Turkey in the Straw

from by Red Yarn

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Adapted by Red Yarn from the traditional version. I learned this 19th century minstrel show song as a child, but my version is mostly drawn from Carl Sandburg’s 'The American Songbag' (1927).


As I was goin down the road
A tired team and a heavy load
I cracked my whip and the leader sprung
I says “Day-day” to the wagon tongue

Turkey in the straw, haw haw haw
Turkey in the hay, hey hey hey
Roll em up and twist em up and high tuckahaw
And hit em up a tune called “Turkey in the Straw”

Well I went out to milk but I didn't know how
I milked a goat instead of a cow
A monkey sittin on a pile of straw
Just a-winkin at his mother-in-law

Turkey in the straw…

I met Mr. Catfish comin upstream
I says “Mr. Catfish, what do you mean?”
I caught Mr. Catfish by the snout
And I turned Mr. Catfish wrong side out

Turkey in the straw…

And I was going down that new cut road
I saw Mr. Bullfrog and I saw Miss Toad
And every time Miss Toad would sing
Old Bullfrog he cut a pigeon wing

Turkey in the straw…


from The Deep Woods, released October 15, 2013
Andy Furgeson/Red Yarn: vocals, guitars, bass
Dustin Dybvig: drums
Will Trevor: fiddle
Community Singers: vocals



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Red Yarn Portland, Oregon

Red Yarn is a Texas-born, Oregon-based family performer who weaves folksongs & puppetry into engaging shows for all ages. With his energetic performances and lush folk-rock recordings, Red Yarn reinvigorates American folklore for younger generations.

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