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The Only True Mother Goose Melodies   By:

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[Transcriber's Note:

The variation between "wasn't" and "wan't" appears to be intentional, and has not been changed. Other typographical errors are noted at the end of the e text.

A single row of asterisks represents a decorative line in the original. A few lines were added by the transcriber at a page break when there was no intervening illustration.]

The Only True MOTHER GOOSE MELODIES, Without Addition Or Abridgement.

Embracing, Also, A Reliable LIFE OF THE GOOSE FAMILY, Never Before Published.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1833, by MUNROE & FRANCIS, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of Massachusetts.




My dear little Blossoms, there are now in this world, and always will be, a great many grannies besides myself, both in petticoats and pantaloons, some a deal younger to be sure; but all monstrous wise, and of my own family name. These old women, who never had chick nor child of their own, but who always know how to bring up other people's children, will tell you with very long faces, that my enchanting, quieting, soothing volume, my all sufficient anodyne for cross, peevish, won't be comforted little bairns, ought to be laid aside for more learned books, such as they could select and publish. Fudge! I tell you that all their batterings can't deface my beauties, nor their wise pratings equal my wiser prattlings; and all imitators of my refreshing songs might as well write a new Billy Shakespeare as another Mother Goose we two great poets were born together, and we shall go out of the world together.

No, no, my Melodies will never die, While nurses sing, or babies cry.

[ Copyright secured. ]


[ From the Boston Transcript. ]


Mr. Editor : Your correspondent, N.B.S., has so decisively given a quietus to the question as to the birthplace of Cotton Mather, that there is no danger of its ever being revived again. But there is another question of equal importance to many, to the literary world in particular, which should in like manner be put to rest. Who was Mother Goose? and when were her melodies first given to the world? These are questions which have been often asked, but have never been satisfactorily answered. The recent publication of a book called "Mother Goose for Old Folks" has again revived these questions, which serves to show that the subject has not yet lost its interest.

Many persons imagine that Mother Goose is a myth, that no such person ever existed. This is a mistake. Mother Goose was not only a veritable personage, but was born and resided many years in Boston, where many of her descendants may now be found. The last that bore the ancient paternal cognomen died about the year 1807, and was buried in the Old Granary Burying Ground, where probably lie the remains of the whole blood, if we may judge from the numerous grave stones which mark their resting place. The family originated in England, but at what time they came to this country is unknown, but probably about the year 1656. This was the " Wealthy family of Goose " which is immortalized by Mr. Bowditch in his book of Suffolk Names, who at the same time has immortalized himself. They were landholders in Boston, so early as 1660. Nearly half the space between West and Winter streets, on Washington street, and extending westerly towards Tremont street, 275 feet belonged to this family, as did also a large tract of land on Essex, Rowe and Bedford streets, upon which now stand two churches and a large number of dwelling houses. So much for Mother Goose. Now for her melodies.

It is well known to antiquarians that more than two hundred years ago there was a small book in circulation in London bearing the name of "Rhymes for the nursery; or Lulla Byes for Children," which contained many of the identical pieces which have been handed down to us and now form part of the "Mother Goose's Melodies" of the present day... Continue reading book >>

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