Chicken Reel


sheet music cover

Chicken Reel

words by Jos. Mittenthal music by Jos. M. Daly. Hear this song sung by Arthur Collins (c.1911) from Collected Works of Arthur Collins part 1 at archive.org. Hear Brian Hefferan sing his 2004 version from his Everybody's Doin' It album. View original sheet music from the African American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 (from Brown University) at The Library of Congress
[Verse 1] Bb Way down in Carolina where the sweet potatos grow F7 Bb there lives a dancin' maiden by the name of Liza Snow Bb She used to go to parties where they always made her sing F7 Bb but SAY you ought to see that lady do the chicken wing Bb They held a dancing contest and were going to give a prize F7 Bb They ALL had on their finest and it now was up to Lize Bb Who was gonna win it everybody there could feel F7 Bb When Liza hollered to the band to play the Chicken Reel Bb7 Clear the crowd away, tell the band to play when you hear me say go! my honey [Chorus] Eb G7 Oh, you chicken reel, how you make me feel Cm play it really so entrancing who could really keep from dancing Fm C7 That's the music sweet, like the chicken meat Fm Give to me with a dressin' I don't need no dancing lesson G Cm Put all the other fine selections right away G Cm that is the only tune I want to hear you play C7 Fm When I get married its the music I will play Eb Bb7 Eb Hey boy, keep playing chicken reel all day [Verse 2] One night when from a party she was coming home with Bill He's a steady fellow and the night was dark and still I seems he had a chicken and when Liza heard of that She said I'm gonna wear it on my go-to-meeting hat I guess you must be crazy answered William with a smile but Liza said "go on you haven't heard the latest style" When first she wore it out the people asked her to explain but Liza simply answered "I've got chicken on the brain" Clear the crowd away, tell the band to play when you hear me say go! my honey