“The Cricket and Crab-louse (Down Derry Down)”


A girl picks a flower containing a cricket and a crab-louse. Both transfer to her body; the crab-louse takes up residence in her vagina. The next day, he escapes and tells the cricket of the horrors he experienced while she had sex


Logsdon notes mentions of an item about a crab-louse and cricket in Legman's _The Horn Book_. Legman (pp. 153, 183) refers to a single item names "The Cricket and Crab-Louse," which appears on page 69 of an 1825 edition of _The Merry Muses of Caledonia_ (a book which reportedly survive in only one copy). I have adopted Legman's title, since Logsdon's is so meaningless, but it should be noted that I have not seen the _Merry Muses_ text; I am equating the two based solely on Legman's description. It is possible that the texts of the _Merry Muses_ and Riley Neal are entirely different songs derived from a common folktale (which Legman also considers to underlie _Tristram Shandy_ and Scientology). - RBW


  1. Logsdon 56, pp. 258-260, "Down, Derry Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #4791
  3. BI, Logs056


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1976 (collected by Logsdon from Riley Neal)
Keywords: bug sex bawdy humorous
Found in: US(SW)