Little Tommy Tucker sang for his supper

November 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Little Tommy Tucker sang for his supper,
What shall we give him but white bread and butter,
How will he eat it without any knife,
How will he marry without any wife.

Little Tommy Tucker by Jessie Wilcox Smith

In some versions Tommy Tucker only gets brown bread, poor thing. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes says ‘that nothing is know about this would be bridegroom’, but whenever sung to children, they always say he’ll have to go and find one, in the playground, in the street! Little Tommy Tucker is possibly a generic term for an orphan, hence the singing for supper. Whatever its origins, this rhyme is old, dating back to the 1600s, and one of a few about a ‘Little Tommy’. I like this one –

Little Tommy Tittlemouse
Lived in a little house
He caught fishes
In other men’s ditches.

or

Little Tommy Tacket
Sits upon his cracket
Half a yard of cloth
Will make him a coat and jacket
Make him a coat and jacket
Breeches to the knee
And if you will not have him
You may let him be.

And I found a little rhyme about his dog!

BOW-WOW-WOW,
Whose dog art thou?
Little Tom Tucker’s dog,
Bow-wow-wow.

This comes from a book of Nursery Rhymes called Little Mother Goose published in 1914 and illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith, and its her Little Tommy that you can see in this post, singing for his supper.

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