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Grey Goose and Gander

[ Roud 1094 ; trad.]

Folly Bridge sang The Grey Goose and the Gander in 1991 on their WildGoose cassette All in the Same Tune. Claire Lloyd commented:

A nonsense song from the North of England, and the source of the name of the first Folly Bridge recording. Frank Kidson included it in his 1891 collection and commented:

Many years ago, this used to be a favourite song round about Leeds, though a very silly one. It must claim the indulgence of the reader more upon the merit of the air than that of the words. Before railways and cheap trips acted like general diffusers of London music hall songs, such like ditties in country districts were common in the kitchens of quiet public houses, and were in general the exclusive copyright of the old fogies who gathered there. The air is from an old manuscript collection of airs in my possession. It appeared in a series of articles upon old tunes contributed by me to the Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement; otherwise, it has not been in print so far as I am aware. I need scarcely say that this delightful production would be sung only after a certain degree of conviviality had been reached.

Former Witch of Elswick, Fay Hield learned Grey Goose and Gander from Mary and Nigel Hudleston's book Songs of the Ridings: The Yorkshire Musical Museum; they collected it from Bert Dobson of Todmorden. Fay sang it in 2010 on her first solo CD, Looking Glass. She and her partner Jon Boden also sang it as the November 25, 2010 entry of Jon's project A Folk Song a Day.

Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews sang The Grey Goose and the Gander in 2016 on their CD Song and Laughter. They commented:

New words to this traditional nonsense song written for Doug's Grandfather's 100th birthday in June 2014.

Lyrics

Folly Bridge sing The Grey Goose and the Gander Fay Hield sings Grey Goose and Gander

Oh the grey goose and the gander went over yonder hill,
And the grey goose went barefoot for fear of being seen.
For fear of being seen, my boys, by the light of the moon,
𝄆 Rise early tomorrow morning all in the same tune. 𝄇

The grey goose and gander went over yon hill,
The grey goose went barefoot for fear of being seen.
For fear of being seen, my boys, by the light of the moon,
𝄆 Rise early tomorrow morning all in the same tune. 𝄇

Well the gentlemen took the ladies their hounds for to view;
Said the gentlemen to the ladies, well how do you do?
Well how do you do, my boys, by the light of the moon,
𝄆 Rise early tomorrow morning all in the same tune. 𝄇

The blacksmith is black but his money is white,
And he drinks in the alehouse from morning till night.
From morning till night, my boys, by the light of the moon,
𝄆 Rise early tomorrow morning all in the same tune. 𝄇

Well the landlord got drunk and his reckoning forgot
So we pulled down his signpost and smashed all his pots.
We smashed all his pots, my boys, by the light of the moon,
𝄆 Rise early tomorrow morning all in the same tune. 𝄇

Our landlord got drunk and his reckoning forgot
So we pulled down his signpost and broke all his pots.
We broke all his pots, my boys, by the light of the moon,
𝄆 Rise early tomorrow morning all in the same tune. 𝄇

(repeat first verse)

The shepherd is happy abroad on his down,
He would not change his life for a sceptre and crown.
A sceptre and crown, my boys, by the light of the moon,
𝄆 Rise early tomorrow morning all in the same tune. 𝄇

The gentlemen took the ladies the hounds for to view,
The gentlemen to the ladies said, how do you do?
Said, how do you do?, my boys, by the light of the moon,
𝄆 Rise early tomorrow morning all in the same tune. 𝄇

(repeat first verse)

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Origins: Grey Goose and the Gander.