Information About The Farmer in the Dell
"The Farmer in the Dell" is also known as "The Farmer's In His Den". This song can be termed both a nursery rhyme or a children's game. Originating possibly in Germany and taken to North America by immigrants the song tells the story of a farmer in a dell who takes a wife, who takes a child, who takes a nurse, etc, until finally a rat takes a cheese, and the cheese "stands alone".
The nursery rhyme is sung while playing the game; about ten children hold hands together and dance around the farmer, the farmer stands in the middle of the circle while the kids sing. When the first verse comes to an end, the farmer will chose a wife and the wife stands with him inside the circle. At the end of second verse, the wife picks her child, and so on, this goes on and on until everyone is in the circle except for the cheese, who stands alone. Whoever ends up being the cheese becomes the farmer for the next round.