The song is sung to the tune of "Go In and Out the Window"...


Lynn Barnard wrote:

"This is what we sang as children in Essex:

My Mother said I never should
Play with the gypsies in the wood.
The wood is dark and the grass is green.
There goes Sally (any name) with the tambourine."


Tim Sharrock wrote:

"The version that I knew in my childhood in Kent in the 1940s/early 1950s went:

'My mother said, I never should,
Play with the gypsies in the wood;
Grave were the dangers, so said she,
Of mucking about with Romany.'

(I'm not sure about the 'mucking about'; it might have been 'playing there' or something similar.)" – Dr Tim Sharrock


Sometimes only the first verse of this song is sung. You can hear part of it sung here online.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Tim Sharrock for sharing his Mom's version of this song! Thanks to Lynn Barnard for sharing her version!

Thank you!