Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
by Eugene Field
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Mabel Landrum Torrey, 1918, formerly a fountain in Washington Park, Denver[1]

"Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" is a poem for children written by American writer and poet Eugene Field and published on March 9, 1889. The original title was "Dutch Lullaby". The poem is a fantasy bed-time story about three children sailing and fishing among the stars from a boat which is a wooden shoe. The names suggest a sleepy child's blinking eyes and nodding head. The spelling of the names, and the "wooden shoe," suggest Dutch language and names, as hinted in the original title.


Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
  sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
  into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
  the old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
  that live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
  said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
  as they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
  ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
  that lived in that beautiful sea —
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish —
  never afraid are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
  Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
  to the stars in the twinkling foam —
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
  bringing the fishermen home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
  as if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
  of sailing that beautiful sea —
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
  Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
  and Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
  is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
  of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
  as you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
  Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Musical adaptations[edit]

By 1890, the lyrics had been set to music, by American pianist and composer Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin. Dan Hornsby recorded this song for BlueBird Records released in the 1930s. David Gude performed the song on his 1961 Vanguard album New Folks.[2]

In 1963, songwriter Lucy Simon wrote a setting (she claimed it was "the first song I ever wrote")[3] that she recorded with her sister Carly as the Simon Sisters. Appearing on their debut album Meet the Simon Sisters (1964), the song became a minor hit for the duo, reaching No. 73 on the Billboard Pop singles chart[4] and No. 20 in Canada.[5] The song has been recorded by many artists, including: The Big 3 featuring Cass Elliot (1963); The Irish Rovers on their album The Life of the Rover (1969); Roger Whittaker on his children's album The Magical World of Roger Whittaker (1975);[6] Joanie Bartels, on her album "Lullaby Magic" (1985); Canadian children's entertainer Fred Penner on his album The Cat Came Back (1979);[7] and the Doobie Brothers for the children's music compilation In Harmony (1980). Their version also became a minor hit, reaching No. 76 on the Billboard Pop singles chart[8] and No. 31 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.[9]

Donovan wrote and sang a musical setting on his children's album H.M.S. Donovan (1971).[10]

Buffy Saint-Marie wrote and sang a version on Sesame Street in 1975, and on her album Sweet America (1976).

Children's entertainer Joanie Bartels sang a rendition on her premiere album, "Lullaby Magic." (1985)

Producer David Bernard Wolf set the poem for the Barney & Friends 1995 album Barney's Sleepytime Songs.

Kevin Roth created a version for his album Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (1996).[11]

Tatiana Cameron sings her version on her lullaby album A Chance to Dream (2006).

David Tamulevich (of the folk duo Mustard's Retreat) wrote new original music to the poem, which was subsequently released in 2011 on the Mustard's Retreat CD Living in the Dream. (2011)

Composer Christopher Klaich composed a contemporary lullaby concert setting for soprano Bianca Showalter which has piano or alternatively chamber orchestral accompaniment (circa 2013).

Composer Stephen DeCesare composed an SATB version of the poem, (2013).

Valentine Wolfe released a heavy metal version in their album A Child's Bestiary, (2016).[12]

References in other artistic works[edit]


  1. ^ Mabel Landrum's original sculpture was exhibited to critical acclaim at the Art Institute of Chicago. Denver Mayor Robert W. Speer commissioned a marble version in 1918, and a bronze copy is a fountain on the Green in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, dedicated on September 23, 1938.
  2. ^ "Tracks on New Folks - various artists (November 1961) | SecondHandSongs". secondhandsongs.com. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  3. ^ "I Found Other "Wynken Blynken and Nod" Performances by Simon Sisters on YouTube". 18 July 2013.
  4. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  5. ^ CHUM Hit Parade, May 18, 1964
  6. ^ This album was only released on LP and only in Canada.
  7. ^ Discogs ~ The Cat Came Back 1979 vinyl, Meow Records (MEOW-01) Canada ~ side_01 track_04: "Winken, Blinken & Nod"
  8. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 75.
  10. ^ and recorded it again for his 2002 children's album Pied Piper
  11. ^ "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep - Kevin Roth - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  12. ^ "Valentine Wolfe - valentinewolfe.com - Audio : Wynken, Blynken, And Nod". www.valentinewolfe.com.
  13. ^ Denver Public Library - History Washington Park Neighborhood
  14. ^ IMDB ~ Wynken, Blynken & Nod 1938-May-27th
  15. ^ Arthur M Kraft - Tag Archives: sculpture
  16. ^ Where did Glendale penguins go? Answer is obvious
  17. ^ Dennis the Menace - "Wynkin, Blynkin and Nod" - YouTube
  18. ^ Preacher - "Wynkin, Blynkin and Nod" - YouTube

External links[edit]