goosey goosey gander

The Goosey, Goosey Gander song is a classic song that we are all familiar with. It is a children’s song and the lyrics are quite innocent. However, if you look at the lyrics there is some innuendo that goes over the heads of the children. Here we look at the history of the song and the interesting innuendo that is there.

goosey goosey gander Lyrics

Listen to “goosey goosey gander” and watch the video below.

Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady’s chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn’t say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stair

“Goosey, Goosey Gander” Original Version

Original lyrics as first recorded in 1784:

Goose-a goose-a gander,
Where shall I wander?
Up stairs and down stairs,
In my lady’s chamber;
There you’ll find a cup of sack
And a race of ginger

“Goosey, Goosey Gander” Another Version

An additional verse of another version of the song:

The stairs went crack,
He nearly broke his back.
And all the little ducks went,
‘Quack, quack, quack

goosey goosey gander lyrics video

goosey goosey gander meaning

goosey goosey gander is a traditional English children’s song and nursery rhyme. It is also known by its opening words.  The words and melody are very similar to another nursery rhyme, “Hey Diddle Diddle”.  The song is an AABB rhyme scheme, with the second and fourth line A and the first and third line B. “Goosey, goosey gander” is used as a nonsense verse and there has been much speculation as to its origin. Theories put forward include Napoleon’s army goose-step march, from the goose-like curve of the hand when signing a name, and from the sound of a goose’s clacking feet.  It has been suggested that it was invented to distract children from a prayer before or after sleep.  However, the words are almost identical to “Hey Diddle Diddle”, which has no such suggestions. The gander, or goose, has long been a symbol of pride and vanity, and the song could be aimed at children to dissuade them from showing off.  The boy in this rhyme is referred to as “Gander”, just as “Diddle” is the boy in its rhyme.  It is not clear why the gander is “goosey”, however, since that word means to be silly.

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