Wind the Bobbin Up

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"Wind the Bobbin Up"
Nursery rhyme
Published 1890s
Songwriter(s) Unknown

"Wind The Bobbin Up" is an English language children's nursery rhyme and singing game.


Among modern lyrics is:

Wind the bobbin up,
Wind the bobbin up,
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap.
Wind it back again,
Wind it back again,
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap,
Point to the ceiling,
Point to the floor,
Point to the window,
Point to the door,
Clap your hands together, 1, 2, 3,
Do a roly-poly, put your hands upon your knee.[1]


Iona and Peter Opie traced this rhyme back to Yorkshire in the 1890s. When they were collecting games in the 1960s and 70s the version they encountered was:

Wind the bobbin up,
Wind the bobbin up,
Pull, pull,
Tug, tug, tug.[2]

The game[edit]

In the 1970s the game involved two players winding fists around each other. At "Pull, Pull" they pushed their fists away from each other and when "Tug, Tug" was reached they pulled their elbows back.[2] It has now become a much more sedate action game, often with small children carrying out the actions in the lyrics.[1]


  1. ^ a b B. Melling, Creative Activities for the Early Years: Thematic Art and Music Activities (Brilliant Publications, 2005), p. 64.
  2. ^ a b I. Opie and P. Opie, The Singing Game (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), pp. 379-82.