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Nursery rhymes are a major source of learning for children. Accordingly, it is worth learning a few if only to know what native speakers know. When speaking or writing, we sometimes think of these old rhymes although admittedly, it is hard to make reference to them when writing in anything but literature essays.

Below are some of the most common rhymes. There are many, many more.

There was a crooked man

Who walked 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 crooked little house.


Baa, baa, black sheep,

Have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir,

Three bags full;

One for the master,

And one for the dame,

And one for the little boy

Who lives down the lane.


Hey, diddle, diddle,

The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon.

The little dog laughed

To see such sport,

And the dish ran away with the spoon.


Oh, The grand old duke of York

He had ten thousand men

He marched them up to the top of the hill

And he marched them down again

And when they were up they were up

And when they were down they were down

Ane when they were only halfway up

They were neither up nor down


Eencey Weencey spider

Climed up the water spout;

Down came the rain

And washed the spider out;

Out came the sun

And dried up all the rain;

And the Eencey Weencey spider

Climbed up the spout again.


Monday's child is fair of face,

Tuesday's child is full of grace,

Wednesday's child is full of woe,

Thursday's child has far to go,

Friday's child is loving and giving,

Saturday's child works hard for his living,

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day

Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.


Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie,

Kissed the girls and made them cry;

When the boys came out to play,

Georgie Porgie ran away.


Goosey, goosey, gander,

Whither shall I 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.


Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!

I smell the blood of an Englishman.

Be he 'aive, or be he dead,

I'll grind his bones to make my bread.


Mary had a little lamb,

Its fleece was white as snow.

Everywhere that Mary went,

The lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day,

Which was against the rules.

It made the children laugh and play,

To see a lamb at school.


Higglety, pigglety, my black hen,

She lays eggs for gentlemen.

Gentlemen come every day

To see what my black hen doth lay.

Sometimes nine, and sometimes ten.

Higglety, pigglety, my black hen,


Simple Simon met a pieman,

Going to the fair.

Said Simple Simon to the pieman,

"Let me taste your ware."

Said the pieman unto Simon,

"Show me first your penny."

Said Simple Simon to the pieman,

"Indeed I have not any."


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!

Old Mother Hubbard

Went to the cupboard

To fetch her poor dog a bone;

But when she came there

The cupboard was bare,

And so the poor dog had none.

She took a clean dish

To get him some tripe;

But when she came back

He was smoking a pipe.

She went to the grocer's

To buy him some fruit;

But when she came back

He was playing the flute.


She went to the baker's

To buy him some bread;

But when she came back

The poor dog was dead.


She went to the undertaker's

To buy him a coffin;

But when she came back

The poor dog was laughing.


She went to the hatter's

To buy him a hat;

But when she came back

He was feeding the cat.


The dame made a curtsey,

The dog made a bow;

The dame said, "Your servant."

The dog said, "Bow Wow!"

It's raining, it's pouring;

The old man is snoring.

He bumped his head

And he went to bed

And he couldn't get up in the morning.


Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep

And can't tell where to find them.

Leave them alone, And they'll come home,

Wagging their tails behind them


Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet,

Eating her curds and whey;

Along came a spider,

Who sat down beside her

And frightened Miss Muffet away.


Little Jack Horner

Sat in a corner,

Eating a Christmas pie.

He stuck out his thumb

And pulled out a plum,

And said, "What a good boy am I!"


Tinker, Tailor,

Soldier, Sailor,

Rich man, Poor man,

Beggar man, Thief!


Ring a-round the roses,

A pocket full of posies,

Ashes! Ashes!

We all fall down!


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,

Whipped them all soundly

And sent them to bed.


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.


One, two, buckle my shoe;

Three, four, knock at the door;

Five, six, pick up sticks;

Seven, eight, lay them straight;

Nine, ten, a good fat hen;

Eleven, twelve, dig and delve;

Thirteen, fourteen, maids a-courting;

Fifteen, sixteen, maids a-kissing;

Seventeen, eighteen, maids a-waiting;

Nineteen, twenty, I've had plenty.


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Last modified: 02-11-2013