Nursery Rhymes – This Old Man

Of all nursery rhymes – This Old Man goes on a bit too much for my liking.

Having said that, it is an absolute classic nursery rhyme and one that is extremely easy for little ones to learn and remember. But how did it come about?

The earliest record is a version in theĀ Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (1937) under the title “Jack Jintle”. Having read what appear to be the original lyrics, it’s certainly changed somewhat through the years.

My name is Jack Jintle, the eldest but one,
And I can play nick-nack upon my own thumb.
With my nick-nack and click-clack and sing a fine song,
And all the fine ladies come dancing along.

Thankfully, the more up to date version seems to be much simpler.

Video: This Old Man (Youtube(LittleBabyBum))

Lyrics for This Old Man

This old man, he played one,
He played knick-knack on my drum
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played knick-knack on my shoe;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played three,
He played knick-knack on my knee;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played four,
He played knick-knack on my door;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played five,
He played knick-knack on my hive;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played six,
He played knick-knack on my sticks;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played seven,
He played knick-knack up in heaven;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played eight,
He played knick-knack on my gate;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played nine,
He played knick-knack on my spine;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played ten,
He played knick-knack once again;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

1 Comment

  1. Wow, I’ll be back to read more of your series. This is fascinating stuff, I’ve often wondered the origins of may nursery rhymes, many of which can be quite dark I think.

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