Behind the Song: Oh Where, oh Where Is Mine Little Dog Gone

Septimus Winner
Septimus Winner

Oh Where, oh Where Is Mine Little Dog Gone is a fun folk song we all learn as a child.

The song was written by Septimus Winner, a teacher, musician, music publisher, critic, arranger and composer.

He wrote the lyrics to a German folk tune, “In Lauterbach hab’ ich mein’ Strumpf verlor’n“.

The German lyrics for “Oh Where, oh where, is mine little dog gone,” are “Der Deitcher’s Dog“.

The song was written in 1864 and Winner saw massive sales of the song during his lifetime.

The song was a popular drinking song before the early 20th century.   At that time it was cut down to one verse and used as a children’s song.

The song was originally sung in a German style.  The later lyrics discuss how the poor doggie was turned into sausage and bologna and how much the local butcher misses his pet who provided so much enjoyment and entertainment.  Now, we can understand why the later verses were cut out for the children’s song.

Winner was born in 1827 Philadelphia and died in 1902.

He is best known for writing the hymn, Whispering Hope.

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