Poor Willie in the Best of Sashes - American Children's Songs - The USA - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


I've also seen this rhyme called "Little Willie" instead of "Poor Willie", and also "Billy".

Here's another version:

Billy, in one of his bright new sashes,
Fell in the fire and was burnt to ashes.
Now, although the room grows chilly,
I haven't the heart to poke poor Billy.

Lee wrote: "This and similar rhymes are quoted in a book: "Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes" by Harry Graham (there's an early edition from 1902 - this is where the image above comes from]. They were popular in the 1930s."

I found it in, "The Strand Magazine", Volume 31, Issues 181-186 (1906) by Harry Houdini Collection (Library of Congress).

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Lee Mesenhimer for sending this rhyme!