“Goosey, Goosey Gander” is a traditional English nursery rhyme dating back to the late 18th century.
The song was first recorded in 1784 by Gammer Gurton in his nursery rhymes collection The Nursery Parnassus (or Garland).
Although there is no exact evidence of this, it is believed that the origins of Goosey, Goosey Gander dates back to the 16th century, during King Henry VII’s reign, and it was used as propaganda of the Protestants against the Catholic Church.
The title and first line of the song might also refer to the march of Cromwell’s soldiers in “goose-step”, in the mid 17th century, after the Civil War.
“Goosey, Goosey Gander” Lyrics
Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady’s chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn’t say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stair
“Goosey, Goosey Gander” Original Version
Original lyrics as first recorded in 1784:
Goose-a goose-a gander,
Where shall I wander?
Up stairs and down stairs,
In my lady’s chamber;
There you’ll find a cup of sack
And a race of ginger
“Goosey, Goosey Gander” Another Version
An additional verse of another version of the song:
The stairs went crack,
He nearly broke his back.
And all the little ducks went,
‘Quack, quack, quack