“The Grey Goose”


"Last Monday morning, Lord, Lord, Lord... My daddy went a-hunting... for de grey goose." The goose is found and killed; it takes six weeks to fall, and six weeks to pluck, and six weeks to cook... It cannot be cut, and comes back to life and flies away


Paul Stamler writes, "[This song and 'Home, Happy Home'] are so close that it might be better to call [the latter] an Alternate Title." I have no knowledge of "Home, Happy Home." Anyone know more? - RBW

"Home, Happy Home" was collected, almost certainly from white informants, by Garry Harrison in southern Illinois, probably in the 1970s. - PJS

John Greenway sees this as similar to "Cutty Wren." Once again, I don't see it. - RBW

Cross references


  • James "Iron Head" Baker, "The Grey Goose" (AFS 207B, 1933) (AFS 205 A3, 1934; on LC03)
  • Augustus "Track Horse" Haggerty & group, "The Grey Goose" (AFS 223 A2, 1933)
  • Lead Belly, "The Grey Goose" (on GrowOn2)
  • Pete Seeger, "Gray Goose" (on PeteSeeger05); "Grey Goose" (on PeteSeeger08, PeteSeegerCD02)
  • Washington "Lightnin'," "The Gray Goose" (AFS 182 A, 1933)


  1. Lomax-FSUSA 5, "The Grey Goose" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 242-243, "De Grey Goose" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Botkin-AmFolklr, pp. 907-908, "The Grey Goose" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Greenway-AFP, pp. 109-110, "Grey Goose" (1 text)
  5. Silber-FSWB, p. 403, "The Gray Goose" (1 text)
  7. Roud #11684
  8. BI, LxU005


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1933 (recording, Washington "Lightnin'")
Found in: US(So)