Goosey, Goosey Gander,
Whither shall I wander?
In my lady's chamber.
There I met an old man
Who would not say his prayers;
I took him by the left leg,
And threw him down the stairs.
Here's a version from 1784:
Goose-a, Goose-a, Gander,
Where shall I wander?
Up stairs, down stairs,
In my lady's chamber;
There you'll find a cup of sack*
And a race** of ginger.
Here's the version from The Little Mother Goose (1912), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith:
Goosey, goosey, gander, wither dost thou wander?
Up stairs, and down stairs, and in my lady's chamber.
There I met an old man, who would not say his prayers;
I took him by the left leg, and threw him down stairs.
Here's a similar rhyme that I found in A History of Nursery Rhymes (1899) by Percy B. Green:
Old Father Long-legs
Old father long-legs will not say his prayers,
Take him by the left leg and throw him downstairs.
Photos & Illustrations
My mother always used to end the rhyme...
The stairs went crack.... and broke his little back,
And all the little ducks went quack, quack, quack.
I suspect she made it up herself or maybe she'd heard it somewhere else? Sorry I can't ask her as she died many years ago now.
Love your collection....
I'm re-visiting rhymes with a view to singing them to my new granddaughter along with a few of my own rhymes, poems and stories.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
The 1st illustration comes from The National Nursery Book and the 2nd illustration comes from The Nursery Rhyme Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897). The 3rd illustration is from The Real Mother Goose (1916), illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright. Thanks to Barbara for sharing her Mom's verse of this rhyme!
Sung by Ruth Golding.