Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

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This article is about the poem. For the 1938 animated short film, see Wynken, Blynken and Nod (film).
Wynken, Blynken and Nod, by Mabel Landrum Torrey, 1918, formerly a fountain, Washington Park, Denver[1]

"Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" is a popular poem for children written by American writer and poet Eugene Field and published on March 9, 1889. The original title was Dutch Lullaby.

The poem is a fantasy bed-time story about three children sailing and fishing amongst the stars from a boat which is a wooden shoe. The little fishermen symbolize a sleepy child's blinking eyes and nodding head.


Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea —
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish —
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam —
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea —
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.[2]

Musical adaptations[edit]

Many musicians have noted its lyrical structure: Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin the American pianist and composer wrote a piano setting, and musical versions have been recorded by The Big 3 featuring Cass Elliot (1963), as have the Simon Sisters (1964), the Ivy League Trio (1964), The Irish Rovers on their album The Life of the Rover in (1969), Donovan on his children's album H.M.S. Donovan (1971),[3] Roger Whittaker on his children's album "The Magical World of Roger Whittaker" (1975)[4]

Buffy Saint-Marie sang a version on Sesame Street in 1975, and on her album Sweet America (1976), as have Fred Penner on his children's album The Cat Came Back (1979) and by The Doobie Brothers (1981). Kevin Roth used it in his album Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.[5] while Composer Christopher Klaich set a contemporary lullaby concert setting for soprano Bianca Showalter which has either piano or chamber orchestral accompaniment. Recordings(2013) can be heard on the composer's site. (2013) Composer Stephen DeCesare composed a SATB version of the popular poem.

References in other artistic works[edit]

  • Shel Silverstein created a poem, "Ickle me, Pickle me, Tickle me too" who went for a ride in a flying shoe.
  • In the episode "Opie the Birdman" of The Andy Griffith Show, Opie names three baby birds Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
  • Ryan Fraley, contemporary composer, wrote a piece for school bands entitled "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" as part of a trio of songs based on stories in "A Child's Garden of Verses".
  • Wynken, Blynken and Nod appeared briefly as gas-mask-wearing tricycle-riding villains in the Doom Patrol comic book.
  • In her essay "The Ladle," Cynthia Ozick makes reference to Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
  • In the song "Justify the Thrill" by Blues Traveler the first line of lyrics make reference to Blynken & Nod.
  • Three Corgis in the young adult book "Minerva Clark Goes to the Dogs" (Karen Karbo) are named Winkin', Blinkin', and Ned.
  • In an early version of the song Satellite of Love by Lou Reed, the names "Harry, Mark and John" appeared as Wynken, Blynken and Nod
  • The poem was recorded by the Irish Rovers as a song called "Winken', Blinken and Nod".
  • Wynken, Blynken and Nod was used as the name of a toy store in Northgate Plaza in the Town of Greece NY, a suburb of Rochester NY.


  1. ^ Mabel Landrum's original sculpture was exhibited to critical acclaim at the Art Institute of Chicago, Torrey presented her sculpture to Denver Mayor Robert W. Speer who commissioned a marble version in 1918. A bronze copy dedicated on September 23, 1938 in memory of Elizabeth Cameron Bailey is a fountain on the Green in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.
  2. ^ http://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/literature/eugenefield/poems/poemsofchildhood/wynkenblynkenandnod.html
  3. ^ Donovan recorded it again for his 2002 children's album Pied Piper.
  4. ^ This album was only released on LP and only in Canada.
  5. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/now-i-lay-me-down-to-sleep-mw0000091363
  6. ^ [1]

The iconic video game Pac-Man, released in 1980, has 4 ghosts to be avoided, named "Blinky", "Pinky", "Inky", and "Clyde".

External links[edit]