Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

“Read, Sing, Play ABC Sing-Along,” A Singable Book, Letter N (tune of “The Old Gray Mare”)

Posted on: June 1, 2010

The old gray N!

Sing the words of the song for the letter N to the tune of “The Old Gray Mare.”


Read, Sing, Play ABC Sing-Along
Words Adapted by Teddy Slater
Illustrated by Liisa Chauncy Guida

Nathaniel Had a Naughty Little Nanny Goat
(Lyrics by Teddy Slater, from book “ABC Sing-Along,” sing to the tune of “The Old Gray Mare”)
Nathaniel had a naughty little nanny goat,
who never at a single oat,
just nibbled on his overcoat.
Nathaniel had a naughty little nanny goat.
Her name was Nannabelle.

The song’s origins are obscure, but to help you remember the tune, here is a fun, old-time nickelodeon version of “The Old Gray Mare Ain’t What She Used to Be”:
http://www.amazon.com/Gray-Mare-Aint-What-Used/dp/B001A2TLD4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1275227209&sr=1-1

The Old Gray Mare
Traditional Words and Tune
The old gray mare,
She ain’t what she used to be
Ain’t what she used to be,
Ain’t what she used to be
The old gray mare,
She ain’t what she used to be
Many long years ago.

Many long years ago,
Many long years ago,
The old gray mare,
She ain’t what she used to be
Many long years ago.

The old gray mare,
She kicked on the whiffletree,
Kicked on the whiffletree,
Kicked on the whiffletree
The old gray mare,
She kicked on the whiffletree
Many long years ago.

Many long years ago,
Many long years ago,
The old gray mare,
She kicked on the whiffletree
Many long years ago.

“The Old Gray Mare” was the tune used to sing a campaign song for Abraham Linclon.  This song has been adapted into a Singable Picture Book,

Our Abe Lincoln
Traditional tune
Words adapted by Jim Aylesworth
Illustrated by Barbara McClintock
(Sing to the tune of “The Old Gray Mare”)

Read my post about this Singable Picture Book adaptation of Abraham Lincoln’s campaign song here:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/our-abe-lincoln-a-singable-book/

Read a sassy, fun article about “The Old Gray Mare” song origins and ruminations about its meanings:
http://www.oldgraymares.com/Information_Lady%20Suffolk.htm

“The Old Gray Mare” in the Roud Folk Song Index:
home: http://library.efdss.org/cgi-bin/home.cgi
Six references for the song are listed in this index by searching “precisely,” for “the old gray mare she ain’t” on the “search indexes” page.

Note:  The spelling for the word “Gray” and “Grey” are both frequently used and one spelling seems to be as correct as the other.

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