Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Old Father Grey Beard
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

(Pick A Letter to Choose a Rhyme!)

This rhyme could be referring to drinking. "Old father Grey Beard" referred to a pitcher of spirits. You can measure drinks by using your fingers. The thumb is used to grip a mug.

Old Father Grey Beard

Old father Grey Beard*,
Without tooth or tongue;
If you'll give me your finger**,
I'll give you my thumb.


*Greybeard can refer to an old man or a pitcher for holding spirits.
**Finger – this could be referring to a way of measuring drinks – when you eyeball it, instead of using exact measurements – you measure on the glass with your two fingers held at the bottom of the glass. A person can ask for two fingers of spirits. Two fingers is roughly equal to a jigger which is 1 ½ ounces.


This rhyme goes back to the 18th century.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This rhyme is from The Little Mother Goose (1912), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith.

Lyrics & Recordings Needed!

Email us a traditional song or rhyme from your country.

More info.

Mama Lisa Facebook Badge
Mama Lisa Twitter Badge
Mama Lisa Pinterest Badge

Help Support Mama Lisa's World
with just

Find us on Google+

If you feel any comment below is inappropriate, please email us. Thanks!

Help Support Mama Lisa's World
with just