“My Mother Said (Gypsies in the Wood)”


"My mother said that I never should Play with the gypsies in the wood. The wood was dark; the grass was green; In came Sally with a tamborine." "I went to the sea -- no ship to get across... Sally tell my mother I shall never come back."


The second verse of this, of course, floats in part; I have no idea whether it was originally integral to this song, which is thought to be quite old though the Baring-Goulds claim it was not published before de la Mare. (The Opies, of course, found an earlier reference in Kilvert). - RBW


  1. Opie-Oxford2 362, "My mother said that I never should" (1 fragment)
  2. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #603, p. 240, "(My mother said that I never should)"
  3. ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, third edition, 1928 (type reset 1953), p. 535, ("My Mother said that I never should") (1 short text)
  4. Roud #13187
  5. BI, BGMG603


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1870 (Kilvert, according to Opie-Oxford2)