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Title: Old nurse's book of rhymes, jingles and ditties

Editor: Charles H. Bennett

Release date: March 31, 2023 [eBook #70424]

Language: English

Original publication: United Kingdom: Griffith and Farran, 1858

Credits: Charlene Taylor and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)



Rhymes, Jingles and Ditties.

Edited and Illustrated by
Charles H. Bennett,
Author of “Shadows,” etc.

With Ninety Engravings.

Griffith and Farran,
(Late Grant and Griffith, successors to Newbery and Harris)
Corner of St. Paul’s Churchyard.



My dear Syd.,

If you laugh heartily at the Pictures in this Book, I shall not have laboured in vain: if you feel glad that the Rhymes are as you and I remember them, and recognise the few old ones, now printed for the first time, it will add to the satisfaction I shall feel.

When you have looked well at the other Cuts, please not to forget the little children at the corners of the pages, they represent all the different sorts of boys and girls that I could easily call to mind.

And, with love to all at home,

Believe me to be,

My dear little Boy,

Your affectionate friend,


London, November, 1857.



A cat came fiddling out of a barn,
With a pair of bag-pipes under her arm;
She could sing nothing but fiddle cum fee,
The mouse has married the humble-bee;
Pipe, cat,—dance, mouse,
We’ll have a wedding at our good house.


As I went through the garden gap,
Who should I meet but Dick Red-cap!
A stick in his hand, a stone in his throat,
If you’ll tell me this riddle, I’ll give you a groat.
[A cherry.]
As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives;
Every wife had seven sacks,
Every sack had seven cats,
Every cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were there going to St. Ives?
As round as an apple, as deep as a cup,
And all the king’s horses can’t pull it up.
[A well.]


A diller, a dollar,
A ten o’clock scholar,
What makes you come so soon?
You used to come at ten o’clock,
But now you come at noon.
A, B, C, tumble down D,
The cat’s in the cupboard and can’t see me.
A farmer came trotting upon his grey mare,
Bumpety, bumpety, bump.
With his daughter behind him, so rosy and fair,
Lumpety, lumpety, lump.
A raven cried croak! and they all tumbled down,
Bumpety, bumpety, bump.
The mare broke her knees, and the farmer his crown,
Lumpety, lumpety, lump.
The mischievous raven flew laughing away,
Bumpety, bumpety, bump.
And vowed he would serve him the same next day,
Lumpety, lumpety, lump.


A long-tailed pig, or a short-tailed pig,
Or a pig without a tail;
A sow pig, or a boar pig,
Or a pig with a curly tail.
X, Y, Z.
All of a row,
Bend the bow,
Shot at a pigeon,
And killed a crow.
A, B, C, and D, pray, playmates agree,
E, F, and G, well so it shall be.
J, K, and L, in peace we will dwell.
M, N, and O, to play let us go.
P, Q, R, and S, love may we possess.
W, X, and Y, will not quarrel or die.
Z, and ampherse-and, go to school at command.


Bell horses, bell horses, what time of day?
One o’clock, two o’clock, off and away.
Barber, barber, shave a pig;
How many hairs will make a wig?
“Four and twenty, that’s enough.”
Give the poor barber a pinch of snuff.
Blow, wind, blow! and go, mill, go!
That the miller may grind his corn;
That the baker may take it,
And into rolls make it,
And send us some hot in the morn.


Bah, bah, black sheep, have you any wool,
Yes, marry have I, three bags full:
One for my master, and one for my dame,
But none for the little boy who cries in the lane.
Brow, brow, brinkie;
Eye, eye, winkie;
Nose, nose, nopper;
Mouth, mouth, merry;
Cheek, cheek, cherry;
Chin, chin, chopper.
Bye, baby, bunting,
Daddy’s gone a hunting,
To get a little rabbit skin
To wrap his baby bunting in.


Cross patch, draw the latch,
Sit by the fire and spin;
Take a cup, and drink it up,
Then call your neighbours in.
Cry, baby, cry,
Put your finger in your eye,
And tell your mother it wasn’t I.
Cock a doodle doo!
My dame has lost her shoe;
My master’s lost his fiddle stick,
And don’t know what to do.


“Come, let’s to bed,” says Sleepy-head;
“Tarry a while,” says slow:
“Put on the pot,” says Greedy-gut,
“We’ll sup before we go.”
Cuckoo, cherry tree,
Catch a bird and give it to me;
Catch another
And give it to brother.
Cock Robin got up early,
At the break of day,
And went to Jenny’s window,
To sing a roundelay.
He sang Cock Robin’s love
To the pretty Jenny Wren,
And when he got unto the end,
Then he began again.


Ding, dong, bell,
Pussy’s in the well!
Who put her in?
Little Tommy Green;
Who pull’d her out?
Little Johnny Stout;
What a naughty boy was that
To try and drown poor pussy cat,
Who never did him any harm,
But kill’d the mice in his father’s barn.
Dickery, dickery, dare,
The pig flew up in the air;
The man in brown
Soon brought him down,
Dickery, dickery, dare.
Danty, baby, diddy,
What can mammy do wid’e?
Sit in a lap,
And give it some pap,
Danty, baby, diddy.


Deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John
Went to bed with his stockings on;
One shoe off, the other shoe on,
Deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John.
Daffy-down-dilly has come up to town,
In a fine petticoat and a green gown.
Diddlety, diddlety, dumpty,
The cat ran up the plum tree;
Half-a-crown, to fetch her down,
Diddlety, diddlety, dumpty.
Ding, dong, darrow,
The cat and the sparrow;
The little dog has burnt his tail,
And he shall be hang’d to-morrow.


Eggs, butter, cheese, bread,
Stick, stock, stone, dead,
Stick him up, stick him down,
Stick him in the old man’s crown.
Elizabeth, Lizzy, and Betsy and Bess,
They all went together to seek a bird’s nest.
They found a bird’s nest with five eggs in,
They all took one and left four in.
Een-a, deen-a,
Dine-a, dust,
Catt’ll-a, ween-a,
Wine-a, wust,
Spit, spot, must be done,
Twiddlum, twaddlum, twenty-one.
O-U-T, spells out,
A nasty dirty dish-clout.
F for fig, J for jig,
And N for knuckle bones,
I for John the waterman,
And S for sack of stones.


Flour of England, fruit of Spain,
Met together in a shower of rain;
Put in a bag tied round with a string,
If you’ll tell me this riddle, I’ll give you a ring.
[A plum pudding.]
Four and twenty tailors, went to kill a snail,
The best man among them durst not touch her tail.
She put out her horns, like a little Kyloe cow;
Run, tailors, run, or she’ll kill you all just now.


Girls and boys, come out to play,
The moon doth shine as bright as day;
Come with a whoop, come with a call,
Come with a good-will or not at all.
Up the ladder and down the wall,
A halfpenny roll will serve us all.
You find milk, and I’ll find flour,
And we’ll have a pudding in half an hour.
Great A, little a,
Bouncing B!
The cat’s in the cupboard,
And can’t see me.


Hickety, pickety, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen;
Sometimes nine,
Sometimes ten.
Gentlemen come every day,
To see what my black hen doth lay.
Here we are on Tom Tiddler’s ground,
Picking up gold and silver.
Here comes a poor woman from baby-land,
With three small children in her hand:
One can brew, the other can bake,
The other can make a lily-white cake.
One can sit in the garden and spin,
Another can make a fine bed for the king;
Pray ma’am will you take one in?
Hey! diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jump’d over the moon;
The little dog laugh’d
To see such sport,
While the dish ran after the spoon.


Hicky more, hacky more,
Hung at the kitchen door,
All day long,
Nothing so long,
Nothing so strong,
As hickeymore, hackymore,
Hung at the kitchen door
All day long.
Hickory, diccory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock,
The clock struck one,
And down the mouse run,
Hiccory, diccory, dock.
Hark, hark,
The dogs do bark,
The beggars are coming to town;
Some in rags, and some in jags,
And some in velvet gowns.


Humpty Dumpty, sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
Not all the king’s horses, nor all the king’s men
Could set Humpty Dumpty up again.
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
Mulberry bush,
Mulberry bush,
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
On a cold frosty morning.
This is the way we brush our hair,
Brush our hair,
Brush our hair,
This is the way we brush our hair,
On a cold frosty morning.

[Followed by “This is the way we clean our boots,” etc.]


Hey ding a ding, what shall I sing?
How many holes in a skimmer?
Four and twenty—my stomach’s empty;
Pray, Mamma, give me some dinner.
Here we go up, up, up,
And here we go down, down, downy;
Here we go backwards and forwards,
And here we go round, round, roundy.
Hush-a-bye, baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock;
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
Down comes hush-a-bye, baby, and all.


I had a little pony,
His name was Dapple-gray,
I lent him to a lady,
To ride a mile away;
She whipped him, she slashed him,
She rode him through the mire;
I would not lend my pony now
For all the lady’s hire.
I lost my little mare in Lincoln-lane,
And could’nt tell where to find her,
Till she came home both lame and blind,
With never a tail behind her.
I had a little doll, the prettiest ever seen,
She washed up the dishes, and kept the house clean.
She went to the mill, to fetch me some flour,
And always got it home, in less than an hour.
She baked me my bread, she brewed me my ale,
She sat by the fire, and told me a tale.
If all the world were apple pie,
And all the sea was ink,
And all the trees were bread and cheese,
What should we have for drink?


I’ll tell you a story,
About Jack a Nory,
And now my story’s begun:
I’ll tell you another,
About Jack and his brother,
And now my story’s done.
I had a little husband,
No bigger than my thumb,
I put him in a pint pot,
And there I bid him drum.
I bought a little horse,
That gallop’d up and down;
I bridled him and saddled him,
And sent him out of town.
I gave him some garters,
To garter up his hose,
And a little pocket-handkerchief,
To wipe his pretty nose.


Jack and Jill went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water;
Jack fell down, and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.
Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean;
And so betwixt them both,
They lick’d the platter clean.
Kiss me asleep, and kiss me awake,
Kiss me for Dear Willie’s sake.


Little Bo-peep has lost her sheep,
And can’t tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, and they’ll come home,
Dragging their tails behind them.
Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep,
And dreamt she heard them bleating;
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For they were still fleeting.
Then up she took her little crook,
Determined for to find them;
She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
For they’d left all their tails behind ’em.
Little boy blue, come blow up your horn,
The sheep’s in the meadow, the cow’s in the corn.
Where is the little boy, minding the sheep?
Under the haycock fast asleep!


Little Robin Red-breast sat upon a tree,
Up went Pussy-cat, and down went he;
Down came Pussy-cat, and away Robin ran;
Says little Robin Red-breast, “Catch me if you can.”
Little Robin Red-breast jumped upon a spade,
Pussy-cat jumped after him, and made him afraid;
Little Robin chirp’d and sung, and what did Pussy say?
Pussy-cat said “Mew, mew, mew,” and Robin flew away.
Little Anne Etticoat,
In a white petticoat,
And a red nose;
The longer she stands,
The shorter she grows.
[A Candle.]
Little Tee Wee,
He went to sea,
In an open boat;
And while afloat
The little boat bended,
And my story’s ended.
Little Mary Ester,
Sat upon a tester,
Eating of curds and whey;
There came a large spider,
And sat down beside her,
And frighten’d poor Mary away.


Little Jack Horner sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie:
He put in his thumb, and pull’d out a plum,
And said “What a good boy am I!”
Lady-Bird, Lady-Bird
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire,
Your children at home.
Little Robin Red-breast
Sat upon a rail:
Niddle noddle went his head,
And waggle went his tail.
Little Tommy Tucker,
Sang for his supper;
What shall he eat?
White bread and butter.
How shall he cut it
Without e’er a knife?
How will he marry
Without e’er a wife?


Master I have, and I am his man,
Gallop a dreary dun;
Master I have, and I am his man,
And I’ll get a wife as fast as I can;
With a heighly gaily gamberally,
Higgledy piggledy, niggledy, niggledy,
Gallop a dreary dun.
My story’s ended,
My spoon’s bended;
If you don’t like it,
Go to the next door,
And get it mended.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle-shells,
And pretty maids all of a row.


Margery Mutton-pie and Johnny Bo-peep,
They met together in Gracechurch Street,
In and out, in and out, over the way,
Oh! says Johnny, ’tis chop-nose day.
Multiplication is vexation,
Division is as bad;
The Rule of Three it puzzles me,
And Practice drives me mad.
My mother and your mother
Went over the way;
Said my mother to your mother,
It’s chop-a-nose day.

[The above lines are repeated by the nurse when sliding her hand down the child’s face.]

Needles and pins, needles and pins,
When a man marries his trouble begins.


O the little rusty, dusty, rusty miller!
I’ll not change my wife for either gold or siller.
Oranges and lemons,
Said the Bells of St. Clement’s.
You owe me five farthings,
Said the Bells of St. Martin’s.
When will you pay me?
Said the Bells of Old Bailey.
When I grow rich,
Said the Bells of Shoreditch.
When will that be?
Said the Bells of Stepney.
I do not know,
Said the great Bell of Bow.
Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop—off—the—last—man’s—head.


One, Two, Three, Four, Five,
1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
I caught a hare alive;
Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten,
6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
I let her go again.
One-ery, two-ery, ziccary zan;
Hollow bone, crack a bone, ninery ten;
Spillery spot, it must be done;
Twiddledum, twaddledum, twenty-one.
O, U, T, spells out.

[Used by Children to decide who is to begin a game.]

One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man clothed all in leather,
He began to compliment, and I began to grin,
How do you do? and how do you do?
And how do you do again?


Old Mother Goose, when
She wanted to wander,
Would ride through the air
On a very fine gander.
Mother Goose had a house,
’Twas built in a wood,
Where an owl at the door
For sentinel stood.
This is her son Jack,
A plain-looking lad,
He is not very good,
Nor yet very bad.
She sent him to market,
A live goose he bought,
Here, mother, says he,
It will not go for nought.
Jack’s goose and her gander
Grew very fond;
They’d both eat together,
Or swim in one pond.
Jack found one morning,
As I have been told,
His goose had laid him
An egg of pure gold.


Jack rode to his mother,
The news for to tell,
She call’d him a good boy,
And said it was well.
Jack sold his gold egg
To a rogue of a Jew,
Who cheated him out of
The half of his due.
Then Jack went a courting
A lady so gay,
As fair as the lily,
And sweet as the May.
The old Mother Goose
That instant came in,
And turned her son Jack
Into famed Harlequin.
She then touched her wand,
Touch’d the lady so fine,
And turn’d her at once
Into sweet Columbine.
Jack’s mother came in,
And caught the goose soon
And mounting its back
Flew up to the moon.


One, two, buckle my shoe;
Three, four, shut the door;
Five, six, pick up sticks;
Seven, eight, lay them straight;
Nine, ten, a good fat hen;
Eleven, twelve, who will delve?
Thirteen, fourteen, maids a courting;
Fifteen, sixteen, maids in the kitchen;
Seventeen, eighteen, maids a waiting;
Nineteen, twenty, my stomach’s empty,
Please, mamma, give me some dinner.
Old mother Twitchet had but one eye,
And a long tail which she let fly;
And every time she went over a gap,
She left a bit of her tail in a trap.
[A needle and thread.]
Pussy-cat, Pussy-cat, where have you been,
I’ve been to London to look at the Queen?
Pussy-cat, Pussy-cat, what did you there?
I frighten’d a little mouse under the chair.


Peter Piper picked a peck of pepper,
A peck of pepper Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pepper,
Where’s the peck of pepper Peter Piper picked?
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man;
So I will, master, as fast as I can:
Pat it, and prick it, and mark it with B,
Put it in the oven for Baby and me.
Pitty Patty Polt,
Shoe the wild colt,
Here a nail,
And there a nail,
Pitty Patty Polt.
Pussy cat Mole,
Jumped over a coal,
And in her best petticoat burnt a great hole;
Poor Pussy’s weeping, she’ll have no more milk,
Until her best petticoat’s mended with silk.


Polly put the kettle on,
Polly put the kettle on,
Polly put the kettle on,
And let’s drink tea.
Sukey take it off again,
Sukey take it off again,
Sukey take it off again,
It will all boil away.
Blow the fire and make the toast,
Put the muffins down to roast,
Blow the fire and make the toast,
We’ll all have tea.
Quixote Quicksight quiz’d a queerish quidbox,
A queerish quidbox Quixote Quicksight quiz’d;
If Quixote Quicksight quiz’d a queerish quidbox,
Where’s the queerish quidbox Quixote Quicksight quiz’d?


Ride, baby, ride!
Pretty baby shall ride,
And have a little puppy-dog tied to her side,
And a little pussy-cat tied to the other,
And away she shall ride to see her grandmother,
To see her grandmother,
To see her grandmother.
Ring the bell!
Knock at the door!
Lift up the latch!
And walk in!


Robin and Richard were two pretty men;
They lay in bed till the clock struck ten:
Then up starts Robin and looks at the sky,
O, brother Richard! the sun’s very high.
You go first with bottle and bag,
And I’ll come after on little Jack Nag;
You go first, and open the gate,
And I’ll come after, and break your pate.
Rub a dub dub,
Three men in a tub;
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker;
All jumped out of a rotten potato.
Rain, rain
Go away,
Come again
Another day;
Little Johnny
Wants to play.


Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see an old woman ride on a white horse;
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes.

Kiss in the Ring.

[This popular game is honored with a variety of jingles, but generally commencing—]

Sally, Sally Waters, sprinkle in the pan,
Hie, Sally! Hie, Sally, for a young man!
Choose for the best,
Choose for the worst,
Choose for the prettiest that you love best.


Sing, song, the days are long,
The woodcock and the sparrow;
The little dog has burnt his tail,
And he shall hang to-morrow.
See, saw, Margery Daw,
Johnny shall have a new master:
He shall have but a penny a day,
Because he can’t work any faster.
See, saw, Margery Daw,
Sold her bed and lay upon straw:
Was not she a dirty slut,
To sell her bed and lie in the dirt!
See, saw, sacradown,
Which is the way to London town?
One foot up, the other foot down,
That is the way to London town.


Snail, snail, come out of your hole,
Or else I will beat you as black as a coal.
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie;
When the pie was open’d,
The birds began to sing;
Was not that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?
The king was in his counting-house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes;
Down came a blackbird,
And pecked off her nose.


Simple Simon met a pieman
Going to the fair:
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
“Let me taste your ware.”
Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
“Shew me first your penny.”
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
“Indeed I have not any.”
Simple Simon went a fishing
For to catch a whale;
All the water he had got
Was in his mother’s pail.
Simple Simon went to look
If plums grew on a thistle;
He prick’d his fingers very much,
Which made poor Simon whistle.
Shoe the colt, shoe the colt,
Shoe the grey mare;
If the colt won’t be shod,
Let him go bare.
Sing, sing, what shall I sing?
Puss has stolen the pudding-string!
Do, do, what shall I do?
Puss has bit it quite in two!


There was a man in double deed,
Who sow’d his garden full of seed;
And when the seed began to grow,
’Twas like a garden full of snow;
And when the snow began to fall,
’Twas like a bird upon the wall;
And when the bird away did fly,
’Twas like an eagle in the sky;
And when the sky began to roar,
’Twas like a lion at the door;
And when the door began to crack,
’Twas like a stick across your back;
And when your back began to smart,
’Twas like a penknife in your heart;
And when your heart began to bleed,
You’re dead, and dead, and dead, indeed.
Three wise men of Gotham
Went to sea in a bowl,
If the bowl had been stronger,
My song had been longer.
There was a little man,
And he had a little gun,
And his bullets they were made of lead, lead, lead;
He shot Johnny Sprig
Through the middle of the wig,
And he knocked it right off his head, head, head.


The Queen of Hearts,
She made some tarts,
All on a summer’s day:
The Knave of Hearts,
He stole the tarts,
And took them clean away.
The King of Hearts,
Call’d for the tarts,
And beat the knave full sore:
The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts,
And vow’d he’d steal no more.
The lion and the unicorn
Were fighting for the crown;
Some gave them white bread,
And some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum-cake,
And sent them out of the town.
The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will poor Robin do then?
Poor thing!
He’ll sit in a barn,
To keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing,
Poor thing.


Taffy was a Welchman, Taffy was a thief;
Taffy came to my house, and stole a piece of beef:
I went to Taffy’s house, Taffy was not at home;
Taffy came to my house, and stole a marrow-bone:
I went to Taffy’s house, Taffy was in bed,
I took the marrow-bone, and beat about his head.
There was a crooked man, and he went a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.


The man in the moon,
Came down too soon,
And ask’d his way to Norwich;
He went by the south,
And burnt his mouth
With eating cold pease-porridge.
There was an old soldier of Bister,
Went walking one day with his sister;
When a cow at a poke,
Toss’d her into an oak,
Before the old gentleman miss’d her.
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread,
She whipp’d them all soundly, and sent them to bed.


There was an old woman, and what do you think?
She lived upon nothing but victuals and drink:
Victuals and drink were the chief of her diet;
This plaguy old woman could never be quiet.
She went to the baker to buy her some bread,
And when she came home her old husband was dead;
She went to the clerk to toll the bell,
And when she came back her old husband was well.

[A Song set to fingers or toes.]

This pig went to market;
2. This pig staid at home;
3. This pig had plenty to eat,
4. But this pig had none;
5. And this little pig said, Wee, wee, wee!
All the way home.


There was an old man of Thessaly,
And he was wondrous wise,
He jumped into a quickset hedge,
And scratch’d out both his eyes;
But when he saw his eyes were out,
With all his might and main,
He jump’d into a holly-bush,
And scratch’d them in again.
There was an old woman
Lived under a hill;
And if she’s not gone,
She lives there still.
There was a fat man of Bombay,
Who was smoking one sun-shiny day,
When a bird, called a snipe,
Flew away with his pipe,
Which vex’d the fat man of Bombay.
The man in the wilderness ask’d of me,
How many strawberries grew in the sea?
I answer’d him, as I thought good,
As many red herrings as grew in the wood.


There was an old woman, as I’ve heard tell,
She went to market her eggs for to sell;
She went to market all on a market day,
And she fell asleep on the king’s highway.
There came by a pedlar whose name was Stout,
He cut her petticoats all round about;
He cut her petticoats up to the knees,
Which made the old woman to shiver and freeze.
When this little woman first did wake,
She began to shiver and she began to shake;
She began to wonder and she began to cry,
“Lauk a mercy on me, this is none of I!”
“But if it be I, as I do hope it be,
I’ve a little dog at home, and he’ll know me;
If it be I, he’ll wag his little tail,
And if it be not I, he’ll loudly bark and wail.”
Home went the little woman all in the dark,
Up got the little dog, and he began to bark;
He began to bark, so she began to cry,
“Lauk a mercy on me, this is none of I!”


There were two birds sat on a stone,
Fa, la, la, la, lal, de;
One flew away, and then there was one,
Fa, la, la, la, lal, de;
The other flew after, and then there was none,
Fa, la, la, la, lal, de;
And so the poor stone was left all alone,
Fa, la, la, la, lal, de!
Two legs sat upon three legs,
With one leg in his lap;
In comes four legs,
And runs away with one leg;
Up jumps two legs,
Catches up three legs,
Throws it after four legs,
And makes him bring back one leg.
The girl in the lane, that couldn’t speak plain,
Cried gobble, gobble, gobble:
The man on the hill that could’nt stand still,
Went hobble, hobble, hobble.


There was a monkey climbed up a tree,
When he fell down, then down fell he.
There was a crow sat on a stone,
When he was gone, then there was none.
There was an old wife did eat an apple,
When she eat two, she had eat a couple.
There was a horse going to the mill,
When he went on, he stood not still.
There was a butcher cut his thumb,
When it did bleed, then blood did come.
There was a lackey ran a race,
When he ran fast, he ran apace.
There was a cobbler clouting shoon,
When they were mended, they were done.
There was a navy went into Spain,
When it return’d it came again.


There was a little guinea-pig,
Who, being little, was not big,
He always walked upon his feet,
And never fasted when he eat.
When from a place he ran away,
He never at that place did stay;
And when he ran, as I am told,
He ne’er stood still for young or old.
He often squeak’d, and sometimes vi’lent,
And when he squeak’d he ne’er was silent;
Though ne’er instructed by a cat,
He knew a mouse was not a rat.
One day, as I am certified,
He took a whim and fairly died;
And, I am told by men of sense,
He never has been living since.
There was an old woman toss’d up in a basket,
Nineteen times as high as the moon,
Where she was going I couldn’t but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.
“Old woman, old woman, old woman,” quoth I,
“O whither, O whither, O whither, so high?”
“To brush the cobwebs off the sky!”
“Shall I go with thee?” “Aye, by and by.”


Three blind mice, see how they run!
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such fools in your life?
Three blind mice.
Thumbikin, Thumbikin, broke the barn,
Pinnikin, Pinnikin, stole the corn,
Long back’d Gray
Carried it away.
Old Mid-man sat and saw,
But Peesy-weesy, paid for a’.
There was an old man,
And he had a calf,
And that’s half;
He took him out of the stall,
And put him on the wall;
And that’s all.
There was an old woman called Nothing-at-all,
Who rejoiced in a dwelling exceedingly small:
A man stretched his mouth to its utmost extent,
And down at one gulp house and old woman went.


This is the way the ladies ride;
Tri, tre, tre, tree,
Tri, tre, tre, tree!
This is the way the ladies ride,
Tri, tre, tre, tree, tri-tre-tre-tree!
This is the way the gentlemen ride;
This is the way the gentlemen ride,
This is the way the farmers ride;
This is the way the farmers ride,
Hobbledy hobbledy-hoy!
The cuckoo’s a fine bird,
He sings as he flies;
He brings us good tidings,
He tells us no lies.
He sucks little birds’ eggs,
To make his voice clear;
And when he sings “Cuckoo!”
The summer is near.


Tom he was a piper’s son,
He learned to play when he was young;
But all the tune that he could play,
Was “Over the hills and far away.”
But Tom with his pipe made such a noise,
That he pleased both the girls and boys;
And they stopp’d to hear him play,
“Over the hills and far away.”
Tom with his pipe did play with such skill,
That those who heard him could never keep still;
Whenever they heard they began for to dance,
Even pigs on their hind legs would after him prance.
As Dolly was milking her cow one day,
Tom took out his pipe and began for to play;
So Doll and the cow danced “the Cheshire round,”
Till the pail was broke, and the milk ran on the ground.
He met old dame Trot with a basket of eggs,
He used his pipe, and she used her legs;
She danced about till the eggs were all broke,
She began for to fret, but he laugh’d at the joke.
He saw a cross fellow was beating an ass,
Heavy laden with pots, pans, dishes, and glass;
He took out his pipe and play’d them a tune,
And the jackass’s load was lighten’d full soon.


Tom, Tom, the piper’s son,
Stole a pig and away he run!
The pig was eat, and Tom was beat,
And Tom went roaring down the street.
Thumb bold,
Lick pan,
Mamma’s little man.
Tit, tat, toe,
My first go,
Three jolly butcher boys
All in a row;
Stick one up,
Stick one down,
Stick one on the old man’s crown.


There was an old woman had three sons,
Jerry, and James, and John;
Jerry was hung, James was drown’d,
John was lost and never was found;
And there was an end of the three sons,
Jerry, and James, and John.
The sow came in with the saddle;
The little pig rock’d the cradle;
The dish jump’d up on the table,
To see the pot swallow the ladle.
The spit that stood behind the door,
Threw the pudding-stick on the floor.
Oh! said the gridiron, can’t you agree?
I’m the head constable, bring them to me.


’Twas once upon a time
When Jenny Wren was young,
So daintily she danced,
And so prettily she sung;
Robin Redbreast lost his heart,
For he was a gallant bird;
So he doff’d his hat to Jenny Wren,
Requesting to be heard.
O dearest Jenny Wren!
If you will but be mine,
You shall feed on cherry-pie, you shall,
And drink new currant-wine;
I’ll dress you like a goldfinch,
Or any peacock gay;
So, dearest Jen, if you’ll be mine,
Let us appoint the day.
Jenny blush’d behind her fan,
And thus declared her mind;
Since, dearest Bob, I love you well,
I’ll take your offer kind;
Cherry-pie is very nice,
And so is currant-wine;
But I must wear my plain brown gown,
And never go too fine.


Robin Redbreast rose up early,
All at the break of day,
And he flew to Jenny Wren’s house,
And sung a roundelay;
He sang of Robin Redbreast,
And little Jenny Wren,
And when he came unto the end,
He then began again.
Jenny Wren fell sick
Upon a merry time;
In came Robin Redbreast,
And brought her sops and wine.
Eat well of the sop, Jenny,
Drink well of the wine;
Thank you, Robin, kindly,
You shall be mine.
Jenny, she got well,
And stood upon her feet,
And told Robin plainly,
She loved him not a bit.
Robin being angry,
Hopp’d upon a twig;
Saying, Out upon you, Jenny!
Fy upon you, bold faced jig!


To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, dancing a jig;
Ride to the market to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.
Tell tale, tit!
Your tongue shall be slit,
And all the dogs in the town
Shall have a little bit.
Two little dicky birds sat upon a hill,
One nam’d Jack, the other named Jill;
Fly away, Jack! fly away, Jill!
Come again, Jack! come again, Jill!


Three children sliding on the ice
Upon a summer’s day,
As it fell out, they all fell in,
The rest they ran away.
Now had these children been at home,
Or sliding on dry ground,
Ten thousand pounds to one penny
They had not all been drown’d.
You parents all that children have,
And you that have got none,
If you would have them safe abroad,
keep them safe at home.
Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November:
February has twenty-eight alone,
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting leap-year, that’s the time
When February’s days are twenty-nine.
There was a little man
And he woo’d a little maid,
And he said, “Little maid, will you wed, wed, wed?
I have little more to say,
Than will you, Yea or Nay,
For least said is soonest mended-ded, ded, ded.”


The art of good driving’s a paradox quite,
Though custom has proved it so long;
If you go to the left, you’re sure to go right,
If you go to the right, you go wrong.
Twelve huntsmen with horns and hounds,
Hunting over other men’s grounds!
Eleven ships sailing o’er the main,
Some bound for France and some for Spain:
I wish them all safe home again:
Ten comets in the sky,
Some low and some high;
Nine peacocks in the air,
I wonder how they all came there,
I do not know and I do not care;
Eight joiners in joiner’s hall,
Working with the tools and all;
Seven lobsters in a dish,
As fresh as any heart could wish;
Six beetles against the wall,
Close by an old woman’s apple stall;
Five puppies of our dog “Ball,”
Who daily for their breakfast call;
Four horses stuck in a bog,
Three monkeys tied to a clog;
Two pudding-ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping, wide-mouthed, waddling frog.


There was a man, and his name was Dob,
And he had a wife, and her name was Mob,
And he had a dog, and he called it Cob,
And she had a cat, called Chitterabob.
Cob, says Dob,
Chitterabob, says Mob,
Cob was Dob’s dog,
Chitterabob Mob’s cat.
Up she goes and down she comes,
If you haven’t got apples, I’ll give you some plums.
Upon my word and honour,
As I was going to Bonner,
I met a pig,
Without a wig,
Upon my word and honour.
Vinegar, veal, and venison,
Are very good victuals, I vow.


When a Twister a twisting, will twist him a twist;
For the twisting of his twist, he three times doth intwist;
But if one of the twines of the twist do untwist,
The twine that untwisteth, untwisteth the twist.
Untwirling the twine that untwisteth between,
He twirls, with the twister, the two in a twine:
Then twice having twisted the twines of the twine,
He twisteth the twine he had twined in twain.
The twain that, in twining, before in the twine,
As twines were intwisted; he now doth untwine:
’Twixt the twain inter-twisting a twine more between
He, twirling his twister, makes a twist of the twine.
We’re all in the dumps,
For diamonds are trumps;
The kittens are gone to St. Paul’s!
The babies are bit,
The moon’s in a fit,
And the houses are built without walls.


When good king Arthur ruled this land,
He was a goodly king;
He stole three pecks of barley-meal,
To make a bag-pudding.
A bag pudding the king did make,
And stuff’d it well with plums:
And in it put great lumps of fat,
As big as my two thumbs,
The king and queen did eat thereof,
And noblemen beside;
And what they could not eat that night,
The queen next morning fried.


What are little boys made of, made of,
What are little boys made of?
Snaps and snails, and puppy-dog’s tails;
And that’s what little boys are made of, made of.
What are little girls made of, made of, made of,
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice, and all things that are nice;
And that’s what little girls are made of, made of.
What shoe-maker makes shoes without leather,
With all the four elements put together?
Fire and water, earth and air;
Ev’ry customer has two pair.
[A horse-shoe.]
Wash, hands, wash,
Daddy’s gone to plough,
If you want your hands wash’d,
Have them wash’d now.
Wash on Friday,
Wash in need;
Wash on Saturday,
Slut indeed.


When I was a bachelor, I lived all by myself,
And all the bread and cheese I got I put upon the shelf.
The rats and the mice they made such a strife,
I was forced to go to London to buy me a wife.
The roads were so bad, and the lanes were so narrow,
I was forced to bring my wife home in a wheel-barrow.
The wheel-barrow broke, and my wife had a fall,
Down came wheel-barrow, wife, and all.
You shall have an apple,
You shall have a plum,
You shall have a rattle-basket,
When your dad comes home.


X shall stand for playmates Ten;
V for Five stout stalwart men;
I for but One, as I’m alive;
C for a Hundred, and D for Five;
M for a Thousand soldiers true;
And all these figures I’ve told to you.
Yet didn’t you see, yet didn’t you see,
What naughty tricks they put upon me?
They broke my pitcher, and spilt my water;
And huff’d my mother, and chid her daughter;
And kissed my sister instead of me.
Zany, Zany, Zaddlepate,
Go to bed early and get up late.

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