Eeper Weeper

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"Eeper Weeper"
Roud #13497
Written by Traditional
Published Late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries
Written England
Language English
Form Nursery rhyme

"Eeper Weeper" or "Heeper Peeper" is a popular English nursery rhyme and skipping song that tells the story of a chimney sweep who kills his second wife and hides her body up a chimney. The rhyme has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 13497.

Lyrics[edit]

Eeper Weeper, chimney sweeper,
Had a wife but couldn't keep her.
Had another, didn't love her,
Up the chimney he did shove her.[1]

Origins[edit]

Iona and Peter Opie noted that the rhyme had been used in this form from at least the first decade of the twentieth century.[1] A verse collected from Aberdeen, Scotland and published in 1868 had the words:

Peter, my neeper,
Had a wife,
And he couidna' keep her,
He pat her i' the wa',
And lat a' the mice eat her.

This may be an older version of "Eeper Neeper" and of "Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater".[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b I. Opie and P. Opie, Children's games with things: marbles, fivestones, throwing and catching, gambling, hopscotch, chucking and pitching, ball-bouncing, skipping, tops and tipcat (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 180.
  2. ^ I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 333-4.