The tune to "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" comes from the French song "Malbrough s'en va-t-en guerre", which is believed to be from 1709. The lyrics to "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" can be found in "Household Words" by Charles Dickens (1857). So we know the lyrics are older than that.

Notes

An earlier version of this song was a drinking song in Great Britain:

We won't go home till morning,
We won't go home till morning,
We won't go home till morning...

Till daylight doth appear,
Till daylight doth appear,
Till daylight doth appear.

We won't go home till morning,
We won't go home till morning,
We won't go home till morning...

Till daylight doth appear.

Comments

Both Mozart and Beethoven have used the tune in their work.

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