This rhyme about the wise old owl is always thought to be very old, but there is actually no record of it in print before 1875. While it is unknown when “A Wise Old Owl” was first recorded, it is believed that the nursery rhyme originated in the United States.
Calvin Coolidge is said to have had this inscribed over a fireplace in his house and it was quoted by John D. Rockefeller in 1909. During World War II, there was a wartime poster containing this nursery rhyme was printed with the added caption “Silence means Security”.
A Wise Old Own Lyrics
A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke.
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?