Little Robin Redbreast - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Notes

The Only True Mother Goose Melodies (1833) has this rhyme with the same 1st verse, but with a different 2nd verse. Here's their version of the rhyme:

Little Robin Redbreast sat upon a tree,
Up went pussycat and down went he,
Down came pussycat, away Robin ran,
Says little Robin Redbreast, "Catch me if you can."

Little Robin Redbreast jumped upon a spade,
Pussy-Cat jumped after him, and then he was afraid.
Little Robin chirped and sung, and what did pussy say?
Pussy-Cat said Mew, mew mew, --and Robin flew away.

Here's the illustration...

Illustration of Little Robin Redbreast

Little Robin Redbreast - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Comment After Song Image
Little Robin Redbreast - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World 1

Comments

Here's a cute little finger play that can be done with a shortened version of this rhyme:

Little Robin Redbreast
Sat upon a rail,
(Right hand extended in shape of a bird is poised
on extended forefinger of left hand.)

Niddle noddle went his head,
And waggle went his tail.*
(Little finger of right hand waggles from side to side.)

*An alternative to this line is, "Wiggle waggle went his tail." (From Children's Literature, A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes (1920) by Charles Madison Curry and Erle Elsworth Clippinger.)

Here's a version from The Little Mother Goose (1912), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith:

Little Robin Red-breast
Sat upon a rail,
Needle, naddle, went his head,
Wiggle, waggle, went his tail.

Here's a version from The Mother Goose; Containing All The Melodies The Old Lady Ever Wrote, edited By Dame Goslin (1850):

Little Robin Red-breast
Sat upon a hurdle;
With a pair of speckled legs
And a green girdle.

Listen

Here you can hear Little Robin Redbreast recited...

Download

Read by Ruth Golding.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

The 1st illustration is from The National Nursery Book. The finger play comes from Boys and Girls Bookshelf; a Practical Plan of Character Building, Volume I (of 17), Fun and Thought for Little Folk (1912). The 2nd illustration is from Jacky Dandy's Delight by Jack Dandy (1799). The 3rd illustration can be found in The Book of Nursery Rhymes, Tales, and Fables., A Gift for All Seasons., (Philadelphia, 1858), edited by Lawrence Lovechild.

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