Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling, My Son John

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"Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling, My Son John" is an English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19709.

Lyrics[edit]

The most commonly used modern version is:

Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John,
Went to bed with his trousers on;
One shoe off, and the other shoe on,
Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John.[1]

Alternate versions include:

Diddle diddle dumpling, my son John
Went to bed with his britches on.
One shoe off, and one shoe on;
Diddle diddle dumpling, my son John.[2]
Deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John,
Went to bed with his stockings on;
One shoe off, and one shoe on,
Deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John.[3]

Origins[edit]

The rhyme is first recorded in The Newest Christmas Box published in London around 1797. It may be derived from 'Diddle, diddle, diddle Dumpling', a traditional street cry of hot dumpling sellers.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 245–6.
  2. ^ Wright, The Original Mother Goose (1916), as quoted on mothergooseclub.com
  3. ^ Smith, The Little Mother Goose (1912), as quoted on mothergooseclub.com

4. BBC 'Inside number 9' TV episode with the same name