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
'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
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'