Little Tommy Tucker

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"Little Tommy Tucker"
Denslow-little-tom-tucker2.jpg
1901 illustration by William Wallace Denslow
Nursery rhyme
Published c. 1744
Songwriter(s) Unknown

"Little Tommy Tucker" is an English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19618.[1]

Lyrics[edit]

Common modern versions include:

Little Tom Tucker
Sings for his supper.
What shall we give him?
White bread and butter.
How shall he cut it
Without a knife?
How will he be married
Without a wife?[2]

Origins[edit]

The earliest recorded version of this rhyme is from Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book (c. 1744), which has only four lines.[2] The full version was produced in Mother Goose's Melody (c. 1765).[2] There are references to various parts of the rhyme in earlier works.[2] To 'sing for one's supper' was a proverbial phrase by the seventeenth century. An excellent new Medley (c. 1620) included the line 'Tom would eat meat but wants a knife'.[2]

Various Thomas Tuckers have been identified, including a Bachelor of Arts who was appointed 'Prince or Lorde of the Revells' at St. John's College, Oxford in 1607, and a 'Tom Tuck' who appears in one of John Herrick's epigrams in Witt's Recreations (1640).[2]

In popular culture[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Roud Folksong Index S377998 Little Tom Tucker sings for his supper". Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. English Folk Dance and Song Society. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 416–7.
  3. ^ http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=17069 Rose: Little Tommy Tucker.

External links[edit]