Taffy Was a Welshman - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Notes

Here's the version from An Alphabet Of Old Friends (1874) by Walter Crane (that's recited in the mp3):

Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a thief,
Taffy came to my house,
And stole a leg of beef.

I went to Taffy's house,
Taffy was not at home;
Taffy came to my house,
And stole a marrow-bone.

I went to Taffy's house,
Taffy was in bed;
I took the marrow-bone,
And broke Taffy's head.

Here's another version of this rhyme from A History of Nursery Rhymes (1899) by Percy B. Green:

Taffy was a wicked Welshman,
Taffy was a wicked thief,
Taffy came to my house
And stole a piece of beef.
I went to Taffy's house,
Taffy was in bed,
I got the poker
And hit him on the head.

According to Green this song was, "Sung in derision along the Welsh borders on St. David's Day. Formerly it was the custom of the London mob on this day to dress up a guy and carry him round the principal thoroughfares. The ragged urchins following sang the rhyme of 'Taffy was a wicked Welshman'."

St. David is the patron saint of Wales. St. David's Day is on March 1st each year. It's still celebrated in Wales and by Welsh people around the world.

*****

Here's another version of this rhyme from Harry's Ladder to Learning (1850):

Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a thief,
Taffy came to my house,
And stole a piece of beef.
I went to Taffy's house,
Taffy wasn't at home,
Taffy came to my house,
And stole a marrow-bone.
I went to Taffy's house,
Taffy was in bed,
I took the marrow-bone,
And beat about his head.

Here's the version from The Nursery Rhyme Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897):

TAFFY was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief;
Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef:
I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was not at home;
Taffy came to my house and stole a marrow-bone.

I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was not in;
Taffy came to my house and stole a silver pin:
I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was in bed,
I took up a poker and flung it at his head.

I know this version below, from The Real Mother Goose (1916), illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright, has elements from the different versions above. Knowing that many of you grew up with the book, I'm posting the version from The Real Mother Goose anyway:

Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief,
Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef;
I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was not home;
Taffy came to my house and stole a marrow-bone.

I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was not in;
Taffy came to my house and stole a silver pin;
I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was in bed,
I took up the marrow-bone and flung it at his head.

Taffy Was a Welshman - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Comment After Song Image
Taffy Was a Welshman - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World 1
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The version that's recited in the mp3 is in the notes below...

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

The 1st illustration comes from The National Nursery Book and the 2nd illustration comes from The Nursery Rhyme Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897). The 3rd illustration comes from An Alphabet of Old Friends (1874), by Walter Crane (with some graphical editing by Lisa Yannucci).

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