Millie and Max tell us about Old MacDonald Had A Farm

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A collection of World War I-era songs from 1917 called ‘Tommy’s Tunes’ contains a song called ‘Ohio’ with very similar lyrics, but a different farmer’s name: “Old MacDougal had a farm in Ohio-i-o”.

This is widely considered to be the earliest version of the song, but there are other variants, like ‘Old Missouri’, sung by H.F. Walker, which names different parts of a mule rather than different animals.

The English translation of what children sing in China is, “Old Mr Wang had some land”!