Good Queen Bess was a glorious dame,
When bonny King Jemmy from Scotland came;
We'll pepper their bodies,
Their peaceable noddies*,
And give them a crack of the crown!
Good Queen Bess was Queen Elizabeth I who reigned in England from 1558 to 1603. King Jemmy of Scotland was James VI of Scotland. He succeeded Elizabeth I to the throne upon her death.
"Noddies" means "sleepyheads" – like "noddy head" or "nodding head". (See The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia c.1906). It can also mean fool, dunce or simpleton.
My best guest is that "noddies" somehow refers to their heads and I think give them a crack of the crown means hit them on the head with the crown.
If anyone knows more about the meaning of this rhyme, please email me. -Mama Lisa
Thanks and Acknowledgements
This rhyme can be found in "The Nursery Rhymes of England", 5th edition (1886), collected by James Orchard Halliwell and illustrated by W. B. Scott. Image from Wikipedia.