p.87 ]

Old lady with dog discovering  the room is bare


THERE was an old woman, as I've heard tell,
She went to market her eggs for to sell ;
She went to market all on a market-day,
And she fell asleep on the king's highway.

There came by a pedlar whose name was Stout,
He cut her petticoats all round about ;
He cut her petticoats up to the knees,
Which made the old woman to shiver and freeze.

p.88 /
When this little woman first did wake,
She began to shiver and she began to shake,
She began to wonder and she began to cry,
"Lauk a mercy on me, this is none of I !

"But if it be I, as I do hope it be,
I've a little dog at home, and he'll know me ;
If it be I, he'll wag his little tail,
And if it be not I, he'll loudly bark and wail."

Home went the little woman all in the dark,
Up got the little dog, and he began to bark ;
He began to bark, so she began to cry
"Lauk a mercy on me, this is none of I !"

OLD woman, old woman, shall we go a shearing ?
Speak a little louder, sir, I am very thick of hearing.
Old woman, old woman, shall I kiss you dearly ?
Thank you, kind sir, I hear you very clearly.

THERE was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn't know what to do ;
She gave them some broth without any bread,
She whipped them all well and put them to bed.

p.89 /

THERE was an old woman sat spinning,
And that's the first beginning ;
She had a calf,
And that's half ;
She took it by the tail,
And threw it over the wall,
And that's all.

THERE was an old woman, her name it was Peg ;
Her head was of wood, and she wore a cork-leg.
The neighbours all pitch'd her into the water,
Her leg was drown'd first, and her head follow'd a'ter.

A LITTLE old man of Derby,
How do you think he served me ?
He took away my bread and cheese,
And that is how he served me.

THERE was an old woman in Surrey,
Who was morn, noon, and night in a hurry ;
         Call'd her husband a fool,
         Drove the children to school,
The worrying old woman of Surrey.

p.90 /

OLD mother Widdle Waddle jumpt out of bed,
And out of the casement she popt out her head ;
Crying, the house is on fire, the gray goose is dead,
And the fox he is come to the town, oh !

THERE was an old woman,
     And she sold puddings and pies :
She went to the mill,
     And the dust flew in her eyes :
Hot pies and cold pies to sell !
     Wherever she goes,—
You may follow her by the smell.

OLD Mother Niddity Nod swore by the pudding-bag
     She would go to Stoken Church fair ;
And then old Father Peter said he would meet her
     Before she got half-way there.

THERE was an old woman
     Lived under a hill ;
And if she's not gone,
     She lives there still.

p.91 /

[From 'Infant Institutes,' 8vo, London, 1797, p.15.]
THERE was an old woman toss'd up in a basket
     Nineteen times as high as the moon ;
Where she was going I couldn't but ask it,
     For in her hand she carried a broom.

Old woman, old woman, old woman, quoth I,
     O whither, O whither, O whither, so high ?
To brush the cobwebs off the sky !
     Shall I go with thee ? Aye, by and by.

THERE was an old man who liv'd in Middle Row,
He had five hens, and a name for them, oh !
Bill and Ned and Battock,
Cut-her-foot and Pattock,
Chuck, my lady Prattock,
Go to thy nest and lay.

THERE was an old woman of Leeds
Who spent all her time in good deeds ;
      She worked for the poor
      Till her fingers were sore,
This pious old woman of Leeds !

p.92 /

THERE was an old man,
And he had a calf,
     And that's half ;
He took him out of the stall,
And put him on the wall ;
     And that's all.

OLD mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
     To get her poor dog a bone ;
But when she came there
     The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

She went to the baker's
     To buy him some bread,
But when she came back
     The poor dog was dead.

She went to the joiner's
     To buy him a coffin,
But when she came back
     The poor dog was laughing.*

     * Probably loffing or loffin', to complete the rhyme. So in Shakspeare's 'Mids. Night's Dream,' act ii, sc.1 :
"And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe."


She took a clean dish
     To get him some tripe,
But when she came back
     He was smoking his pipe.

The dog in the armchair smoking a pipe

She went to the fishmonger's
     To buy him some fish,
And when she came back,
     He was licking the dish.

She went to the ale-house
     To get him some beer,
But when she came back
     The dog sat in a chair.

p.94 /
She went to the tavern
     For white wine and red,
But when she came back
     The dog stood on his head.

She went to the hatter's
     To buy him a hat,
But when she came back
     He was feeding the cat.

She went to the barber's
     To buy him a wig,
But when she came back
     He was dancing a jig,

She went to the fruiterer's
     To buy him some fruit,
But when she came back
     He was playing the flute.

She went to the tailor's
     To buy him a coat,
But when she came back,
     He was riding a goat.

She went to the cobbler's
     To buy him some shoes,
But when she came back
     He was reading the news.

p.95 /
She went to the sempstress
     To buy him some linen,
But when she came back
     The dog was spinning.

She went to the hosier's
     To buy him some hose,
But when she came back
     He was dress'd in his clothes.

The dame made a curtsey,
     The dog made a bow ;
The dame said, your servant,
     The dog said, bow, wow.

THERE was an old woman called Nothing-at-all,
Who rejoiced in a dwelling exceedingly small :
A man stretched his mouth to its utmost extent,
And down at one gulp house and old woman went.

THERE was an old woman of Norwich,
Who lived upon nothing but porridge ;
     Parading the town,
     She turned cloak into gown,
This thrifty old woman of Norwich.

p.96 /

        OLD Betty Blue
        Lost a holiday shoe,
What can old Betty do ?
        Give her another
        To match the other,
And then she may swagger in two.

     [The following is part of a comic song called 'Success to the Whistle and Wig,' intended to be sung in rotation by the members of a club.]
THERE was an old woman had three sons,
Jerry, and James, and John :
Jerry was hung, James was drowned,
John was lost and never was found,
And there was an end of the three sons,
Jerry, and James, and John !

[The first two lines of the following are the same with those of a song in D'Urfey's 'Pills to Purge Melancholy,' vol.v, p.13.]
THERE was an old woman
     Lived under a hill,
She put a mouse in a bag,
     And sent it to mill ;

The miller did swear,
     By the point of his knife,
He never took toll
     Of a mouse in his life !

p.97 /

     [The tale on which the following story is founded is found in a MS. of the fifteenth century in the Chetham Library at Manchester, and printed in the Reliq. Antiq. vol. ii, p.196.]
THERE was an old man, who lived in a wood,
     As you may plainly see ;
He said he could do as much work in a day,
     As his wife could do in three.
With all my heart, the old woman said,
     If that you will allow,
To-morrow you'll stay at home in my stead,
     And I'll go drive the plough :

But you must milk the Tidy cow,
     For fear that she go dry ;
And you must feed the little pigs
     That are within the sty ;
And you must mind the speckled hen,
     For fear she lay away ;
And you must reel the spool of yarn
     That I spun yesterday.

The old woman took a staff in her hand,
     And went to drive the plough :
The old man took a pail in his hand,
     And went to milk the cow ;
But Tidy hinched, and Tidy flinched,
     And Tidy broke his nose,
And Tidy gave him such a blow,
     That the blood ran down to his toes

p.98 /
High ! Tidy ! ho ! Tidy ! high !
     Tidy ! do stand still ;
If ever I milk you, Tidy, again,
     'Twill be sore against my will !
He went to feed the little pigs,
     That were within the sty ;
He hit his head against the beam,
     And he made the blood to fly.

He went to mind the speckled hen,
     For fear she'd lay astray,
And he forgot the spool of yarn
     His wife spun yesterday.

So he swore by the sun, the moon, and the stars,
     And the green leaves on the tree,
If his wife didn't do a day's work in her life,
     She should ne'er be ruled by he.

THERE was an old man of Tobago,
Who lived on rice, gruel, and sago ;
     Till, much to his bliss,
     His physician said this—
"To a leg, sir, of mutton you may go."

OH, dear, what can the matter be ?
Two old women got up in an apple tree ;
One came down,
And the other staid till Saturday.