“Hopalong Peter”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1937 (recording, Mainer's Mountaineers)
Keywords: nonsense animal chickens drink wordplay
Found in: US(SE)


Nonsense song. "Old mother Hubbard and her dog were Dutch/A bow-legged rooster and he hobbled on a crutch/Hen chawed tobacco and the duck drank wine/The goose played the fiddle on the pumpkin vine" and similar verses.


A number of verses to this song rely on the "unexpected final word." For example, a common first verse runs

Old Uncle Peter, he got tight,

Started up to Heaven on a stormy night.

The road being rough and him not well,

He lost his way and he went... to...


Hopalong Peter, where you going (x2)

Hopalong Peter, won't you bear in mind

I ain't coming back till the gooseberry time. - RBW

Cross references



  1. BrownIII 160, "Get Along, John, the Day's Work's Done" (1 text, of only three lines, but two of them correspond to this song)
  2. Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 104-105, "Hopalong Peter" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. BI, CSW104