“I Had a Little Puppy (Pussy Willow, Hot Dog)”


Riddle-song, with a description of something (cat, dog, etc.) that actually describes something else. E.g., 'I had a little puppy, it had a stubby tail... you buy it at a butcher's shop" (describing a hot dog)


There are a whole class of songs of this sort. I learned "I had a little puppy" somewhere in an (obviously mis-spent) youth, and also heard "pussy willow" many years ago. Both use the same tune (or, rather, tune device: Each word in a line sung to a single note, with each line one note higher than the preceding). I imagine there are more of these things around. I'll just lump them here. - RBW


  1. Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 68, "Pussy Willow" (1 text, tune described but not printed)
  2. Roud #10248
  3. BI, PHCFS068


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1972
Found in: US