(Folk song)

1. The farmer in the dell, the farmer in the dell,
Heigh ho! the Derry O! The farmer in the dell.

2. The farmer takes the wife…
3. The wife takes the child…
4. The child takes the nurse…
5. The nurse takes the dog…
6. The dog takes the cat…
7. The cat takes the rat…
8. The rat takes the cheese…
9. The cheese stands alone…


Students in a circle with a student in the center as the “farmer.”
Verse 1 – Students walk around farmer in the circle.
Verses 2-8 – Student chooses another student as “wife.”
“Wife” chooses another student as “child…”
Verse 9 – The last student: “cheese” stands alone; other students go back to the circle.

See also


  • Song with chords in 2 keys, simple accompaniment (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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2 thoughts on “Farmer in the Dell”

  1. Actually, once the rat takes the cheese, there are the series of “runs away” verses. On each “run away” verse, the named actor runs out of the circle, ending up standing to the side outside the circle
    9. The farmer runs away
    10.The wife runs away
    11.The child runs away
    12.The nurse runs away
    13.The dog runs away
    14.The cat runs away
    15.The rat runs away
    … and FINALLY, 16. The cheese (the original of which has no legs) stands alone.

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