Doctor Foster is an English nursery rhyme which dates back to the nineteenth century England. Its first recorded version was in 1810 in Gamer Gurton’s Garland. It was then followed by a modern version of the tune which was published in 1844. The Real Mother Goose published their version of the rhyme in 1916 and had Blanche Fisher Wright as its illustrator.
The song proved to be interesting as several theories have been presented regarding the story behind it. One of them states that it is about an event in English history that occurred during the Plantagenet monarchy. It suggests that the rhyme may have been based on King Edward I and the time when he visited Gloucester. He fell from his horse down into a puddle, which happened in front of many people. This greatly embarrassed the king back then and resulted to him never going back there again due to humiliation.
The second theory is that the rhyme was about a play titled Doctor Faustus, an Elizabethan tragedy written by Christian Marlowe. The play was about the protagonist being called Doctor Fauster because he caused a person to fall in the river when the horse, whom he conjured from a straw, reverted back to its original form while passing through a river. Of the theories circulating around the rhyme, one of them presents a moral lesson for its listeners to follow. It is that when you think that something is shallow does not mean that you would still not proceed with caution as you would end up being in a deeper puddle than you had assumed, which might lead to your demise.
Lyrics for ‘Doctor Foster’
Doctor Foster went to Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He stepped in a puddle,
Right up to his middle,
And never went there again.
Print Easy Guitar Sheet Music
Here’s a free arrangement of ‘Doctor Foster’ for beginner guitar solo. Students can learn to read traditional music notation or TABS. There’s also an mp3 on the site so students can listen to the song as they practice.
Sing-a-long Video for ‘Doctor Foster’
Check out this awesome video for ‘Doctor Foster’ from Mother Goose Club on YouTube. Watch it or sing with your kids!
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