SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE
(traditional, English – c.1784)
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
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 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.
Some versions have added the following –
Her nose began to bleed like a pocket full of seed;
The seed began to grow like a garden full of snow;
The snow began to melt like a ship without a bell;
The ship began to sail like a bird without a tail;
The bird began to soar like a lion at your door;
The door begins to crack like sticks upon your back;
Your back begins to smart like needles in you heart……….
…..And then it’s time to die indeed!!
Different variations of additional verses may have been inspired by the following.
The Man of Double Deed
By Anonymous, date unknown
There was a man of double deed,
Who sowed his garden full of seed;
When the seed began to grow,
‘Twas like a garden full of snow;
When the bird began to fly,
‘Twas like an eagle in the sky;
When the sky began to roar,
‘Twas like a lion at my door;
When my door began to crack,
‘Twas like a stick across my back;
When my back began to smart,
‘Twas like a penknife in my heart;
And when my heart began to bleed,
and death indeed.