Goosey, Goosey, Gander

DESCRIPTION: "Goosey, goosey, gander, Whither shall I wander, Upstairs and downstairs And in my lady's chamber." The ending varies; possibly "There I met an old man Who wouldn't say his prayers, I took him by the right leg And threw him down the stairs."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1784 (Gammer Gurton's Garland)
KEYWORDS: bird
FOUND IN: Britain(England)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Opie/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 190, "Goosey, goosey gander" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-AnnotatedMotherGoose #89, p. 86, "(Goose-a-goose-a, gander)"
Jack-PopGoesTheWeasel, p. 50, "Goosie, Goosie Gander" (1 text)
Dolby-OrangesAndLemons, p. 98, "Goosey, Goosey Gander" (1 text)
LibraryThingCampSongsThread, post 4, "(Goosey goosey gander)" (1 short text, from user John5918, posted August 28, 2021)

ST BGMG089 (Full)
Roud #6488
NOTES [231 words]: This is another Mother Goose rhyme I seem to vaguely recall hearing sung rather than recited, so I'm including it on that basis, though I'm anything but sure about this.
The early version, in Gammer Gurton's Garland, ends with instructions that the listener will find provisions in the lady's chamber; in the common version, it houses "an old man Who would not say his prayers" -- which the Baring-Goulds note is a relic of another nursery rhyme, "Old Father Long Legs."
Katherine Elwes Thomas, of the ever fertile imagination (and we know what was used as the original fertilizer), The Real Personages of Mother Goose, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1930, pp. 180-181, believes the man who was thrown downstairs was the militantly anti-Protestant Cardinal (David) Beaton, who in fact was thrown downstairs and killed in 1546. To be fair, it should be noted that he might be found in a lady's chamber; he was far from celibate. And not every version of the piece has this ending.
Jack-PopGoesTheWeasel offers instead that it comes from the reign of Elizabeth I and the Papist Purges, with the ganders being priests, since all Catholic priests were male. (The problem with this, of course, is that all Protestant priests were male at that time, too.)
The Opies suggest that the modern version might be combined from several late eighteenth century rhymes, but do not list their origin. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: BGMG089

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