Hickory Dickory Dock
|"Hickory Dickory Dock"|
The most common modern version is:
Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.
Origins and meaning
The earliest recorded version of the rhyme is in Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, published in London about 1744, which uses the opening line: 'Hickere, Dickere Dock'. The next recorded version in Mother Goose's Melody (c. 1765), uses 'Dickery, Dickery Dock'.
The rhyme is thought by some commentators to have originated as a counting-out rhyme. Westmoreland shepherds in the nineteenth century used the numbers 'Hevera' (8), 'Devera' (9) and 'Dick' (10). (See Yan Tan Tethera)
As with many other nursery rhymes, there are two substantially different melodies, one associated with Great Britain and the other with North America.
- I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 185-6.
- The American Mercury, Volume 77, p.105
- "Mother Goose's chimes, rhymes & melodies". H.B. Ashmead. 1861?. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- "Irish People and Ireland". Irishabroad.com. Retrieved 2009-09-03.