"The Farmer in the Dell" is originally from Germany. The German song is called Ein Bauer ging ins Holz.

The Farmer in the Dell - American Children's Songs - The USA - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


A Thanksgiving Version of this Song:

Lori Furman Steeves wrote, "I also made up a circle game to the tune of, 'The Farmer and the Dell', but first every one thinks of something they're thankful for; and then holding hands we move (in a circle) and sing, (for instance)....

I'm thankful for my mom
I'm thankful for my mom
It's Thanksgiving,
And I'm thankful for my mom.

Then we all sing with the next children and they add their choice."

Game Instructions

The children form a circle holding hands. The one who is the "farmer" goes in the middle. The kids in the circle sing the first verse while going around. When the verse is over they stop and the "farmer" chooses a "wife"(sometimes without looking). The "wife" joins him in the middle of the circle for her verse. Then the "child" is picked and s/he goes in the middle of the circle and so on through all the verses, until only one person is left to become the last character. That child usually becomes the "farmer" for the next round.

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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - The Farmer in the Dell

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Gracie Gralike for sharing her wonderful illustration!

Thanks to Lori Furman Steeves for sharing her Thanksgiving version of this song.

Thanks so much!