Bingo (folk song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Bingo"
Roud #589
Written by Traditional
Published 1780
Written England
Language English
Form Nursery rhyme

"Bingo", also known as "Bingo Was His Name-O" and "There Was a Farmer Who Had a Dog", is an English language children's song of obscure origin. In most modern forms, the song involves spelling the name of a dog, and with increasing letters replaced with handclaps on each repetition. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 589.

Lyrics[edit]

The contemporary version generally goes as follows:[1]

There was a man who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
B-I-N-G-O
B-I-N-G-O
B-I-N-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.

There was a man who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
(clap)-I-N-G-O
(clap)-I-N-G-O
(clap)-I-N-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.

There was a man who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
(clap)-(clap)-N-G-O
(clap)-(clap)-N-G-O
(clap)-(clap)-N-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.

There was a man who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-G-O
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-G-O
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.

There was a man who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-O
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-O
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-O
And Bingo was his name-o.

There was a man who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)
(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)
And Bingo was his name-o.

Earlier forms[edit]

The earliest reference to any form of the song is from the title of a piece of sheet music published in 1780, which attributed the song to William Swords, an actor at the Haymarket Theatre of London.[2][3] Early versions of the song were variously titled "The Farmer's Dog Leapt o'er the Stile", "A Franklyn's Dogge", or "Little Bingo".

An early transcription of the song (without a title) dates from the 1785 songbook "The Humming Bird",[4] and reads: This is how most people know the traditional children's song:

The farmer's dog leapt over the style,
His name was little Bingo,
The farmer's dog leapt over the style,
His name was little Bingo.
B with an I — I with an N,
N with a G — G with an O;
His name was little Bingo:
B—I—N—G—O!
His name was little Bingo.

The farmer lov'd a cup of good ale,
He call'd it rare good stingo,
The farmer lov'd a cup of good ale,
He call'd it rare good stingo.
S—T with an I — I with an N,
N with a G — G with an O;
He call'd it rare good stingo:
S—T—I—N—G—O!
He call'd it rare good stingo

And is this not a sweet little song?
I think it is —— by jingo.
And is this not a sweet little song?
I think it is —— by jingo.
J with an I — I with an N,
N with a G — G with an O;
I think it is —— by jingo:
J—I—N—G—O!
I think it is —— by jingo.

A similar transcription exists from 1840, as part of The Ingoldsby Legends, the transcribing of which is credited in part to a "Mr. Simpkinson from Bath". This version drops several of the repeated lines found in the 1785 version and the transcription uses more archaic spelling and the first lines read "A franklyn's dogge" rather than "The farmer's dog".[5] A version similar to the Ingoldsby one (with some spelling variations) was also noted from 1888.[6]

The presence of the song in the United States was noted by Robert M. Charlton in 1842.[7] English folklorist Alice Bertha Gomme recorded eight forms in 1894. Highly-differing versions were recorded in Monton, Shropshire, Liphook and Wakefield, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire and Enborne. All of these versions were associated with children's games, the rules differing by locality.[8] Early versions of "Bingo" were also noted as adult drinking songs.

Variations on the lyrics refer to the dog variously as belonging to a miller or a shepherd, and/or named "Bango" or "Pinto". In some variants, variations on the following third stanza are added:

The farmer lov'd a pretty young lass,
And gave her a wedding-ring-o.
R with an I — I with an N,
N with a G — G with an O;
(etc.)

This stanza is placed before or substituted for the stanza starting with "And is this not a sweet little song?"

Versions that are variations on the early version of "Bingo" have been recorded in classical arrangements by Frederick Ranalow (1925), John Langstaff (1952), and Richard Lewis (1960). Under the title "Little Bingo", a variation on the early version was recorded twice by folk singer Alan Mills, on Animals, Vol. 1 (1956) and on 14 Numbers, Letters, and Animal Songs (1972).

The song should not be confused with the 1961 UK hit pop song "Bingo, Bingo (I'm In Love)" by Dave Carey, which originated as a jingle for pirate station Radio Luxembourg.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fox, Dan (2008). World's Greatest Children's Songs. ISBN 0-7390-5206-3. , p. 17.
  2. ^ Gilchrist A. G., Lucy E. Broadwood, Frank Kidson. (1915.) "Songs Connected with Customs". Journal of the Folk-Song Society 5(19):204–220, p. 216–220.
  3. ^ Highfill, Philip H., Kalman A. Burnim, Edward A. Langhans. (1991.) "Swords, William". In: A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Vol 14, p 355.
  4. ^ n.a. (1785). The Humming Bird : Or, a Compleat Collection of the Most Esteemed Songs. Containing Above Fourteen Hundred of the Most Celebrated English, Scotch, and Irish Songs. London and Canterbury: Simmons and Kirkby, and J. Johnson. p. 399.
  5. ^ Barham, Richard. (1840). "A Lay Of St. Gengulphus". The Ingoldsby Legends.  (Full PDF, p. 162)
  6. ^ Marchant, W. T. (1888). In praise of ale: or, Songs, ballads, epigrams, & anecdotes relating to beer, malt, and hops; with some curious particulars concerning ale-wives and brewers, drinking-clubs and customs. p. 412. 
  7. ^ Charlton, Robert M. (1842). "Stray Leaves From the Port-Folio of a Georgia Lawyer, part 2", The Knickerbocker 19(3):121–125. p. 123–125.
  8. ^ Gomme, Alice Bertha (1894). The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland: With Tunes, Singing-rhymes, and Methods of Playing According to the Variants Extant and Recorded in Different Parts of the Kingdom. vol 1. 

External links[edit]