Saturday, April 28, 2001

Nursery Rhymes: Gaffers and Gammers

Story source: The Nursery Rhyme Book edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897).


Nursery Rhymes: Gaffers and Gammers




THERE was an old woman
Lived under a hill,
And if she's not gone
She lives there still.

~ ~ ~

THERE was an old woman, as I've heard tell,
She went to market her eggs for to sell;
She went to market all on a market-day,
And she fell asleep on the king's highway.

There came by a pedlar whose name was Stout;
He cut her petticoats all round about;
He cut her petticoats up to the knees,
Which made the old woman to shiver and freeze.

When this little woman first did wake,
She began to shiver and she began to shake;
She began to wonder and she began to cry,
"Oh! deary, deary me, this is none of I!

"But if it be I, as I do hope it be,
I've a little dog at home, and he'll know me;
If it be I, he'll wag his little tail,
And if it be not I, he'll loudly bark and wail."

Home went the little woman all in the dark;
Up got the little dog, and he began to bark;
He began to bark, so she began to cry,
"Oh! deary, deary me, this is none of I!"

~ ~ ~

"OLD woman, old woman, shall we go a shearing?"
"Speak a little louder, sir, I am very thick of hearing."
"Old woman, old woman, shall I love you dearly?"
"Thank you, kind sir, I hear you very clearly."

~ ~ ~

THERE was an old woman toss'd up in a basket
Nineteen times as high as the moon;
Where she was going I couldn't but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.

"Old woman, old woman, old woman," quoth I,
"O whither, O whither, O whither, so high?"
"To brush the cobwebs off the sky!"
"Shall I go with thee?" "Ay, by-and-by."

~ ~ ~

A LITTLE old man and I fell out;
"How shall we bring this matter about?"
"Bring it about as well as you can;
Get you gone, you little old man!"

~ ~ ~

THERE was an old woman of Leeds
Who spent all her time in good deeds;
She worked for the poor
Till her fingers were sore,
This pious old woman of Leeds!

~ ~ ~

THERE was an old woman
Lived under a hill;
She put a mouse in a bag,
And sent it to mill.

The miller declar'd
By the point of his knife,
He never took toll
Of a mouse in his life.

~ ~ ~



THERE was an old woman who lived in a shoe;
She had so many children she didn't know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
She whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

~ ~ ~

THERE was an old woman had three sons,
Jerry, and James, and John:
Jerry was hung, James was drowned,
John was lost and never was found,
And there was an end of the three sons,
Jerry, and James, and John!

~ ~ ~

THERE was an old man of Tobago,
Who lived on rice, gruel, and sago,
Till, much to his bliss,
His physician said this—
"To a leg, sir, of mutton you may go."

~ ~ ~

THERE was an old woman of Norwich,
Who lived upon nothing but porridge;
Parading the town,
She turned cloak into gown,
This thrifty old woman of Norwich.

~ ~ ~

THERE was an old woman called Nothing-at-all,
Who rejoiced in a dwelling exceedingly small;
A man stretched his mouth to its utmost extent,
And down at one gulp house and old woman went.

~ ~ ~

THERE was an old man,
And he had a calf,
And that's half;
He took him out of the stall,
And put him on the wall;
And that's all.

~ ~ ~

 OLD Betty Blue
Lost a holiday shoe,
What can old Betty do?
Give her another
To match the other,
And then she may swagger in two.

~ ~ ~

OLD Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone;
But when she came there
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

She went to the baker's
To buy him some bread,
But when she came back
The poor dog was dead.

She went to the joiner's
To buy him a coffin,
But when she came back
The poor dog was laughing.

She took a clean dish
To get him some tripe,
But when she came back
He was smoking his pipe.

She went to the fishmonger's
To buy him some fish,
And when she came back
He was licking the dish.

She went to the ale-house
To get him some beer,
But when she came back
The dog sat in a chair.

She went to the tavern
For white wine and red,
But when she came back
The dog stood on his head.

She went to the hatter's
To buy him a hat,
But when she came back
He was feeding the cat.

She went to the barber's
To buy him a wig,
But when she came back
He was dancing a jig.

She went to the fruiterer's
To buy him some fruit,
But when she came back
He was playing the flute.



She went to the tailor's
To buy him a coat,
But when she came back
He was riding a goat.

She went to the cobbler's
To buy him some shoes,
But when she came back
He was reading the news.

She went to the sempstress
To buy him some linen,
But when she came back
The dog was spinning.

She went to the hosier's
To buy him some hose,
But when she came back
He was dress'd in his clothes.

The dame made a curtsey,
The dog made a bow;
The dame said, "Your servant,"
The dog said, "Bow, wow."





(800 words)




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