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Debra Cowan’s Perpetually Incomplete Songbook

This is a list of the songs that I have learned over the years and it is by no means ALL the songs I know, just the ones that come to mind when I have to make a list. This page will always be a work in progess because I’m always seeking out and learning new material. If you have any suggestions of songs that I might be interested in, please email me at dcowan AT DebraCowan DOT com (remove spaces and substitute appropriate symbols). This bit of my website is in need of an updating as many of these songs I haven’t performed in years and there have also been many many additions. If you see a song here that you’d like me to do at a show, please ask me. I’ll gladly do requests.

Unaccompanied (traditional)

  • One Night As I Lay On My Bed
  • ‘Twas In the Month of January
  • Twa Corbies
  • My Son John
  • Fighting for Strangers
  • Willie Taylor
  • The Drunkard
  • Weary Cutters
  • Get Up and Bar the Door
  • I Was a Young Man
  • A Maid on the Shore
  • Parcel of Rogues
  • Saucy Sailor
  • Brisk Young Butcher
  • Cruel Mother
  • Moonshiner
  • My Johnny Was a Shoemaker
  • Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore
  • Up In the North
  • Gypsum Davey
  • Back and Sides/Julianna
  • Bonny Hind
  • Robin Hood and the Pedlar
  • Withee Tree
  • Edward Boyle
  • Johnny Be Fair
  • The Banks of the Green Willow
  • The Dreadful Ghost
  • Darlin’ Corey
  • Female Ramblin’ Sailor
  • Cork Harbor
  • The Life of a Man
  • Star In the East
  • Fearless In the Fire
  • Cruel Brother
  • Burly Burly Banks of Barbree-O
  • The Blacksmith

Traditional with guitar

  • Two Soldiers
  • Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore
  • McGinnis Gets a Job
  • Bullgine Run
  • Verdant Braes of Skreen
  • Cherry Tree Carol
  • Blackwaterside
  • Coal Tattoo
  • Mary and the Soldier
  • Dad’s Dinner Pail
  • In the Town of Oxford
  • Constitution and the Guerriere

Stan Rogers

  • 45 Years From Now
  • Harris and the Mare
  • Canol Road
  • Night Guard
  • Barrett’s Pirateers

Kate Wolf

  • Green Eyes
  • Give Yourself to Love
  • Two Way Waltz
  • Medicine Wheel

David Littlefield

  • Overlock’s Orchestra
  • Promenade

Richard Thompson

  • Bright Lights Tonight
  • Valerie
  • A Heart Needs a Home
  • Galway to Graceland
  • Shane and Dixie
  • Small Town Romance
  • Waltzing’s For Dreamers
  • Valerio
  • Strange Affair
  • Never Again
  • Princess is Dancing at the Egypt Room
  • Died For Love
  • How Will I Ever be Simple Again
  • Has He Got a Friend (appears on the 2005 Free Reed Box Set, “RT-The Life and Times of Richard Thompson”)

David Cowan

  • Guitar and the Woman
  • Memorial Day
  • What We Gonna Do

Robin Williams

  • Daughter of MacLeod
  • Whipporwill

Uncle Bonsai

  • Family Restaurant
  • My Father’s House
  • Lois
  • In It for the Children
  • Penis Envy
  • Don’t Put It in Your Mouth
  • Still In Love

Dave Goulder

  • The January Man
  • Sandwood Down to Kyle
  • Easter Tree

Utah Phillips

  • Song For Eddie
  • Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia
  • Goodnight Loving Trail
  • All Used Up

Jethro Tull

  • On the Inside
  • Nursie/Wondering Aloud
  • Fire at Midnight
  • Underwraps

John Prine

  • Bottomless Lake
  • Hello In There
  • Far From Me
  • Illegal Smile
  • Come Back to Us Barbara Lewis

Eileen McGann

  • Isabella Gunn
  • Canoe Song at Twilight


  • All The Tunes (E. McVicker)
  • Ballad of Weaverville (Jim Ringer)
  • Sugar Trade (James Taylor)
  • Mary and Omie (Nancy Griffith)
  • Abiezer Copp (Leon Rosselson)
  • The Rose You Wore For Me (Carnahan)
  • Loughrask (Carnahan)
  • The Rock Against the Tide (Brian MacNeil)
  • Back ‘O the North Wind (Brian MacNeil)
  • Dreamers (Lloyd Foote)
  • Rufus and Beverly (M. Graham)
  • Red Velvet (Ian Tyson)
  • Home is Where the Heart Is (Clive Gregson)
  • Thanksgiving Eve (Bob Franke)
  • Alma (Tom Lehrer)
  • St. Brendan’s Faire Isle (Driftwood)
  • Unicorns (Bill Caddick)
  • Wealthiest of Men (Geoff Bartley)
  • Rosa’s Carollas (Kate Campbell)
  • Bring ‘Im On (John Tams)
  • I Can See Your Aura (Mark Graham)
  • Just a Note (Ewan MacColl)
  • Sir Richard’s Song (Kipling/Bellamy)
  • The Long Grey Line (Alan Hunter)

Kids’ Songs

  • Waltzing With Bears
  • Safari Up My Sister’s Nose (Peter Alsop)
  • No, No, No (Peter Alsop)
  • My Brother Threw Up (Barry Louis Polisar)
  • Bottomless Lake (John Prine)
  • The Thinnest Man
  • Good Clam Chowder
  • The Stars at Night
  • Wild About Horns


  • The Working Man
  • Bread and Roses (Mimi Farina)
  • We Have Fed You All
  • Two Right Arms (Charlie King)
  • Stand Up For Judas (Rosselsson)
  • Palaces Of Gold (Rosselson)
  • Red-Winged Blackbird (Wheeler)
  • Coal Tattoo (Wheeler)

Acapella (Non-Trad)

  • Jazzman (Fred Holstein)
  • The January Man (Dave Goulder)
  • Easter Tree (Dave Goulder)
  • I Can See Your Aura (M. Graham)
  • The World Turned Upside Down (Rosselson)
  • Palaces of Gold(Rosselson)
  • Isabelle (Steeleye Span)
  • Lovely Agnes (Sally Rogers)
  • Land of Light (Roy Guillen)
  • Traveller’s Prayer (Renbourne)
  • Acapella Stella (Prior)
  • Tired O’ Workin’ (Reid)
  • Grey Funnel Line (Tawny)
  • The Classical Greeks (Graham)

Chorus Songs

  • Shawneetown
  • St. Brendan’s
  • Gypsum Davey
  • Flash Company
  • Good Fish Chowder
  • Give Yourself to Love
  • Maids When you’re Young
  • Lovely Agnes
  • Padstow Drinking Song
  • Female Highwayman
  • Farmer and the Devil’s Curst Wife
  • Walloping Window Blind

Sea Songs

  • Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy
  • Bay of Biscay-O
  • Bold Princess Royal
  • Bullgine Run
  • Cape Cod Girls
  • Constitution and the Guerrier
  • Dreadnaught Mutiny (Jerry Bryant)
  • Fire Marengo
  • Go Down You Blood Red Roses
  • Grey Funnel Line (Tawney)
  • Maid On the Shore
  • Man O’War
  • My Boy Jack (Bellamy/Kipling)
  • My Johnny Was a Shoemaker
  • Paddy Lay Back
  • The Rainbow
  • Rolling Down the Bay to Julianna
  • Saucy Sailor
  • Shawneetown
  • Topman and the Afterguard
  • Weary Cutters
  • Wings of a Gull

On the calendar

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