There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

March 13, 2008 at 1:45 pm 9 comments

This is an old kids’ favorite.  We actually learned the ending as, “She died, of course.”  But sensitivities as they are today, I have discovered that many parents and teachers prefer the ending my kids learned at daycare: “She’s full, of course.”  Either one fits just fine.

Thank you to reader Jill for reminding me of the verse about the goat. I can’t believe I forgot the goat!

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
How absurd to swallow a bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat;
Imagine that, she swallowed a cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog;
My what a hog, to swallow a dog.
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a goat;
She opened her throat and swallowed the goat.
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog.
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow;
I don’t know how she swallowed a cow.
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat.
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog.
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a horse…
She’s full of course!!

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Animals, Silly Songs.

The Yankee Doodle Boy Jack Sprat

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Becky P.  |  March 18, 2008 at 10:35 am

    We always sang the end as “She’s dead of course!”

    Reply
  • 2. Jill  |  June 28, 2008 at 12:33 am

    We always followed dog with “I know an old lady who swallowed a goat, just opened up her throat and swallowed a goat…” Goat came after dog, before cow. And we ended with “She died, of course.

    Reply
  • 3. Anonymouse  |  January 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Why change the final line but leave “Perhaps she’ll die” at the end of each verse?

    Actually, when I learned this song, “perhaps she’ll die” was omitted altogther. “She’s dead, of course” was left unchanged, though. *shrug*

    Reply
  • 4. kiara  |  August 23, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    who swallows all thase asnimals

    Reply
  • 5. reuel  |  August 2, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Bad
    Song
    Dud

    Reply
  • 6. Santa  |  June 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    You say it’s a bad song, a 6 year old kid may enjoy it. it’s intended for a 6 year old kid. if you can type and read on the computer, you’re a bit older than 6 years old but maybe younger mentally. enough bashing, now let’s discuss the song itself.

    the old lady died of course 😉 but I think there may have been a few more animals. these children’s songs are intended to teach basic instincts. in fact, that song is where the expression “so hungry you can eat a horse” came from.

    the following is intended to teach spatial perception.

    there’s a germ on the wing of the flea on the spec on the wing of the fly on the wart of the frog on the bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea…

    Reply
  • 7. anon  |  August 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    The last line of every verse has been changed to “perhaps she’ll cry” in the book versions….

    Reply
  • 8. Jax  |  January 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    How about “it makes me cry” and at the end “just kidding of course”

    Reply
  • 9. Jax  |  January 21, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I also remember a snake between the dog and the goat…she made a mistake in eating that snake!!! However, you can also use it between the spider and the bird.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


This site is in constant construction mode. We will continue to add great traditional children songs as we can, but we need your help.

If you know additional verses or alternate words to a song listed on Kid Songs, please leave a comment. We appreciate all input, and will be happy to include helpful info whenever possible.

If you know of a great kids' song that is not yet listed here, please email it to us with any background info you can include.

 
Finally, the purpose of this site is to help people find children's songs. We have made every attempt to insure that the inclusion of these songs does not infringe on any copyright protection. If you are the legal copyright owner of any song listed on this site, or if you have information regarding their copyright status, please contact us.

Stats 'n Stuff

  • 1,118,828 hits since July 23, 2006

%d bloggers like this: