As I Was Going to St. Ives - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Notes

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Answer: One, for "I" was going to St. Ives (the others were going in the other direction).

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Here's a variation on this riddle from A History of Nursery Rhymes by Percy B. Green:

As I was going down Sandy Lane
I met a man who had seven wives;
Each wife had a bag, each bag held a cat, each cat a kit.
Now riddle-me-ree, how many were going down Sandy Lane?

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Answer: One was going down Sandy Lane; the others were going up.

(Meaning: The person talking was going down the lane all the others were going up the lane.)

Comments

The first version of this rhyme can be found in The Real Mother Goose (1916), illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright. The illustration can be found in The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes (circa 1920) edited by Walter Jerrold (1865 - 1929) and illustrated by Charles Robinson (with some graphical editing of the above image by Lisa Yannucci).

Many thanks to Moon Rose for the correct answer!

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Recited by Ruth Golding.

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