There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Song Video

Lyrics

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
I don't know why she swallowed the fly,
I guess she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed the fly.
I guess she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird.
How absurd to swallow a bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed the fly.
I guess she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat.
Imagine that, she swallowed a cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed the fly.
I guess she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog.
My what a hog, to swallow a dog.
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat, to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed the fly.
I guess she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a goat.
Just opened her throat and swallowed a goat!
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog ...
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don't know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat...
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog...
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat...
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse -
She's dead, of course.

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Information About There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

The lyrics of "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" were written by Alan Mills and then sung by Rose Bonne. However, the version that is the most, well known is sung by Burl Ives in 1953.

The song tells a tale of a woman that swallows a series of animals starting from the smallest, leading to the biggest which is a horse. However, lyrics have been changed over time from dying to I don't know why.

This song has been used in a series of children's books, while also being sung in some well-known shows such as The Muppets and movies such as A Bug's Life.

Peer International (Canada) Ltd. bought the song's copyright 1952 and has held the copyright since 1966.

After the "dog" verse, there is another verse that you can add and it goes: "I knew an old lady who swallowed a goat; Just opened her throat and swallowed a goat!' She swallowed the goat to catch the dog".

There is a book called "The Fireside Book of Childrens Songs" collected and edited by Marie Winn, published by Simon & Schuster under Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 65-171.

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

Here is another fun version

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
I don't now why she swallowed a fly. Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider
that wriggled and wiggled and wriggled and tickled inside her.

She swallowed a spider to catch the fly.
I don't now why she swallowed a fly. Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird.
How absurd to swallow a bird.

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly
I don't know why she swallowed a fly. Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat.
Fancy that to swallow a cat.

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly
I don't know why she swallowed a fly. Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog.
What a hog to swallow a dog.

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly
I don't know why she swallowed a fly. Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don't know how she swallowed a cow.

She swallowed the cow to catch the dog.
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly
I don't know why she swallowed a fly. Perhaps she'll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse...
She's dead, of course!

Listen to this song's music

88 Comments

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Tina, Jamaica

23 May 2012 at 1:17am

this is the best story every

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Morven, United Kingdom

20 March 2012 at 5:02pm

I don't know why, but repetitive songs and books annoy me slighly... I think it's because things are repeated that I already know, and I don't need for it to be stated again.

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Abdulkhalek, Syrian Arab Republic

28 February 2012 at 11:22pm

It's an interesting song for children. thank you a lot

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Cursty, Australia

10 January 2012 at 9:59pm

dogs chase goats!

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Christine, Philippines

19 November 2011 at 2:38am

O.O weird! but! when i heard the song, it makes me wanna sing :))) silly xDD

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Ruth From Keokuk, Iowa, United States

29 October 2011 at 3:23am

This is not my favorite silly rhyme of all time, but it has lots of animals, and I changed the words of the verse to "I think she'll cry", so it is more appropriate for my preschool students. Rhyming is a pre-reading skill that teaches learners to hear the sounds, a skill they need to read. My favorites are the songs like: Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Mr. Crocodile, or Skunk in the Trunk. This rhyme needs a catchy tune, and it will get points on the "coolness" meter.

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Jakob, United States

5 October 2011 at 9:14pm

i love there was a old lady who swallowed a fly

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Stephen, United States

16 August 2011 at 2:53am

I was born in 1961. I heard this when i was very young, i loved it then and i love it now. My 28 year old daughter reminded me of it while we were out shopping. I couldn't remember all she swallowed, so i looked it up. Thanks

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S6a6r6@yahoo.com, Bahrain

26 June 2011 at 8:44am

I'm a teacher of the English language . I found that this song is very interesting for my students and they loved it very much . It can teach them how to read and understand words in the same paragraph . Sometimes I play it as a starter to get my students engaged in the lesson . Thanks , really it is a good site for children to practice English .

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Teve, Canada

7 May 2011 at 1:32pm

This song is fabulous for strumming a guitar and so much fun entertaining grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Poor Rachel let her dark childhood imaginings affect her negatively for the rest of her life. Too bad, so sad !

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Obama, American Samoa

2 May 2011 at 7:50pm

this chick is fat

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The Land Lord, United Kingdom

24 April 2011 at 10:51pm

wheres my rent bitch? im not drunk im just buzzed buyyakasha

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Gary, Ireland

5 April 2011 at 2:46pm

How old is this song is 20th century or does it date back much earlier

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Rachel, Canada

13 January 2011 at 4:06pm

All you moms who think this song is great to show their kids are frckkin idiots.. It's about a woman who swallows a spider and dies it used to scare the hell out of me when I was little

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Fyu Myju,ltgbv, Bhutan

11 November 2010 at 2:14am

bnhfjerbhahdji

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Pauline, Bahamas

11 November 2010 at 2:13am

nice work

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To: Jsay, Canada

8 October 2010 at 1:57am

ive made up a pig vers in which it was ''she danced a jig when she swallowed a pig'', but yes it ts wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her to nancy fron northbrook

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Nancy, Northbrook, Il

20 September 2010 at 6:44pm

I learned the spider verse as ". . . wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her." I also remember a verse about swallowing a pig. . . . She must have been big to swallow a pig! Great memories!

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Lisa, Houston Tx

14 September 2010 at 8:27pm

To Krystan in Ainsworth Iowa - You are correct about the goat. It was a long time ago in a far off land (London, England). "There was an old lady who swallowed a goat. She just opened her throat and swallowed that goat."

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Becky Taylor, England

16 July 2010 at 10:54am

I love this im 13 and i always hum it i know it sounds sad but it was my favorite song when i was little .... I was nearly disqualified from a english exam for humming this tune thats how catchy it is lol :)

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This song has been printed from the BusSongs.com website.