Grey Goose and Gander


Now this stirred me into life on a weary, frosty morn and Jon says, “Heard this first from the brilliant Folly Bridge (I think still available on Wild Goose). Fay then came across it again whilst researching the Huddleston collection.” I’ll have to ask Jon for clarification on Folly Bridge as I can’t find anything to help me nail that. It is of course on Fay’s excellent Looking Glass and I’ve recently posted her response to being nominated in The Folk Awards Horizon category here. Mudcat has a thread here, although the originator’s appeal for the meaning of this seems to have been ignored. I can’t think that’s particularly surprising, however, as this jolly little ditty seems utterly nonsensical to me. If you know differently please enlighten us. I can’t help but feel that with the Blacksmith in the ale house, the landlord getting drunk and the ladies being shown the hounds by the light of the moon that this is a bawdy little number, but that makes the shepherd a bit of an enigma. Still whatever it’s about, it’s good to hear Jon and Fay together on this – a  nice flourish at the end too.



18 Responses to “Grey Goose and Gander”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by folkandroots and Shelley Rainey, Jon Boden. Jon Boden said: Latest Post: : Grey Goose and Gander […]

  2. Adam says:

    The Folly Bridge albums seem to be available as a CDR here: I don’t know their work, but the samples seem pretty pleasant.

    Frank Kidson’s Traditional Tunes features this song, with the comment “I need scarcely say that this delightful production would be sung only after a certain stage of conviviality had been reached.” And perhaps that’s all the meaning we should take from the song.

  3. muzza says:

    Jolly little song…..balance of voices spot on…a touch of “the sweet nightingale ” in there methinks.

  4. Shelley says:

    A great one for people to join in – another one I’ve learned from Royal Traditions. It makes no sense, but hey, what does that matter?

    And again I say, I do love hearing Jon and Fay singing together!

  5. Phil says:

    Very nice indeed.

  6. Jane Ramsden says:

    Another fan here for your duets! Lovely melding, mixing and matching! (Don’t forget that joint album we are all waiting for… )

  7. Lucinde Metcalfe says:

    Graham (one third of Folly Bridge) says “It’s just a nonsense song from Yorkshire … I don’t know any more about it. We didn’t do a lot of research, we just sang.” Wildgoose may not have any more of the CDs; we do have some, and can be contacted at if anyone is interested.

  8. Diana says:

    Perhaps I am overdoing it with a comment every day, but hey, I enjoy listening to the folk song each day and I always seem to have an opinion so why not? This is a jolly little ditty and so beautifully sung as a duet.

  9. Diana says:

    Just been catching up with “A Bus Song A Day” over a cup of coffee. Thoroughly enjoyed the Falmouth episode to the tune of “South Australia”. Those two brave souls dashing into the sea – bet it was cold!!!

  10. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    What a wonderful song! I have never heard it before and have not a clue what it is all about. Like Simon, I detect a hint of bawdyness (Some people can find smut anywhere !), and it is none the worse for that. Certainly a song to learn for when the company is well lubricated.
    I have been out of touch for a while and have now been catching up with some great songs. Most of them new to me so I will probably be posting comments when I have listened to them a couple more times.
    I am sorry Diana if you have been stuck at the bus stop on your own, thinking everyone had gone away.
    In my return to the fold, we have now reached the beautiful N. Devon, and we are really looking forward to SHOW OF HANDS tomorrow evening in Barnstaple It will be good to hear them on their home patch.

  11. Reinhard Zierke says:

    I’m glad Bellowhead are touring the UK and not Australia; otherwise they might meet the Lake Frome Monster tonight. But maybe, maybe a grey goose and a gander are just right to scare it away 🙂

  12. John Monk says:

    Jon & Fay they say. Marvelous harmonies. What a great natural rapport.

  13. Jane Ramsden says:

    Love this, and is there really no FayJohn duet CD on the horizon, ‘cos t’is a travesty if not! C’mon, PLEASE! The great natural rapport is definitely there, as John M says, a beautiful blend of voices, and enough material now covered. I’d buy a few copies! What a joy to be catching up on AFSAD on a grey day to the likes of this!

  14. Billyboy of the Waterloo says:

    I learnt The Grey Goose and The Gander as one should always learn a folk song, by listening to it being sung in a company, joining in and eventually being able to lead sing it myself. I learnt it at The Killingworth Castle Inn at Wootton by Woodstock, Oxon in the 1970s but it had been sung in the pub for much longer.

  15. Muzza+388days (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    To my Chagrin….having taken note from this song….I must report that taking your shoes off does NOT make you invisible…… verified by my recent foray into the ladies changing room at Marks & Sparks… case come up next week and I don’t think that my proposed defence statement “What is good for the goose is good for the gander” will go down well with the beak!

  16. Phil says:

    Here’s mine (with thanks to Jon & Fay, but also to Shelley):

    Grey Goose and Gander (52 Folk Songs)

  17. Muzza+388days (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    @Phil……loved your version…….you are so lucky to have all those drunken brothers to sing along with you.

  18. Diana says:

    Love this duet. Really great.

    Muzza how could you? I believe new specs are in order.

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