I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Songs Alan Mills Illustrations PisHier

BOOK The children’s classic “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” for which singer-songwriter Alan Mills is best known, precedes a potpourri of simple, singable songs, often focusing on numbers and letters, and featuring hysterically funny animal characters.

MUSIC CD Thomas Hellman and Emilie Clepper breathe new life into old traditions, performing rootsy renditions of catchy songs written for children more than fifty years ago.

Ages: 3 to 5 / Canadian and U.S. Pub Date: September 1, 2014


Alan Mills takes his place in history as a renowned Canadian folk artist, circa 1950-1960. Best known for writing the classic nursery rhyme, “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” Mills saw a successful career that included CBC radio shows Folk Songs for Young Folk (1947-49), series The Song History of Canada and radio program Songs de Chez Nous (1952-55). RCA released his first notable recording in 1949. He also went on to record 20 albums with Folkways Records. The New York Times ranked two of his albums on their top 100 list: O Canada: A History in Song (1956) and Songs of the Sea (1957). Nursery rhyme “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” has seen numerous recordings by distinguished artists such as Burl Ives, Pete Seeger, and Peter, Paul and Mary.


Born in Montreal to a Texan father and a mother from Southern France, bilingual singer-songwriter Thomas Hellman (A Gift for Sophie) won the prestigious Felix Leclerc award in 2007. His music is influenced as much by the French “chanson” as by American folk and roots traditions. Emilie Clepper’s roots in music are sunk deep in the folk and roots traditions she heard almost every day growing up listening to her father, Texas songwriter Russell Clepper. She has performed frequently at the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Festival d'été in Quebec City.


Artist, illustrator and author Pierre Girard (known professionally as PisHier) was born in Jonquière, and has been residing in Quebec since 1996. His illustrious career spans more than 10 years combining various art genres such as comic strips, numerical pictures, painting, illustration and graphic design. He is one of the founding members of the popular publication False Fanzine.


You are listening to title song, “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” written by Alan Mills (with lyrics by Rose Bonne), performed by Emilie Clepper and Thomas Hellman.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.