Old Woman:
What have my chickens done now

Young Girl:
She took a mouse out of a pouch
And made me put it in my mouth

5 Sisters:
We call out her name
And beg for a shaming

Young Girl:
She made me spit and shake and scream
She made me make myself unclean

Old Woman:
She calls out my name
But I'm not to blame, but
Maybe my chickens know how

Old Woman:
I don't know why she told on me
I'm sick and sad and eighty three

Young Girl
I knew when I named her
The devil had claimed her

Old Woman:
It must be my chickens somehow

They accused my daughter and
Scratched her on the face and hand

They bite their toungues and bear their teeth
Then they scratch me til I bleed

5 Sisters:
As long as she remains
We will keep her in pain

I know her chickens are foul

Old Woman:
I know I'm not to blame
But I'm tired of the bloodstains
I have to find a way out
Under stress I did confess
Just to make them stop, I guess
What can my chickens do now?

5 Sisters:
We knew if named her
God would not claim her

Old Woman:
My pain was in vain
For they were all against me

5 Sisters:
Around her neck they tied a noose
And they killed her family, too

Young Girl:
Only her chickens know now


Lyrics submitted by Imperfect_Stranger

What Have My Chickens Done Now? song meanings
Add your thoughts

1 Comment

sort form View by:
  • 0
    My InterpretationSo the children are basically causing trouble (like the little tikes always do) and harrasing an old lady. The old lady assumes the chickens are a focus for the kids. Eventually one of the children has a fit. possibably epilectic? The gang of kids start accussing the old lady of causing the fit and further being a witch. Tension mounts and eventually the old lady grows tired of the accusations and admits guilt (of which crime it isn't clear) and is promptly lynched and hung by the locals. Including all her family.

    This song is about the tribal "witch trials" that still go on to this day in remote countries. Obviously europe had the same outlook at some point in the past, but this is a comment on developing country's lingering superstitions. Unfortunately paranoia rules supreme in *some* isolated communities and *occasionally* the mob rules.

    Every now and again you'll find an article in Fortean Times or the BBC.com news about villages plagued by fear and paranoia over witches. Classes of children will go into convulsions and those accused of "witchcraft" get dragged from their homes by mobs and set on fire in the street.

    This isn't a fantasy subject. It's a real as Female Genital Mutilation. Personally, it's music like this that convinced me that the Resident are on the ball as they were in their heyday(70-81).

    Articles follow:

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/…
    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/…
    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/…
    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/…
    thecriksteron February 27, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain