Melodies of Mother Goose's Melodies
OUR inclusion of musical files and the suggestiveness of the title notwithstanding, Mother Goose's Melodies were intended to be read, not sung, nor otherwise performed to musical accompaniment.. When Munroe & Francis published their influential collection in the 1820's and 1830's under the carnivalesque title, Mother Goose's Melodies : the only pure edition ; containing all that have ever come to light of her memorable writings, together with all those which have been discovered among the mss. of Herculaneum, likewise every one recently found in the same stone box which holds the golden plates of the Book of Mormon. The whole compared, revised, and sanctioned, by one of the annotators  of the Goose family (whose garrulousness may also have been intended to parody the extended titles of the previous century), a melody could still be defined as a poem that possessed a musical character.

In 1873, when Evert Duyckinck and Charles Moreau published Illustrations of Mother Gooses Melodies, the melodies were still presented without musical notation. In the late 1880's, one American publisher, the McLoughlin Bros., did include music in its republication, apparently in a shrewd attempt to exploit the rising popularity of inexpensive pianos and parlour organs. (Now the melodies could actually be heard! The pure had gotten purer!) This novel publication, with its cover illustration of an anthropomorphic goose sitting at the keyboard, may also betray a recognition that the rhymes of Mother Goose, with their rustic eighteenth century manners, had lost some commercial appeal and needed to be spruced up a bit. It is very likely that the sweet, vaguely familiar tunes made up for the occasion were also intended to dissemble as restorations, standing as sentimental reflections of the rhymes, which are themselves, the hokum of the title notwithstanding, unsentimental.

THE tunes accompanying the rhymes on this website have been included merely as cheerful adornment. They are not intended as authentic recreations of historical settings, or musical interpretations of the text. They have been taken with permission from several MIDI websites credited below. 

There Was A Mad Man Fumeux fume  Rondeau (1:21) Solage (late 14th century) G. Rich; Classical MIDI Archives
Two Blind Men Air Angloise (2:04) Anonymous D. Lovell; Classical MIDI Archives
Richard and Robin Oh, Robin (1:15) William Cornyshe 
Julio Feliz
One Misty, Moisty Morning Song of the Ass (1:20) Anonymous (before 1300) Curtis Clark Renaissance Band
There Was An Old Woman Tossed Up In a A Blanket Sakura (1:05) Anonymous Japanese Folk Song D. Lovell; Classical MIDI Archives
Once In My Life, I Married A Wife Gavotte (:43) Robert de Visee (c.1650-c.1725)  Mauricio Fabbri
There Was An Old Woman, She Lived in A Shoe Wie bin ich doch so herrlich froh (:53) JS Bach 
David Nathan Huizinga
There Was A Man In Our Town The Shepherd's Hey (:49) Anonymous Morris Dance Curtis Clark Renaissance Band
There Was A Man And He Had Naught  Duet: The Flatt Pavin (1:24) John Johnson 
(d. 1595)
D. Lovell; Classical MIDI Archives
To Bed, To Bed  Baloo Loo Lammy (1:33) Anonymous Scottish Folk Song D. Lovell; Classical MIDI Archives
Jemmy Jed Went Into A Shed Country jig (:40) Anonymous English Country Dance Curtis Clark Renaissance Band
Three Wise Men of Gotham Song from Le Jeu de Robin et Marion (:15) Adam de la Halle (1245-50--1285-88) Curtis Clark Renaissance Band
The Sow Came In With The Cradle Sumer is Icumen in (:48) Anonymous (13th century) Curtis Clark Renaissancee Band
Jacky Come Give Me Your Fiddle Tarleton's Resurrection (:52) John Dowland (c.1563-1626)  D. Lovell; Classical MIDI Archives
There Was a Piper Had a Cow Corn Rigs Are Bonny (1:07) Anonymous Bagpipes At Best
When Good King Arthur Ruled His Land Good Morrow Fair Ladies (2:08) Thomas Morley (1557-1602)  Curtis Clark; Renaissance Band
Pretty John Watts Narguardame (2:44) Luys de Narv'aez (1490-15??) Charles K. Moss
Spanish Early Music

 MidiWorld's Early Music
 Dave's J.S. Bach Page
 Classical Midi Archives: Early Music
 The Internet Renaissance Band: Medieval Music
 Bagpipes at Best
 Spanish Early Music MIDI Files -- The Vihuela

Sequence © Pierre R. Schwob - by permission. Original from the Classical MIDI Archives