Old MacDonald Had a Farm

TITLE: Old MacDonald Had a Farm
AUTHOR: unknown
CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain
KEYWORDS: animal, farming, cumulative
EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1917 in Tommy’s Tunes

There are numerous songs in history that are similar to the present day Old MacDonald.

The earliest recorded member of this family of songs may be a number from an opera called The Kingdom of the Birds, published in 1719-1720 in Thomas D’Urfey’s Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy: 

In the Fields in Frost and Snows,
Watching late and early;
There I keep my Father’s Cows,
There I Milk ’em Yearly:
Booing here, Booing there,
Here a Boo, there a Boo, every where a Boo,
We defy all Care and Strife,
In a Charming Country-Life.

In the 1917 book Tommy’s Tunes, a collection of World War I era songs by F. T. Nettleingham, the song “Ohio (Old Macdougal Had a Farm)” has quite similar lyrics though with a slightly different farmer’s name and refrain:

Old Macdougal had a farm in Ohio-i-o,
And on that farm he had some dogs in Ohio-i-o,
With a bow-wow here, and a bow-wow there,
Here a bow, there a wow, everywhere a bow-wow.

The Traditional Ballad Index consider the “Tommy’s Tunes” version to be the earliest known version of “Old Macdonald Had a Farm”, though it cites numerous variations, some of them much older.  (from Old MacDonald)

OTHER TITLES AND VARIATIONS:

  • As I Was a Farmer
  • The Farmer’s Boy
  • The Farmyard
  • Old MacDougal

RECORDINGS: (mp3’s available through Amazon.com)

YOUTUBE VIDEO:

YOUTUBE AUDIO: download
LYRIC & CHORD PRO CHART: download
PPT LYRICS FOR THE CLASSROOM: download
BONUS YOUTUBE VIDEO: Sesame Street

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O
With a MOO MOO here and a MOO MOO there
Here a MOO there a MOO
Everywhere a MOO MOO
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a pig, E-I-E-I-O
With a SNORT SNORT here and a SNORT SNORT there
Here a SNORT there a SNORT
Everywhere a SNORT SNORT
MOO MOO here and a MOO MOO there
Here a MOO there a MOO
Everywhere a MOO MOO
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a horse, E-I-E-I-O
With a NEIGH NEIGH here and a NEIGH NEIGH there
Here a NEIGH there a NEIGH
Everywhere a NEIGH NEIGH
SNORT SNORT here and a SNORT SNORT there
Here a SNORT there a SNORT
Everywhere a SNORT SNORT
MOO MOO here and a MOO MOO there
Here a MOO there a MOO
Everywhere a MOO MOO
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a chicken, E-I-E-I-O
With a CLUCK CLUCK here and a CLUCK CLUCK there
Here a CLUCK there a CLUCK
Everywhere a CLUCK CLUCK
NEIGH NEIGH here and a NEIGH NEIGH there
Here a NEIGH there a NEIGH
Everywhere a NEIGH NEIGH
SNORT SNORT here and a SNORT SNORT there
Here a SNORT there a SNORT
Everywhere a SNORT SNORT
MOO MOO here and a MOO MOO there
Here a MOO there a MOO
Everywhere a MOO MOO
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a sheep, E-I-E-I-O
With a BAA BAA here and a BAA BAA there
Here a BAA there a BAA
Everywhere a BAA BAA
CLUCK CLUCK here and a CLUCK CLUCK there
Here a CLUCK there a CLUCK
Everywhere a CLUCK CLUCK
NEIGH NEIGH here and a NEIGH NEIGH there
Here a NEIGH there a NEIGH
Everywhere a NEIGH NEIGH
SNORT SNORT here and a SNORT SNORT there
Here a SNORT there a SNORT
Everywhere a SNORT SNORT
MOO MOO here and a MOO MOO there
Here a MOO there a MOO
Everywhere a MOO MOO
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a duck, E-I-E-I-O
With a QUACK QUACK here and a QUACK QUACK there
Here a QUACK there a QUACK
Everywhere a QUACK QUACK
BAA BAA here and a BAA BAA there
Here a BAA there a BAA
Everywhere a BAA BAA
CLUCK CLUCK here and a CLUCK CLUCK there
Here a CLUCK there a CLUCK
Everywhere a CLUCK CLUCK
NEIGH NEIGH here and a NEIGH NEIGH there
Here a NEIGH there a NEIGH
Everywhere a NEIGH NEIGH
SNORT SNORT here and a SNORT SNORT there
Here a SNORT there a SNORT
Everywhere a SNORT SNORT
MOO MOO here and a MOO MOO there
Here a MOO there a MOO
Everywhere a MOO MOO
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a dog, E-I-E-I-O
With a BOW-WOW here and a BOW-WOW there
Here a BOW there a  WOW
Everywhere a BOW-WOW
QUACK QUACK here and a QUACK QUACK there
Here a QUACK there a QUACK
Everywhere a QUACK QUACK
BAA BAA here and a BAA BAA there
Here a BAA there a BAA
Everywhere a BAA BAA
CLUCK CLUCK here and a CLUCK CLUCK there
Here a CLUCK there a CLUCK
Everywhere a CLUCK CLUCK
NEIGH NEIGH here and a NEIGH NEIGH there
Here a NEIGH there a NEIGH
Everywhere a NEIGH NEIGH
SNORT SNORT here and a SNORT SNORT there
Here a SNORT there a SNORT
Everywhere a SNORT SNORT
MOO MOO here and a MOO MOO there
Here a MOO there a MOO
Everywhere a MOO MOO
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a goose, E-I-E-I-O
With a HONK here and HONK there
Here a HONK HONK there a HONK HONK
Everywhere a HONK HONK
BOW-WOW here and a BOW-WOW there
Here a BOW there a WOW
Everywhere a BOW-WOW
QUACK QUACK here and a QUACK QUACK there
Here a QUACK there a QUACK
Everywhere a QUACK QUACK
BAA BAA here and a BAA BAA there
Here a BAA there a BAA
Everywhere a BAA BAA
CLUCK CLUCK here and a CLUCK CLUCK there
Here a CLUCK there a CLUCK
Everywhere a CLUCK CLUCK
NEIGH NEIGH here and a NEIGH NEIGH there
Here a NEIGH there a NEIGH
Everywhere a NEIGH NEIGH
SNORT SNORT here and a SNORT SNORT there
Here a SNORT there a SNORT
Everywhere a SNORT SNORT
MOO MOO here and a MOO MOO there
Here a MOO there a MOO
Everywhere a MOO MOO
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a mule, E-I-E-I-O
With a HE-HAW here and a HE-HAW there
Here a HE there a HAW
Everywhere a HE-HAW
HONK HONK here and a HONK HONK there
Here a HONK there a HONK
Everywhere a HONK HONK
BOW-WOW here and a BOW-WOW there
Here a BOW there a  WOW
Everywhere a BOW-WOW
QUACK QUACK here and a QUACK QUACK there
Here a QUACK there a QUACK
Everywhere a QUACK QUACK
BAA BAA here and a BAA BAA there
Here a BAA there a BAA
Everywhere a BAA BAA
CLUCK CLUCK here and a CLUCK CLUCK there
Here a CLUCK there a CLUCK
Everywhere a CLUCK CLUCK
NEIGH NEIGH here and a NEIGH NEIGH there
Here a NEIGH there a NEIGH
Everywhere a NEIGH NEIGH
SNORT SNORT here and a SNORT SNORT there
Here a SNORT there a SNORT
Everywhere a SNORT SNORT
MOO MOO here and a MOO MOO there
Here a MOO there a MOO
Everywhere a MOO MOO
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

SOURCES:

  • Folk Song Index: A Comprehensive Guide to the Florence E. Brunnings Collection, Florence E. Brunnings, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London 1981—Amazon Books
  • Country Music Sources: A Biblio-Discography of Commercially Recorded Traditional Music, Guthrie T. Meade, Jr. with Dick Spottswood and Douglas S. Meade, Southern Folklife Collection, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries, NC 2002—Amazon Books

SONGBOOKS:

NOTICE: I’m not the best guitar player or vocalist, but no one loves these songs more than I do. The tune and lyrics are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. The recording © copyright 2013 by Stephen Griffith and may be used by permission of the copyright holder. The variation of the song I’m posting is the version I perform and is not exactly replicating the sources cited, but is always in the same song family. If anyone has more details about this song, or believes I’ve stated something in error, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions to improve the site. Thanks. sgg

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