We are using cookies to make this web site better.  By clicking the 'agree' button, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Grand Old Duke of York, The - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Arguments persist about which of several historical Dukes of York this well-known nursery rhyme refers to.  Several have marched armies to the top of various hills at different point in British history, and never with agreeable results. (Advice to the current and any future Dukes of York: if you find yourself in charge of an army, and you march it to the top of a hill, under no circumstances march it down again; if you live, you'll regret it!).  See this Wikipedia article for speculation about which Duke of York was the Duke of York.  The tune that 'The Grand Old Duke of York' is sung to is called 'A-Hunting We Will Go'.  It was composed by Thomas Arne, who also wrote 'Rule Britannia' and 'God Save the King' (or, currently, Queen).

Chords

       A
The Grand old Duke of York,

     E7
He had ten thousand men,


    
A                                   D
He marched them up to the top of the hill

            A                     E7       A
And he marched them down again.

      
A
And when they were up, they were up,

       
E7
And when they were down, they were down,

        A                             D
And when they were only halfway up


                 A          E7      A
They were neither up nor down.

Lyrics

The Grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
And when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only halfway up
They were neither up nor down.

Other Nursery Rhymes and Children's Songs