Origin: Traditional (Scotland, Ireland, Britian, Appalachia, South, Northeast US, first collected in 1769)
First released as "The Coo-Coo Bird" by Clarence Ashley (1929)
Released by many others including Tom Ashley, Doc Watson as "Coo-Coo Bird" (1962)
Billy learned this one from his father Terry Barber who was most familiar with the Doc Watson version.


Gonna build me a log cabin
On a mountain so high,
So I can see Willy,
As she goes walking by.
Oh, the cuckoo, she’s a pretty bird,
Lord, she warbles as she flies;
She’ll never say cuckoo
Till the fourth day of July.

Well I played cards in old England
And I’ve gambled over in Spain,
And I’ll bet you ten dollars
That I’ll beat you next game.
My horses they ain’t hungry
And they won’t eat your hay.
I’ll drive home just a little further
Wondering why you treat me this way.

Oh, the cuckoo she’s a pretty bird.
Lord, she warbles as she flies.
She’ll cause never more trouble
And she’ll tell you no lies.
There’s one thing that’s been a puzzle
Since the day that time began:
A man’s love for, for his woman
And her sweet love for her man.