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Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes

Filed under Children's Book History, Nursery Rhymes

Mother Goose first appeared as a character in a French poem in 1650, but was not associated with a compilation of published nursery rhymes in English until more than a century later. Since then, both the character and the series have achieved an iconic status in children’s literature.

To help organize the far-flung Mother Goose-themed items, the list below is organized by rhyme (where possible).

Mother Goose (herself) or Mixed Rhymes

Goosey, Goosey, Gander

Goosey, goosey, gander,
Whither dost thou wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady’s chamber.

There I met an old man
Who wouldn’t say his prayers;
I took him by the left leg,
And threw him down the stairs.

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.

My Pretty Maid

“Where are you going, my pretty maid” is a fairly feminist poem for Mother Goose. Here’s the rhyme.

Old King Cole

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare, as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

Old Mother Hubbard

Read the full text of the rhyme.

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin-Eater

Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife but couldn’t keep her.
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.

The Queen of Hearts

 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 called for the tarts
and beat the Knave full sore

The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and
vowed he’d steal no more.

Sing a Song of Sixpence

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye,
Four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a pie,
When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing.
Wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before a king?

The king was in the 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,
When down came a blackbird, and pecked off her nose!

The Three Little Kittens

Click the link above for bunches of options, like that K is for Kittens Collage Sheet shown at left.

Here’s one version of this Mother Goose rhyme.

Posted by Leslie, April 1st, 2015

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