“Bingo” is a spelling-song for kids. Although there were found some references about similar songs, the oldest one dating back to late 18th century, the origin of this nursery rhyme is uncertain.

It was first published with various names and forms like “The Farmer’s Dog Leapt o’er the Stile”, “A Franklyn’s Dogge” “Little Bingo”.

Bingo is the name of a dog, and like in a counting-down rhyme, in this song the same verse is repeated, spelling the word B-I-N-G-O. Each time, one by one, a letter is removed and replaced with a hand-clap.

The first recorded version of this song was found in “The Humming Bird” a collection of songs for children from 1785. In the USA the song was first mentioned in1842 by Robert M. Charlton in 1842. Later, the song was recorded with eight versions in England, by the folklorist Alice Bertha. Over the time various versions of this gaming song were recorded in different places, both in the USA and UK.

Below you can find both, the original lyrics of the Bingo song, from 1785 and the modern version lyrics:

“Bingo” Lyrics

Modern Version

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
B-I-N-G-O
B-I-N-G-O
B-I-N-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.
There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
(clap)-I-N-G-O
(clap)-I-N-G-O
(clap)-I-N-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.
There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
(clap)-(clap)-N-G-O
(clap)-(clap)-N-G-O
(clap)-(clap)-N-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.

“Bingo” Original Song

The farmer’s dog leapt over the style,
His name was little Bingo,
The farmer’s dog leapt over the style,
His name was little Bingo.
B with an I — I with an N,
N with a G — G with an O;
His name was little Bingo:
B—I—N—G—O!
His name was little Bingo.
The farmer lov’d a cup of good ale,
He call’d it rare good stingo,
The farmer lov’d a cup of good ale,
He call’d it rare good stingo.
S—T with an I — I with an N,
N with a G — G with an O;
He call’d it rare good stingo:
S—T—I—N—G—O!
He call’d it rare good stingo,
And is this not a sweet little song?
I think it is – by jingo.
And is this not a sweet little song?
I think it is – by jingo.
J with an I — I with an N,
N with a G — G with an O;
I think it is – by jingo:
J—I—N—G—O!
I think it is – by jingo.

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