Sing a song of sixpence

March 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

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

The king was in his counting house, counting out his money,
The queen was in her parlour, eating bread and honey,
The maid was in the garden, hanging out the clothes,
When along came a blackbird and pecked off her nose.

Never fails to tickle the little ones as their noses are ‘pecked’ off.  I was amused to find from another Nursery Rhymes website that on the BBC’s Listen with Mother in the 1950s they used to add the following to the end of the rhyme:

“There was such a commotion that little Jenny Wren
Flew down from the tree tops and popped it on again”

Though it doesn’t sing so well to the tune I know.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds Baked in a Pie by Walter Crane

This lovely illustration again by Walter Crane, from a beautiful book that is called ‘The Sing a Song of Sixpence Picture Book’ and has an illustration for each line of the ryhme.

The idea of birds singing inside a pie is also an idea worth exploring – as Heston Blumental did, by making a pie with homing pigeons in his Medieval Feast on Channel 4 a few years ago.


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