Back to index of "words and books and such" pages by Donald Sauter.
My Mother Goose pages:
    Mother Goose favorites - a personal selection.
    Mother Goose differences - a look at how the same rhyme can vary.
    Mother Goose modernized - a look at some rhymes touched up for kids of today.
    Mother Goose rarities - appearing for the first time on the world-wide web! (You are HERE.)
    Mother Goose and the Beatles - not to mention Bob Dylan and miscellaneous popsters.
    Mother Goose in classic literature - Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, Winnie the Pooh, et al.
    Mother Goose glossary - compare your vocabulary with a three-year-old's.
    Mother Goose first lines - a huge index.


Web-busting Mother Goose

Plugging the web, interstice by interstice . . .

Here are some Mother Goose rhymes from older sources in my collection which I could not find anywhere on the web while searching in May 2010. Could the world have survived without them?

Mebbe yes, mebbe no.


Naughty Boy

Naughty boy that stole a pie,
Broke a plate and told a lie!

Source: mg7 = "Mother Goose collection 7" in my library. See Sources below for details.



Winter sun, shine out today,
For I'm to ride in Uncle's sleigh.

Source: mg28


One Day a Squirrel

One day a squirrel on the barn sat nibbling at an ear of corn;
I called my neighbor, Tommy Dun, who quickly shot it with a gun.

Source: mg7
Comment: How charming...


The Slim Little Tinker

The slim little tinker, Davy De Longs,
In body and legs is shaped like a tongs;
But birds stop singing to hear his sweet songs.

Source: mg7


Little Peter

Teeter, teeter, little Peter,
Took a wife and then he beat her.
Many times in common meter.

Source: mg7
Comment: I happen to know this one was already on the web because it's in my own "Mother Goose Favorites" page. But since Google adamantly refuses to index that page, here it is again.


The Late Madam Fry

The late Madam Fry,
Wore heels an ell high,
and when she walked by me,
I thought I should die.

Source: mg7
Comment: This little blast of pure genius is also on my "Mother Goose Favorites" page, which Google won't index. An ell is 45 inches.


Two Deaf Men

Two deaf men went a mile to hear
    A dumb man make a speech;
A cripple climbed a pear-tree near,
    To get a rare-ripe peach.

Source: mg7
Comment: Brilliant! And again on my "Mother Goose Favorites" page, which Google won't touch.


The Wicked Queen Dab

The wicked Queen Dab
Enchanted-land rules
And changes all men
To horses and mules.

Source: mg7


Knives, forks,
Plates, dishes,
Here comes a man
In calico breeches.

Source: mg5


Skipper, Skipper

Skipper, skipper, whither bound?
To Providence and through the sound.
The storm is fierce; have you no fear?
The Guide of all will guide you there.

Source: mg7


Maid Marian

Maid Marian is Queen of May,
All good children own her sway;
Her waist is white, her skirt is red,
A crown of gold is on her head.

Source: mg7


Johnny's Clocked Stockings

Johnny's clocked stockings ran off with his shoes,
His necktie ran off with his collar;
The culprits were "found," says the next morning's news
And each one was "fined" a dollar.

Source: mg7
Comment: clock = a figure or figured work in the ankle or side of a stocking (Webster's Dictionary, 1852.) Does anyone know what the quotes around "found" and "fined" are for?


Twenty Foxes in a Den

Twenty foxes in a den,
Twenty hounds could kill but ten,
Twenty hunters captured five,
Four were trapped and one's alive.

Source: mg7


Engine, engine number nine
Running on Chicago line
Running east, running west
Running to the one I love the best.

Source: The Book of Knowledge, volume 5.
Comment: As familiar as these lines may be, they were nowhere to be seen together like this on the web.


Lovely Rainbow

Lovely rainbow hung so high,
Quite across the distant sky,
Please touch the ground close by my side,
And o'er your bridge I'll pony ride.

Source: mg7



Two little beavers lived in a dam,
One named Sue, the other named Sam.
Come to me, Sue; come to me, Sam;
Go again, Sue; go again, Sam.

Source: mg28
Comment: This is yet another variation of "There were two blackbirds", a rhyme which has a passel of variants even without leaving the avian world. It may start "There were two...", or "Two little..."; the blackbirds might be dicky (dickie, dickey) birds; they might be sitting on a hill, or on a wall, or on a limb; and their names might be Jack and Jill (Gill), or Peter and Paul, or Jack and Jim. Mix and match!


Kitten, Kitten

Kitten, kitten, in my lap,
Now be good and eat your pap.
We'll have a nightcap for your head,
And put you in the trundle bed.

Source: mg7


Give My Horse

Give my horse a ton of hay,
And put him in the stable;
And do your best the livelong day,
To make him comfortable.

Source: mg7


Spanish Lad

Spanish lad, Spanish lad, whence did you come?
From a far-distant, sunny and much loved home.
I was born, little maid, in the sweet orange grove.
And I wish I was back with the friends that I love.

Source: mg7


The Rats and Mice

The rats and mice all left the mill,
And went to slide adown the hill;
The hill was long, and smooth the track,
They slid so far, they ne'er got back.

Source: mg7


Who Killed the Rat?

Who killed the rat?
I, says the cat,
As gravely she sat,
I killed the rat.

Source: mg7
Comment: Clearly inspired by "Who killed Cock Robin?", but with a less lamented victim.


Eenie meenie, dipper Dick,
Hi-cher, pi-cher Dominick,
Ho-cher, po-cher Domino-cher
Conn, bonn, lickety boo
Out goes YOU!

Source: The Book of Knowledge, volume 2.
Comment: This is obviously a "counting out" rhyme.


Hickle Them, Pickle Them

Hickle them, pickle them
Catch them and tickle them;
I'll teach the villains to eat my fine pears!
Gobble them, hobble them,
Till all of them fancy they have fallen downstairs.

Source: mg7


A cuckoo went back in his clock,
And shut himself up with a shock:
    "I'll not strike any more,
    I won't open my door;
If they want me," he said, "they can knock!"

Source: The Book of Knowledge, volume 8.


The Mice With Satin Slippers On

The mice with satin slippers on came slowly dancing through the town,
Whilst all the cats, turned Grahamites,
Went out in hopes to see the sights.
The ducks and geese in army blue, by companies came marching through;
Whilst all the dogs, intent to please, sang negro songs and German glees.

Source: mg7


Off we go to la-la-la-la
To buy a little basket,
We must catch the coach and four,
Or we shall be late for market.
Mind the spit till we return,
And do not leave the pies to burn.

Source: mg5
Comment: Where in the world is la-la-la-la?



A jolly old pig once lived in a sty,
And three little piggies had she,
And she waddled about saying "Grumph! grumph, grumph!"
While the little ones said "Wee! wee!"
And she waddled about saying "Grumph! grumph, grumph!"
While the little ones said "Wee! wee!"

Source: mg28
Comment: You can see that this is closely related to the first verse of the song which starts:

There once was a sow who had three little piggies.
Three little piggies had she.
The old sow used to go "oink, oink, oink."
And the piggies went "wheee, wheee, wheee."

But don't ask me which came first. The song has a moral (if anyone worries about kids paying attention to such things) that you shouldn't act like a grown-up, or you'll die.


I love the little flowers;
    I love the little plants;
I love the little butterflies,
    And I'm not afraid of ants.
But I do not love the bumblebee,
And the waspies really frighten me!

Source: The Book of Knowledge, volume 14.


Larry, Larry

Larry, Larry, long and hairy,
Says his daughter Kate shall marry.

His daughter Kate, so tall and fair,
Will wed a man but not a bear.

Larry chose a bag of gold,
But Katy says, she'll not be sold.

Source: mg7


Good Morning, Mrs. Bannister

Good Morning, Mrs. Bannister,
I often see you passing by.
That's a pretty child with you,
She's such a little lady, too.

Thank you, Mrs. McIntyre,
For your baby we admire.

Source: mg48
Comment: This rhyme only appears in the book section of this book-and-record set.


The Two Little Kittens

The two little kittens
Must have some mittens,
And go to the shop for tea;
A bag they must carry,
To bring home for Harry
A primer with A, B, C.

Source: mg7



As soon as I could bait my hook,
I dropped the line into the brook,
A trout soon saw and quickly caught it;
I pulled, and pulled, and out I brought it;
My first brook trout!
I then was small,
But felt that instant six feet tall.

Source: mg28


Jim Crow's daughter
Sat up in a tower,
Making apple dumplings
Without any flour.
    Jump, Jim Crow,
    Jump, Jim Crow,
Turn about and wheel about
    And Jump, Jim Crow.

Source: mg5


A Family Drive

Old Bob, young Bob,
Little Bob and big,
Molly Bob and Polly Bob,
and Polly Bobby's pig,
All went for a drive one day
And strange as it may seem
They drove six miles and back again
And never hurt the team.

Source: mg7


The gossips of the village--see,
    Their fine lace caps are wearing.
They sip their dainty cups of tea,
    White sugar they are sharing.

Their fingers shine with golden rings,
    But--duty never matters!
Nothing is ready for the men,
    And under--they are tatters!

Source: The Book of Knowledge, volume 13.
Comment: I found this one on a single page on the web, but on a commercial site. It was in a catalog of greeting cards and I figured when that card is discontinued, the page and verse will disappear.


Said Ned to John

Said Ned to John, "The sun is high!"
Said John to Ned, "And so am I;
For I am up four tedious pairs
Of very long and narrow stairs."
Said John to Ned, "'Tis time to rise!"
Said Ned to John, "Where to, the skies?
Four stories up is quite too high;
We'd best go down, both you and I."

Source: mg7


Dear Little Annabel

Dear little Annabel
Going to school
Thinking of mother's word
"Break not a rule."
Thinking of mother's word
"Kind be and true,
Learn every lesson well
Given to you."

Source: mg7


Learning to Walk

Ring the great bell in the steeple!
Beat the drum, call all the people:
    Baby has begun to walk!

Steady, darling! Steady, steady!
Mother's arms, you see, are ready:
    Do not be afraid to walk!

Come, all folks, come here, and gay be!
Come and see our darling baby:
    Baby has begun to walk!

Source: mg7


Ho, Ho! Ha, Ha!

Ho, ho, ho! Ha, ha, ha!
Never saw the like since I was born;
Pigs in the pound,
Ned's got the hound,
Four and twenty cows are in the corn.
Ho, ho, ho! Ha, ha, ha!
Never saw the like since I was born;
Saddle up the cat,
Bridle up the rat,
And hand me down the dinner horn.

Source: mg7


The Old Black Cat

The old black cat,
The two black kittens,
Got off the mat,
Put on their mittens,
And went to skate upon the ice.
The ice was thin,
Too late they found,
For all broke in,
And all were drowned.
I wish with them had gone the mice.

Source: mg7
Comment: I always liked that sort of rhyme scheme.


One Night a Robber Came to Steal

One night a robber came to steal;
He missed my purse and caught my heel.
Without a fear, from off my bed
I threw the clothes quite o'er his head.

I pinched his ears, I pulled his nose,
I pulled his hair, I trod his toes,
I bruised him till I made him roar;
At last I called a policeman in,
And gave him this man of sin.

I think that man will never come,
To steal my purse when I'm at home.

Source: mg7


Master Riddle-me-Roo

Master Riddle-me-Roo,
If I've heard true,
Was the strangest fellow
That I ever knew.
He asked for a thrashing
To keep him awake,
And said he liked physic
Better than cake.
He'd run out undressed
In the snow and the ice;
He ate up a thistle
And said it was nice;
He sat on the chimney
Until he fell through;
And that's all I know
Of young Riddle-me-Roo.

Source: mg7
Comment: physic = medicines; remedies for diseases (Webster's Dictionary, 1852.)


If the old woman who lived in a shoe
    Had lived in a cottage instead,
Her children could have played at hide-and-seek,
    And needn't have been sent to bed.

If little Bo-Peep hadn't lost her sheep,
    She wouldn't have had to find them,
If Little Boy Blue had not any sheep,
    He wouldn't have had to mind them.

If the goose that laid the golden eggs
    Had not been killed that day,
She'd still be laying golden eggs
    As hard as she could lay.

In fact, if we could imagine things,
    How different they would be!
But as we can't, we'll let them stay
    Just as they are, you see.

Source: The Book of Knowledge, volume 7.
Comment: All four verses were found on the web, but not all together.


A Moony Old Cat

A moony old cat that lived on the dew,
Had six little kittens that never would mew.

She bought a big bellows and blew in their ears,
Then all mewed so loud, it brought her to tears.

Now when they were bad, she found it was good,
To blow them all up, and give them no food.

It filled them so full, they seemed overfed,
But it was only a hoax to get them to bed.

She blew in their eyes, to make them look bright,
But sad to relate, they all lost their sight.

Their hair was not smooth, so she blew them all over;
As she blew the wrong way they looked worse than ever.

For the hair with the wind it was easy to fill,
'Till it stuck right and left, as stiff as a quill.

Now as they grew older, their tails had a quirk;
Down their throats went the bellows--they flew stiff with a jerk. .

To make them genteel she blew off their toes,
But blowing too hard, each one lost its nose.

At last she got mad and blew them so high,
They never came down, but stuck in the sky.

There they turned into stars--any night that you please,
You can see them so easy, they are called "Pleiades."

Source: mg7
Comment: One of the first comments I got on my original Mother Goose page was from a nice, elderly woman looking for the complete version of "A Moony Old Cat".


Ho! My Fred!

Ho! my Fred!
Get your sled,
    And we'll have a slide;
George and Will,
Harry Gill,
    And I think a score beside,
Have been gone
Since half past one,
    And are now upon the hill!
See them go!
Oh, oh, oh!
    Hip, hurrah, who struck the mill?
Ah! all right;
He struck it light,
    For, you see the mill yet stands!
Harry Gill,
Upset Will!
    Hear them laugh and clap their hands;
Come, my Fred,
Get your sled;
    Now, my lad, I'm for a run,
Oh, oh, ho!
Thanks for snow!
    It provides abundant fun.

Source: mg7


The Three Bears

Naughty little Gold-i-locks left her home one day;
Wand'ring up and down a wood, soon she lost her way,

Such a pretty house she found; all the knobs were bright;
To the door a pathway led;--roses left and right.

On a table stood three bowls; one of them was small;
"Porridge, oh!" said Gold-i-locks and she ate it all.

Then she sat upon the chairs; very big were two;
So she chose the smallest one; sat, and tumbled through.

Very frightened, up she jumped, left the broken chair;
Thought she'd see the bedroom next, so she climbed the stair.

Such a lovely room she found; three beds in a row;
Two were bigger than the third; all were white as snow.

One by one she tried them all; liked the small one best;
This is nice," said Gold-i-locks, lying down to rest.

By-and-by three bears came in; "Who's been here?" they cried.
"Look, my porridge all has gone!" Baby Bearlet sighed.

"See our chairs!" cried Father Bear. "Who has been on these?
First on mine and then on yours, without a single 'please'!"

"Father! Mother! Just look here!" cried the Baby Bear.
Quick they turned their heads to look, saw the broken chair.

Gold-i-locks from slumber sound wakened in a fright!
One by one she saw the bears slowly come in sight.

Quick as thought poor Gold-i-locks leapt from out her bed;
Jumped upon the chest of drawers; through the window fled.

Source: mg7
Comment: This one was already on the web, but missing a verse and given without poetic line breaks. It deserves a better presentation.


I've Lost My Ball

I've lost my ball,
Said Charley All;

I see it now,
Said David Howe;

And it I'll get
Said Emmet Rhett;

And here it is,
Said Francis Bliss;

Now shall we play?
Said Georgie Day;

Yes, single base,
Said Harry Chase,

And my first in,
Said Jerry Finn;

And I will throw,
Said Luther Stowe;

And I will catch,
Said Myron Hatch;

Now then commence
Said Neddy Spence;

First bounce is out,
Said Orrin Prout;

I hit his club,
Said Reuben Chubb;

I caught the ball,
Said Simon Hall;

And Johnny's out,
Said Thomas Stout;

Well, take his place,
Said Vincent Chase;

Lay down your club,
Said Willie Bubb;

For Zenus Small,
Has caught the ball!

Source: mg7
Comment: Modeled after "The Bells of London"? I doubt this one dates back much before the renaissance.


Jockety Jog

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
Over the hills, and over the bog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
Many a mile this day I've trod.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
I'm the Milkman' s horse old Naggetty Nogg.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
My master's name is Reuney K. Rogg.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
He's a good man--he drinks no grog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
Never does he old Naggetty flog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
I'll bear him safe through all this fog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
How the darkness the way doth clog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
I'm not afraid of the bark of a dog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
I'm not afraid of the croak of a frog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
I know a toad from a polliwog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
I'm not afraid of the grunt of a hog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
I'll not stumble over that log.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
Over the hills, and over the bog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
Safe home through all the fog.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
Safe home--Reuney K. Rogg.

Jockety jog--jockety jog,
Safe home--old Naggetty Nogg.

Source: mg7
Comment: The first part of "Jockety Jog", through "...the way doth clog", was already on the web by virtue of its incorporation into a story called "The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Jr." Here are nine more couplets.


*** Sources ***

The Book of Knowledge. The Grolier Society, 1940. Twenty volumes. The Book of Knowledge does not use the term "nursery rhyme" or "Mother Goose rhyme"; it calls them "Little Verses For Very Little People".

mg5 = "Mother Goose" Nursery Rhymes. Arranged by Lorna North, illustrated by Christopher Sanders. Castle Books, London. Printed in Romania. Year not given; 1960s?

mg7 = Mother Goose - The Complete Book of Nursery Rhymes. Illustrated by Dorothea J. Snow. Whitman, 1941. Contains over 700 rhymes.

mg28 = Mother Goose Rhymes. Edited by Watty Piper. Illustrations by Eulalie and Lois L. Lenski. The Platt & Munk Co., 1922, 1930, and 1933.

mg48 = Nursery Rhyme Songs. Sung by Jack Arthur and the Song Spinners. Directed by Dan Cope. Peter Pan Records, 1950. (78 rpm phono-record with 14-page book.)


Contact Donald Sauter: send an email; view guestbook; sign guestbook.
Back to Donald Sauter's main page.
Rather shop than think? Please visit My Little Shop of Rare and Precious Commodities.
Back to the top of this page.

Helpful keywords not in the main text: goldilocks and the three bears.

Parents, if you're considering tutoring or supplemental education for your child, you may be interested in my observations on Kumon.