains: 2 (high-low, 2-2)
  • -  Compass: 10
  • -  Rendition: 1r-2r-1r-2r-1r-2r-1r-2r
  • -  Phrase Structure: AB QR (aba'c qrq'c)
  • -  "Cluck Old Hen" is a well-known tune and song through the Appalachian South, quite distinct from another barnyard evocation, "Cackling Hen," which is played in G. The song "Cluck Old Hen" consists of a series of playful verses. As an instrumental tune, it is popular on both fiddle and banjo. On the fiddle, one of the tune's special features is the "cluck" made by left-hand picking of the strings. In Henry Reed's second performance (AFS 13703b26), the "cluck" is the open E-string, though other fiddlers use both the E and A-strings, or even the E, A, and D-strings. In this, his first performance, he does not do the left-hand picking, but the set shows interesting variation among the repetitions of the second strain. It seems clear here that the variation is a matter of conscious creative modification, not unconscious changes.
  • -  Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
  • -  Performed by Watha Reed, guitar.
  • -  Spoken: HENRY REED: You know that one?
  • -  Recording chronology: 087
  • -  Duration: 1 minute, 3 seconds


  • Audio tape

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1967/007: AFS 13037A17

Source Collection

  • Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1


  • American Folklife Center

Digital Id

Online Format

  • audio

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices for additional information and restrictions.

The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

Photographs in this collection produced by Carl Fleischhauer, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Kit Olson are reproduced here with their permission. Mr. Fleischhauer does not object to additional use of the photos he created provided he is credited as the photographer. Persons contemplating other kinds of uses or use of the other photographers' work should contact the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Credit line

Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:

Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1 (AFC 1967/007), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2 (AFC 1969/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Fiddle tunes of the old frontier: the Henry Reed collection online presentation (AFC 1999/016), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, Alan Jabbour, Henry Reed, and Watha Reed. Cluck Old Hen. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jabbour, A., Jabbour, A., Reed, H. & Reed, W. (1966) Cluck Old Hen. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jabbour, Alan, et al. Cluck Old Hen. Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, 1966. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.