Animal Fair (song)

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Animal Fair is a traditional folk song and children's song.

As early as 1898, it is attested as being sung by American sailors.[1]

The song was attested in Life magazine in 1941 as a cadence of soft shoe tap dancing.[2]


The version attested in 1898 has the following lyrics:[1]

I went to the animal fair,
The birds and the beasts were there,
The old baboon by the light of the moon
Was combing his auburn hair
The monkey he got drunk
And fell on the elephant's trunk
The elephant sneezed and went down on his knees
And that was the end of the monkey monkey monkey monk...

Other versions substituted "the old baboon" (1915)[3] for "the little baboon", while modern recordings use "the big baboon". The Barney and Captain Kangaroo versions changed other lyrics as well.