Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

The Farmer in the Dell, a Song in Singable Picture Books

Posted on: May 18, 2013

My dear friend Ms. Anctil gave me a gift of a new FARMER IN THE DELL:

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farmer in the dell wendy straw
The Farmer in the Dell
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Wendy Straw

Turns out, there’s quite a few FARMERS IN THE DELL!

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The Farmer in the Dell
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Ilse Plume

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This was sitting on Mr. Mitchell’s bookshelf, so we sang it!

The Farmer in the Dell (A Singing Game)
Traditional Words and Music
Illustrated by Mary Maki Rae
This book features a description of the circle game which can be played when singing this song as well as printed music.

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Farmer in the Dell (Classic Books with Holes)
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Pam Adams

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farmer in the dell alexandra wallner
The Farmer in the Dell
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Alexandra Wallner

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Wiki has lyrics and song history info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Farmer_in_the_Dell

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A YouTube to help you with the tune:

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THE FARMER IN THE DELL
Traditional Words and Tune

The farmer in the dell
The farmer in the dell
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer in the dell

The farmer takes a wife
The farmer takes a wife
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer takes a wife

The wife takes a child
The wife takes a child
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The wife takes a child

The child takes a nurse
The child takes a nurse
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The child takes a nurse

The nurse takes a cow
The nurse takes a cow
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The nurse takes a cow

The cow takes a dog
The cow takes a dog
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The cow takes a dog

The dog takes a cat
The dog takes a cat
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The dog takes a cat

The cat takes a rat
The cat takes a rat
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The cat takes a rat

The rat takes the cheese
The rat takes the cheese
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The rat takes the cheese

The cheese stands alone
The cheese stands alone
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The cheese stands alone

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This looks like a very cool vintage toy:

farmer in the dell toy by mattel

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It is fun to sing this song along with accompaniment from the Fisher Price TV Radio that winds up and plays a music box version of “The Farmer in the Dell,”

fisher price classic tv radio

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FARMER IN THE DELL
Circle Game Instructions from Ilse Plume’s Illustration:

HOW TO PLAY THE FARMER IN THE DELL

The Farmer in the Dell begins with a group of children forming a circle around a single child who is designated “the farmer.” As the children begin to sing the song, they hold hands and dance in a circle around the farmer.  When the children sing “The farmer takes a wife, the farmer takes a wife, high-ho the derry-o, the farmer takes a wife,” the child in the center of the circle chooses another child to come into the center with him, and she is designated “the wife.”

The farmer can select a wife either by spinning around with his eyes closed and choosing the child to hem he randomly points, or he can actively choose a specific child.  The game continues in the same manner with the wife picking a “child,” then the child picking a “nurse,” and so on until the seventh child becomes “the rat.”

When all of the children in the circle sing “The rat takes the cheese, the rat takes the cheese, high-ho the derry-o, the rat takes the cheese,” the eights child is chosen and as she enters the circle the other players go back into the circle, join hands with the other children , and sing along: “The cheese stands alone, the cheese stands alone, heigh-ho the derry-o, the cheese stands alone.”

To begin the next round of the game, the cheese is designated the farmer and she chooses the next wife.

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To find a good definition, I Googled “What is a dell?” and this is what came up:

dell
/del/, Noun
A small valley, usually among trees.
Synonyms: glen – valley

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Related Posts

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AROUND THE WORLD WE GO
This song with verse by Margaret Wise Brown, can be sung to the tune of THE FARMER IN THE DELL:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/around-the-world-we-go-a-singable-picture-book-singable-verse-by-margaret-wise-brown/

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USEFUL TUNES IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/useful-tunes-in-the-public-domain/

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WENDY STRAW: SONGS ILLUSTRATED BY WENDY STRAW
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/illustrated-songs-by-wendy-straw/

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