A cautionary nusery rhyme reflected in the lyrics. origins and history - beware of strangers

"A Nursery Rhyme,
the first step to
your children's education"

Hark hark the dogs do bark: lyrics

A cautionary tale - Nursery rhyme dates back to 13th century England
The origins of this story, reflected in the lyrics, is seeped in history. Wandering minstrels and beggars went from town to town singing their songs and rhymes - secret messages of dissent were often found in the lyrics and could lead to plots and uprisings against the crown and governments of the day. Dogs barking alerted communities to strangers in their midst, hence the words  'Hark, hark the dogs do bark ...' - " Beware of strangers"


Hark hark the dogs do bark
The beggars are coming to town
Some in rags and some in jags*
And one in a velvet gown.


* Jags - A slash or slit in a garment exposing material of a different color (especially popular during the Tudor period.)

Additional Information regarding the history & origin of this rhyme
Out thanks go to Yasmin Mazur for submitting the following possibilities for
'Hark, Hark the dogs do bark'
In 1688 William of Orange brought his Dutch followers to England - it is suggested that the person referred do as being 'one in a velvet gown' was William himself and the beggars referred to his Dutch associates


It refers to the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536 - 1540) perpetrated by King Henry VIII and his chief minister Thomas Cromwell, when England broke from the Catholic religion. Their objective was to loot the monasteries and seize the monastic lands (which they promptly sold) thus increasing the wealth in the coffers of England. This resulted in monks begging in the streets and reflected in the lyrics of 'Hark, Hark the dogs do bark'

Hark hark the dogs do bark: origins & history