I was born and reared in Paris, Illinois. Recently I learned that the saying, “Everything’s lovely and the goose hangs high” originated in Paris. I had never heard of the expression before, but curious I researched it. I certainly encountered quite a few examples of the use of the expression, normally in works that dated from early in the last century. I ultimately found out that the expression originated from a cruel “sport” popular around Paris long before I was born in 1957. It was called goose pulling. A goose was tied by its neck to a branch on a tree. Horsemen then would compete to ride by the goose and to pull it from the tree. The successful competitor would rip the goose from the tree by the neck , killing the goose and being awarded the carcass for his “skill”.
I cite this grim “sport” as an example of how times change. Back in the nineteenth century this activity was viewed as a jolly fun activity. Today it would be considered felony animal cruelty. The dying out of this “sport” is no doubt why I never became familiar with this phrase while I was growing up in Paris, for which I am thankful.