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Animal Fair (song) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Animal Fair is a traditional folk song and children's song. As early as 1898, it is attested as being sung by American sailors. The song was attested in Life magazine in 1941 as a cadence of soft shoe tap dancing.

Lyrics

The version attested in 1898 has the following lyrics:

I went to the animal fair,
The birds and the beasts were there;
The big baboon by the light of the moon
Was combing his auburn hair.
The monkey he got drunk
And sat on the elephant's trunk,
The elephant sneezed and went down on his knees
And what become of the monk?

Other versions substituted "the old raccoon" (1915) for "the little raccoon", while modern recordings use "the big baboon". "The monkey he got drunk" can be replaced with "The monkey fell out of his bunk", "The monkey bumped the skunk", "You ought to have seen the monk" or "You should have seen the monk". The Barney & Friends and the Captain Kangaroo versions changed other lyrics as well.

The song may be sung as a round with the last word "monkey, monkey" repeated until the song finishes or the group repeats.

Recordings

  • Sung by Woody Woodpecker in The Dizzy Acrobat (1943)
  • Recorded and sung by Tex Ritter as part of Children's Songs and Stories (1948)
  • Captain Kangaroo with Mitch Miller orchestra & The Sandpipers (1958)
  • Sung by Richard Dreyfuss's character Moses Wine to his sons in the film The Big Fix (1978)
  • Sung by Laurie Berkner in 1997
  • Sung in Kidsongs and also used as Elmyra's theme in Tiny Toon Adventures
  • Sung in Barney & Friends episodes The Dentist Makes Me Smile (1993) and Barney's Super Singing Circus (2000)
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Animal Fair (song) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.