Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat

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The Mad Hatter reciting, with the Dormouse next to him, as illustrated by John Tenniel

"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat" is a poem recited by the Mad Hatter in chapter seven of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It is a parody of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".[1]


Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you're at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea tray in the sky.


The Hatter is interrupted in his recitation by the Dormouse. "The Bat" was the nickname of Professor Bartholomew Price, one of the Dons at Oxford, a former teacher of Carroll's and well known to Alice Liddell's family.[1]

Other appearances[edit]

  • In Robert W. Chambers's children's book, Orchard-land (1903), the poem is partially quoted, in the seventh chapter titled ‘Tha Bat’ and the creature reveals his dislike of being associated with a flying tea tray.
  • The poem was sung in Disney's 1951 Alice in Wonderland film. In it, the Dormouse drowsily recited it at the tea party. The poem was later sung again at Alice's trial, and taken down as "important" evidence.
  • It was sung in the 1970s version of Zoom and In the 1990s version of zoom it was sung due to a request sent in from a viewer who saw the 70s version.
  • On the 1974 Steeleye Span album 'Now We Are Six', track 9 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' has someone singing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat' quietly in the left audio track, and being very amused by themselves.
  • In the 1960s Batman series, Batman and a woman sing it while trapped in vases and pebbles being dropped on them in a version of the "Chinese water torture".
  • The line "Like a teatray in the sky" is used in a 1968 song by The Move entitled "Cherry Blossom Clinic", about a mental patient.
  • This song is in the 1972 film Alice's Adventures in Wonderland sung by Robert Helpmann.
  • The poem was sung in the 1999 film by the Hatter (Martin Short) as a sort of "encore" to his singing performances.
  • In the Muppet Show version of Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Tea Party scene opens with The Hatter (Gonzo the Great) and the March hare and Dormouse (Camilla the chicken) singing the poem, only to fall about laughing immediately afterwards.
  • The first two lines of the poems were recited by the Mad Hatter in the episode "Mad as a Hatter" of Batman: The Animated Series.
  • The poem is also used in the Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween special entitled "Madness". It is read aloud by the Mad Hatter, one of the villains in the series. It can be found in the Haunted Knight Collection written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale.
  • In the 1995 film Batman Forever, the character Riddler tells Batman, "twinkle twinkle little bat / how I wonder where you're at." Mad March (the March Hare) also says the first two lines to Hatter in the 2009 miniseries.
  • In Tim Burton's 2010 film version of Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter leads the March Hare and Dormouse in a recitation of this poem in an attempt to distract Stayne from discovering Alice.
  • In the 2011 video game Batman: Arkham City, The Joker recites his own version of the poem that goes "twinkle, twinkle, little bat / watch me kill your favorite cat", in regards to his attempted murder of Catwoman with a sniper rifle.
  • Mad March recites the first two lines in the Syfy TV miniseries, Alice, while interrogating Hatter.
  • It was also referenced in the manga Devil May Cry 3: Code 1 "Dante" on page 76 by a demon reminiscent of the Mad Hatter.
  • 2 lines were also quoted in Agatha Christie's 'The Erymanthian Boar' from 'The Labors of Hercules'(1947) when Poirot remembers the lines: "Up above the world so high, like a tea tray in the sky." as he is unhappy with having to stay in a hotel that is high up in the mountains.


  1. ^ a b Gardner, Martin (1998). The Annotated Alice. Random House. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-517-18920-7.