“The Dog in the Closet (The Old Dyer)”


The hatter has to hide in the closet when the woman's husband comes home unexpectedly. The husband locks the closet and goes for witnesses. The wife releases the hatter and puts a dog in his place. The husband finds the dog and is embarrassed


This and similar songs are sometimes traced back to a story in Boccaccio (seventh day, second story: Gianella, Peronella, and her husband). But the story is really one of the basic themes of folktale, and doubtless predates Boccaccio as well as these songs. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Laws Q11, "The Old Dyer (The Dog in the Closet)"
  2. BrownII 279, "The Old Dyer" (1 text)
  3. BBI, ZN151, "All you that to merriment now are inclined" (probably this piece)
  4. DT 523, DOGCLOS
  5. Roud #1006
  6. BI, LQ11


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1952 (Brown)
Found in: US(NE,SE)