Funny how something sticks with you for years, but you don’t really know its origin or meaning. My mama used to recite little ditties and rhymes to me all the time, and I always presumed that this one was a Mother Goose nursery rhyme. It’s not.
As I was walking up the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
I wish, I wish he’d go away.
It’s actually called “Antigonish” and was a poem written by Hughes Mearns in 1899. Story goes that it was inspired by reports of a ghost of a man roaming the stairs of a haunted house in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and over the years variations of the poem have been made into songs, and used in literature, movies, plus become a reference to make points in all manner of subjects.
The full poem/song goes like this:
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