Itsy Bitsy Spider
|"Itsy Bitsy Spider"
"Itsy Bitsy Spider" (also known as "Incy Wincy Spider", "Eency Weency Spider", "Inky Binky Spider", "Inky Dinky Spider", "Ipsy Wispy Spider", "Ipsy Dipsy Spider" or "Itchy Wincy Spider") is a popular nursery rhyme that describes the adventures of a spider as it ascends, descends, and reascends the downspout or "waterspout" of a gutter system (or, alternatively, the spout of a teapot or open-air reservoir). It is usually accompanied by a sequence of gestures that mimic the words of the song. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 11586.
There are various versions of the lyrics:
- The Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the water spout.
- Down came the rain, and washed poor incy out.
- Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain
- And then Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider or The Incy Weensy Spider is sometimes chanted rather than sung. Recitation of the rhyme is often combined with fingerplays representing the words. For the first (and last) line, alternately touch the thumb of one hand to the index finger of the other. For "Down came the rain" hold both hands up and wiggle the fingers as you lower the hands. For "washed the spider out" sweep the hands to the side. For the third line bring both hands up and then to the sides to sweep out a semicircle (the sun). Then wiggle the fingers upwards (to show the rain drying in the sun), and repeat the thumb/index finger movement to indicate the spider climbing up the spout.
An alternative version is:
- The Itsy Bitsy Spider crawled 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 Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again.
(Some versions have climbed or went instead of crawled.)
The song can be found in publications including an alternate version in the book, Camp and Camino in Lower California (1910), where it was referred to as [the classic] "Spider Song". It appears to be a more adult version of the song using “blooming, bloody” instead of itsy bitsy. It was later published in one of its several modern versions in Western Folklore, by the California Folklore Society (1948), Mike and Peggy Seeger's, American Folk Songs for Children (1948), and The Growing Family: A Guide for Parents by Maxwell Slutz Stewart (1955).
Lyrics as described in 1910 as being from the 'classic' "Spider Song":
- “Oh, the blooming, bloody spider went up the spider web,
- The blooming, bloody rain came down and washed the spider out,
- The blooming, bloody sun came out and dried up all the rain,
- And the blooming, bloody spider came up the web again.”
 See also
- North, Arthur Walbridge (1910). Camp and Camino in Lower California. New York: The Baker & Taylor Company. p. 346.
- North, Arthur Walbridge (1910). Missing or empty
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- Hansen, Marian. "Children's Rhymes Accompanied by Gestures," Vol. 7, No. 1, p. 53
- Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Online search, retrieved 19 August 2010.