"Draw a Pail of Water" has a game that goes with it. Here's one way it's played:

A string of children, hand in hand, stand in a row. A child (A) stands in front of them, as the leader; two other children (B and C) hold hands and lift them to form an arch. The children sing this song as (A) passes by under the arch, followed by the whole string of children, the last of whom is taken captive by (B) and (C). The verses are repeated, until all are taken.

Draw a Pail of Water - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


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

Draw a pail of water
For my lady's daughter;
My father's a king, and my mother's a queen,
My two little sisters are dressed in green,
Slumping grass and parsley,
Marigold leaves and daisies.
One rush! Two rush!
Pray thee, fine lady, come under my rush*.

*A rush is a dense growth of shrubs or plants.


Here's the version in the recording...

Draw a pail of water
For my Lady's daughter.
Father's a King,
Mother's a Queen,
My two little sisters are dressed in green,
Stamping marigolds and parsley.


Read by Betty B.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

"Draw a Pail of Water" and the game instructions can be found in "The Nursery Rhymes of England: Obtained Principally from Oral Tradition" by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps (1843). The illustration comes from Kate Greenaway's Mother Goose (1881). This can also be found in The Nursery Rhyme Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897).