A Jolly Good Book - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


The oldest reference I've found to this poem is from 1881 where they call it an "Old English Song". Here's the version given with the original spelling, followed by the modern spelling...

Oh for a booke and a shadie nooke,
Eyther in-a-doore or out;
With the grene leaves whispering overhede,
Or the streete cry all about.
Where I maie reade all at my ease,
Both of the newe and olde;
For a jollie goode booke whereon to looke,
Is better to me than golde.

Modern Spelling:

Oh for a book and a shady nook,
Either indoor or out;
With the green leaves whispering overhead,
Or the street cry all about.
Where I may read all at my ease,
Both of the new and old;
For a jolly good book whereon to look,
Is better to me than gold.

This longer version can be found in "Annual Report of the Public Library Committee", Norwich, England, Public Libraries, 1881.



Read by Mama Lisa.