“Bow Wow Wow”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1859 (Chappell)
Keywords: dancetune nonballad animal
Found in: Britain


Primarily as tune used for various broadsides and late folk songs, recognized monotonal measures followed by arpeggios on a pentatonic scale. Chorus something like "Bow wow wow, all the dog did say to them was, Bow wow wow."


I've yet to find a complete text of this piece, which makes it hard to write a proper description. I'm not sure Bow Wow Wow, as a song in its own right, exists in tradition. But it was used for so many traditional songs (see the cross-references) that it clearly belongs here. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Chappell/Wooldridge II, p. 183, "The Barking Barber" (1 tune)
  2. BI, ChWII183