Here’s another fun, rhythmic tune whose words mean little, similar to Shady Grove — in fact, it’s even in the same meter and mode, so they flow together quite naturally, as I discovered while wandering YouTube. (Plus, bonus insight into how to play Dorian on the mountain dulcimer!)
Cluck old hen, cluck and sing
Ain’t laid an egg since ‘way last spring.
Cluck old hen, cluck and squall
Ain’t laid an egg since ‘way last fall.
My old hen’s a good old hen
She lays eggs for the railroad men.
Sometimes one, sometimes two
Sometimes enough for the whole damn crew.
Sometimes nine, sometimes ten
That’s enough eggs for the railroad men.
My old hen, she won’t do
She lays eggs and taters too.
The old hen she’s raised on a farm
Now she’s in the new ground diggin’ up corn.
The first time she cackled, she cackled a lot
Next time she cackled, cackled in the pot.
Here, again, I can personally vouch that Cluck Old Hen makes fabulous dance music. One time at the MIT Folk Dance Club I had the opportunity to contra-dance to Perpetual e-Motion, who are sort of a rock/fusion traditional fiddle duo. (You can hear lots of their music, including Cluck Old Hen, at that link.)