Round and Round the Garden

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"Round and Round the Garden"
Nursery rhyme

"Round and Round the Garden" is an English language nursery rhyme typically accompanied by a fingerplay. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19235.


The most common modern form of the poem is:

Round and round the garden
Went a teddy bear.
One step, two step,

Three step, bear! [1]


The rhyme was first collected in Britain in the late 1940s. Since Teddy Bears did not come into vogue until the twentieth century it is unlikely to be any older than that in its current form, but Iona and Peter Opie speculated that it might be a version of an older rhyme, collected 1945-9, 'Round about there, went a little hare', with the lyrics:

Round about there
Sat a little hare
The bow-wows came and chased him
Right up there![1]

An Irish version goes:

Round and round the racecourse
Catch a little hare
One step, two steps
Thickly under there!

A South African version goes:

Round and round the mulberry bush
Like a teddy bear
One step, two step
Tickly under there!

An English version goes:

Round and round the garden
Like a teddy bear
One step, two step
tickle under there

Accompanying actions[edit]

The nursery rhyme is accompanied by various actions, by the adult on the child or the child on the adult. The child/adult first lightly strokes his or her index finger in slow circles around the child/adult's upturned palm, then with each "step", walks their index and middle finger up the arm, firstly to the elbow and then to the shoulder. Finally after a short pause before the "tickle", they launch a (not unexpected) tickle under the arm.


  1. ^ a b I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), p. 184. and 233.

External links[edit]