If You See My Rooster
Memphis Minnie Lyrics


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If you see my rooster
Please run him on back home
If you see my rooster
Please run him on back home
I haven't found no eggs in my basket
Since my rooster been gone

I heard my rooster crowing
This morning just about the break of day
I heard my rooster crowing
This morning just about the break of day

I guess that was the time he was making his getaway
I just found out how come my hens won't lay
I just found out how come my hens won't lay
Every time I look around my rooster have done gone away

Now play it, Bob
Tell me 'bout my rooster

I've got too many hens
For not to have no roosters on my yard
I've got too many hens
For not to have no roosters on my yard
And I don't know what's the matter
Something have done got 'em barred

Now, Bob, if you see my rooster
Please run him on back home
Now, Bob, if you see my rooster
Please run him on back home




I haven't found no eggs in my basket
Since my rooster been gone

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Memphis Minnie's song "If You See My Rooster" center around the singer's search for her missing rooster. She urges anyone who sees him to bring him back home, explaining that since he's been gone, her basket of eggs has remained empty. She suspects that he has deserted her hens, which is why they aren't laying eggs. She refers to her rooster crowing at daybreak, possibly as a clue to his whereabouts, and acknowledges having too many hens without a rooster.


At its core, the song is a humorous, lighthearted tale of a missing rooster with catchy musical accompaniment. However, the lyrics also provide insight into the importance of a rooster to a henhouse and the agricultural economy. Roosters are critical for fertilizing eggs and encouraging egg production in hens. Without them, there is a significant decline in egg productivity - hence the singer's plea for the return of her rooster.


Furthermore, the lyrics suggest a sense of community and cooperation, as the singer asks for the help of those around her in locating her rooster. This sense of community support was essential in rural areas where agriculture was key to survival, and everyone was familiar with the importance of a rooster on a farm.


Line by Line Meaning

If you see my rooster
Asking someone to catch my rooster.


Please run him on back home
Bring him back to me as soon as possible.


I haven't found no eggs in my basket Since my rooster been gone
My hens are not laying eggs because there is no male rooster, and I need him back.


I heard my rooster crowing This morning just about the break of day
I heard him crowing in the morning when he left.


I guess that was the time he was making his getaway
That was the time the rooster left my yard.


I just found out how come my hens won't lay Every time I look around my rooster have done gone away
I realized the reason for my hens not laying eggs is because my rooster keeps leaving.


Now play it, Bob Tell me 'bout my rooster
Addressing someone named Bob who may have information about the missing rooster.


I've got too many hens For not to have no roosters on my yard
There are too many hens in my yard to not have a rooster around.


And I don't know what's the matter Something have done got 'em barred
I do not know what happened, but something is keeping the rooster from returning to my yard.


Now, Bob, if you see my rooster Please run him on back home
Asking Bob again to bring the rooster back.


I haven't found no eggs in my basket Since my rooster been gone
Reiterating the need for the rooster to be present to lay eggs.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Minnie Mccoy

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@JimDixon55104

IF YOU SEE MY ROOSTER
As recorded by Memphis Minnie, 1936.

If you see my rooster, please run him on back home. (2x)
I have found no eggs in my basket since my rooster been gone.

I heard my rooster crowin' this mornin' just about the break o' day. (2x)
I guess that was the time he was makin' his getaway.

I just found out how come my hens won't lay. (2x)
Ev'ry time I look around, my rooster have done gone away.

I've got too many hens for not to have no roosters on my yard. (2x)
And I don't know what's the matter; something have done got him barred(?).

Now, Bob, if you see my rooster, please run him on back home. (2x)
I have found no eggs in my basket since my rooster been gone.


[This seems to be a source for Willie Dixon's LITTLE RED ROOSTER, recorded by Howlin' Wolf in 1961.]



All comments from YouTube:

@mikec6822

It's very amusing when so many young people say they never heard of Memphis Minnie. Anyone who's into the blues has no excuse as her recordings are widely accessible.

A lot people claim to have never heard of Elizabeth Cotten but they sing her song Freight Train which she wrote when a child. A lot of people claim they did not know of Sister Rosetta Thorpe. She was playing "Rock and Roll" in the church before the phrase was coined and when Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and the rest were in diapers. Yet all rockers have copied her style, swagger, and stage presence. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was finally embarrassed into recognizing her. Go figure.

@pigofapilot1

Blues guitar +blues piano and a voice like that can't be beaten. Pure music.

@johnnyfryman7919

University of Mississippi use to have a wonderful Blues Archives and radio show.

@stephenchesterjr1364

i used to visit her grave almost monthly in 2017 -2018... kind of helped living a few miles away ;)...always felt a connection with her... L'Enfant Sauvage

@ObeyMyGayy

Tyler Perry's A Jazzman's Blues lead me to this 🥰

@Samuel-tz6kp

Me too ❤

@juliejulie8889

One of my favorites for years now. Bob...Tell me about my Rooster.

@elliewong162

I just knew about Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday...Minnie had a 40 year career...what a grasp on life...an inspiration to women...Yes...thanks to our internet I want to read all about her...

@dombat61

I'm very enjoy, because yesterday evening, I saw on Netflix the film "The Jazzman's Blues" (a marvellous film) and I recognized immediatly the first song at the beginning of the film... "If You See My Rooster" by Memphie Minnie (Mc Coy in fact, because she was married with Kansas Joe Mc Coy when she composed this song, I think)

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