The Farmer In The Dell


h1 November 1st, 2016

This is a classic children’s song and game brought to the United States by German immigrants in the mid 1820s. It has been translated into many languages around the world. In the game the players form a circle and hold hands. One person is selected to be the farmer. The people in the circle move around and the farmer chooses a wife. The wife joins the farmer in the center and chooses the child. They all choose someone until the cheese is left standing alone. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 6306.

My wife Camilla remembers playing this game when she was a little girl in Beaufort South Carolina.

Lyrics:

[G] The farmer in the dell (2x)
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer [D] in the [G] dell

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The farmer takes a wife (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The farmer takes a wife

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The wife takes the child (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The wife takes the child

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The child takes the maid (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The child takes the maid

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The maid takes the cow (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The nurse takes the cow

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The cow takes the dog (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The cow takes the dog

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The dog takes the cat (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The dog takes the cat

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The cat takes the mouse (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The cat takes the mouse

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The mouse takes the cheese (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The mouse takes the cheese

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The cheese stands alone (2×)
Hi-ho, the derry-o…
The cheese stands alone

Instrumental:
[Em] [D] [G]

The farmer in the dell (2x)
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer in the dell

Instrumental: X3
[Em] [D] [G]

(c) McGuinn Music 2016
New Music By Roger McGuinn

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