Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

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Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush Image

"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" (also titled "Mulberry Bush" or "This is the Way") is an English language nursery rhyme and singing game. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 7882. The same tune is also used for "Lazy Mary, Will You Get Up" and a variant is used for "The Wheels on the Bus".

 

"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" Lyrics


The most common modern version of the rhyme is:

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we wash our face,
Wash our face,
Wash our face.
This is the way we wash our face
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we comb our hair,
Comb our hair,
Comb our hair.
This is the way we comb our hair
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we brush our teeth,
Brush our teeth,
Brush our teeth.
This is the way we brush our teeth
On a cold and frosty morning.

This is the way we put on our clothes,
Put on our clothes,
Put on our clothes.
This is the way we put on our clothes
On a cold and frosty morning.

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.

Game and song

The simple game involves holding hands in a circle and moving around to the first verse, which is alternated with the specific verse, where the players break up to imitate various appropriate actions.

A variant of this rhyme is "Nuts in May", sharing the same tune as well as the traditional closing line "On a cold and frosty morning".

"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" Chords


G
Here we go round the mulberry bush
    A                 D
The mulberry bush the mulberry bush
G
Here we go round the mulberry bush
   A     D      G
So early in the morning

G
This is the way we bale the hay
A            D
Bale the hay bale the hay
G
This is the way we bale the hay
   A     D      G
So early Monday morning

G
This is the way we feed the chicks
A               D
Feed the chicks feed the chicks
G
This is the way we feed the chicks
   A     D       G
So early Tuesday morning

G
This is the way we sweep the porch
A               D
Sweep the porch sweep the porch
G
This is the way we sweep the porch
   A     D         G
So early Wednesday morning

G
This is the way we paint the fence
A               D
Paint the fence paint the fence
G
This is the way we paint the fence
   A     D        G
So early Thursday morning

G
This is the way we groom the horse
A               D
Groom the horse groom the horse
G
This is the way we groom the horse
   A     D      G
So early Friday morning

G
Oh this is the way we milk the cows
A             D
Milk the cows milk the cows
G
This is the way we milk the cows
   A     D        G
So early Saturday morning

G
Here we go round the mulberry bush
    A                 D         
The mulberry bush the mulberry bush
G
Here we go round the mulberry bush
   A     D      G
So early Sunday morning

"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" Origins

The rhyme was first recorded by James Orchard Halliwell as an English children's game in the mid-19th century. He noted that there was a similar game with the lyrics 'Here we go round the bramble bush'. The bramble bush may be an earlier version, possibly changed because of the difficulty of the alliteration, since mulberries do not grow on bushes.

Halliwell said subsequent verses included: 'This is the way we wash our clothes', 'This is the way we dry our clothes', 'This is the way we mend our shoes', 'This is the way the gentlemen walk' and 'This is the way the ladies walk'.

The song and associated game is traditional, and has parallels in Scandinavia and in the Netherlands (the bush is a juniper in Scandinavia).

A possible interpretation of the rhyme is that it references Britain's struggles to produce silk, mulberry trees being a key habitat for the cultivation of silkworms. As Bill Bryson explains, Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries tried to emulate the success of the Chinese in silk production but the industry was held back by periodic harsh winters and mulberry trees proved too sensitive to frost to thrive. The traditional lyrics 'Here we go round the mulberry bush / On a cold and frosty morning' may therefore be a joke about the problems faced by the industry.

"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" Youtube Videos


 

More Nursery Rhymes:


Billy Boy

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"Billy Boy" is a traditional folk song and nursery rhyme found in the United States. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 326. It is a variant of the traditional English folk song "My Boy Billy", collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams and published by him in 1912 as number 232 in Novello's School Songs. The song is very popular with the Orange Order.