Does Anyone Know a Song About a Pancake Tied to a Man’s Bum, Bum, Bum?

Kelley wrote:

Dear Lisa,

I was wondering if you could help me. My mum used to sing a song to my children about a man running through a paddock or field with a pancake tied to his bum, bum, bum.

This is the only bit of the song I can remember and I wondered if you had ever heard of it or knew of its origins. I haven’t been able to find it on any Nursery Rhyme Websites as I don’t know the name of it.

Hoping you can help.

Kind Regards,

Kelley Carter

If anyone can help out with this song, please comment below.

Thanks!

Lisa

This article was posted on Friday, May 18th, 2007 at 4:53 pm and is filed under Australia, Australian Kids Songs, British Children's Songs, Canada, Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, English, English Nursery Rhymes, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Readers Questions, United Kingdom. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

113 Responses to “Does Anyone Know a Song About a Pancake Tied to a Man’s Bum, Bum, Bum?”

  1. Denise Harrison Says:

    Not last night but the night before
    Three tomcats came knocking at the door
    One played the bugle
    One played the drum
    And one had a pancake stuck to his bum… chum

    ( or you could possibly say “stuck to his bum bum bum)

    This is such an old rhyme we have said to our kids for many years. We live in Australia, but my husband learned this rhyme when he was a child in England. Regards Denise H

  2. Lisa Says:

    Thanks Denise,

    Thank you for sending us the words to the rhyme! If you or your husband (or kids) would ever like to send me a recording of it, I’d love to post it recited by someone who grew up saying it.

    Thanks again!

    Mama Lisa

  3. Kelley Says:

    Thanks Denise for your response to my question. Your rhyme is different to the one my mum used to sing, which definitely had someone running through a paddock or field with a pancake tied to his bum.

    Maybe there is another version to the Rhyme because for some reason I thought it was Tommy and your rhyme has tom cats. I remember is as longer and my Mum would sing it.

    Anyway thanks once again.

    Kind regards,

    Kelley

  4. Linda Says:

    I thought I was the only person who remembered this little song. My Brownie troop sang it on a local TV show back in 1960 or 1961!

  5. Brian Says:

    There was a little man
    Who had a little gun
    And up the mountain he did run
    With a belly full of fat
    And a tall tall hat
    And a pancake tied to
    His bum bum bum

  6. Chris Rowan Says:

    This ditty was quite common in Lancashire and I am sure a lot of other places. My sisters used to use it as a skipping song and quite often was one of the first songs sung by a child when asked to sing at a family gathering. it often consisted of a number of verses the only two I can remember which also have common themes elsewhere are

    Well you know last night and you know the night before
    Three tom cats came knocking at my door
    One had a fiddle and the other had a drum
    and the third had a pancake stuck to his bum

    Chorus (in shanty style)

    Early in the morning
    Early in the morning
    Early in the morning
    before the break of day

    Dan Dan the dustbin man,
    washed his face in a frying pan
    combed his hair with a Donkeys tail
    and scratched his belly with his big toe nail

    Chorus etc

    Whenever I sing this for my grandchildren my daughters all join in as they remember the song from when we used to travel in the car together. I also seem to remember a Lancashire group in the laste 60s early 70s released the song with many more verses under the name “Early In The Morning”

  7. Chris Rowan Says:

    Sorry I forgot the name of the group which was The Fivepenny Piece

  8. Lisa Says:

    That’s a cool song!

  9. Mary Tenny Says:

    My great-grandfather used to sing us this version, which is pretty much the same as Brian’s (above):

    “Oh, there was a little man, and he had a little gun,
    And down to the wheelhouse he did run,
    With a belly full of fat,
    And a big straw hat,
    And a pancake tied to his bum, bum, bum.”

  10. Mary Tenny Says:

    And in the same vein, was great-grandfather’s other ditty, the singing of
    which annoyed great-grandmother no end!

    “Oh, I wish I had a thousand bricks
    To build my chimney higher;
    To keep those dog-gone alley cats,
    From peeing on my fire”.

  11. Lisa Says:

    That’s very funny!

  12. Kelley Says:

    Thanks to Brian and Mary. I pretty sure this is the verse my Mum used to sing (not sure which version). Your help has been most appreciated. Kind regards, Kelley.

  13. Ann Says:

    My Mum, who is 84, used to sing this to my children. She says that her mother taught it to her. Grandma came from Liverpool in England.

    Our version goes:

    There was a little man, and he had a little gun,
    And through the fields he used to run,
    With a big tall hat, and a belly full of fat,
    And a pancake tied to his tum tum tum.

    I found myself inadvertantly singing it to my grand-daughter this morning to settle her to go to sleep. It worked like magic!

  14. Carl Says:

    I am 74 and grew up in Liverpool, UK.
    As a little child I learnt the rhyme from our housemaid
    (then ordinary middle-class families apparently had
    live-in maids):

    Not last night, but the night before,
    Three tomcats came knocking at the door.
    One with a stick and one with a gun,
    And one with a pancake tied to his bum.

    This more bellicose version might have been influenced by current
    events, because World War 2 broke out around my sixth birthday.

  15. Joan Says:

    My grandfather (from Liverpool, England originally) and father sang something like this though there was one line that we don’t really know what they said. The song SOUNDED like:

    There was a little man and he had a little gun
    Up John shoot craps he did run (NOTE: that’s the line we are unsure)
    With a belly full of fat and a big tall hat
    And a pigtail tied to his bum bum bum. (NOTE: and bigtail may have been big tail. We are not sure.)

  16. Lucy Egglestone Says:

    There was a little man
    Who had a little gun
    Over the mountain he did run
    With his gun full of lead and his belly full of bread
    And a pancake tied to his bum bum bum.

    My mother in law used to sing it to my kids.

  17. Helena Says:

    Not last night but the night before
    3 tom cats came a knocking at the door
    one had a bugle
    one had a ?
    and one had a big bass drum stuck to his bum

    I can’t remember the other instrument

  18. Kris Te Paa New Zealand Says:

    Not last night
    but the night before
    3 tomcats came knocking at my door
    1 had a fiddle
    1 had a drum
    1 had a pancake stuck to his b-elbow

    This is the censored version we were allowed to sing without getting a tweak on the cheek!

  19. Jonathan Horwitz Says:

    Gosh! This is great! I found myself singing the “little man” version to myself this morning (to the tune of Turkey in the Straw) and was seized with the desire to know more than the first two lines(he was running through fields in the version which was sung to me), which is all I can remember from when my mom (now 93) and my grandmother used to sing it to me more than sixty years ago in Pennsylvania. Next time I visit my mom I’ll ask her if she can remember more, and if she does I’ll leave another comment. Thank You, Lisa, and everyone who contributed.

  20. Mich Says:

    I am from the North East of England and my late mum used to recite:

    Not last night, but the night before,
    Two tom cats came knocking at the door,
    I went downstairs to let them in,
    And they hit me on the head with a rolling pin!

  21. John Page Says:

    This is I remember I am 63!

    Not Last Night But The Night Before
    Two Tom cats Came Knocking At The Door
    I Downstairs To Let Then In
    They Hit Me On The Head With A Rolling Pin,
    The Rolling Pin Was Made Of Glass
    It Took Ten Slices Off My Arse
    Some one please finish the Rhymnm off as I have forgotten?
    drjpage@btinternet.com

  22. Joe Benn Says:

    Not last night, but the night before,
    Three tom cats came knocking at the door.
    One had a fiddle , one had a drum, one had a pancake stuck to his bum.

    I went downstairs to let him them in,
    And hit them on the head with a rolling pin.
    I went upstairs to get in bed,
    They threw the piss pot at my head.

    I went down stairs to dry my shimmy
    They hit me on the head with a rolling pinnie.
    The rolling pin was made of glass
    They (something something) on my arse.

    Thats all I remember folks, time dims the memory, I’m 64 now, but recall the happy times we would recite these ditties to each other in our infancy, whilst laid in bed, probably with our parents clandestinely listening, and giggling, without letting on.
    Happy days – Long gone –and no longer uttered.

    We have a duty to preserve these things for our posterity.
    Joe

  23. Joe Benn Says:

    Nostalgia- What else can you say.
    I hope you can get a fuller version.
    From the comments you have received so far, it is apparent that at least two ditties have been mixed up.

    Good hunting
    Joe

  24. M Kay Says:

    This rhyme certainly has been around for a while! I learnt it as a child from my older siblings in the 1970s – in suburban Melbourne. Mum’s family is from NE England – so I suppose that’s how we learnt it. One small variation in the version my family sings:

    Not last night, but the night before,
    Three tom cats came knocking at the door,
    One with stick;
    One with a drum;
    And one with a pancake stuck to his bum

    I would have thought that this was something only known to my family, my husband thinks we’re ridiculous for knowing it – thanks Google for proving to him that my family is just as weird as the rest of yours!

  25. Jacqueline Says:

    The version my dad used to sing to me as a child went:

    Not last night but the night before
    Two tom cats came knocking at my door
    I went downstairs to let them in
    They hit me on the head with a rolling pin
    The rolling pin was made of… (and then he would insert a material…wood, glass, paper etc)
    (and then together we would think of a sentence to finish off the rhyme, such as…
    ‘the rolling pin was made of paper,
    I said goodness, what a caper!’)

    It’s funny that everyone else remembers roughly the same rhyme. My dad clearly wanted to put his own stamp on it! It made it interesting though and I remember laughing a lot!

  26. Michael Paine Says:

    Here is a version from my childhood here in California.

    There was a little man
    Who had a little gun,
    And through the fields he’d run, run, run
    With a belly full of fat,
    And an acorn hat.
    And a pancake tied to his bum, bum, bum.

  27. Patricia Dunne Says:

    Here is the version from my childhood in Dublin, Ireland:

    There was a little man,
    who had a little gun
    and over the mountain he did run
    with a big tall hat and a belly full of fat
    and a pancake tied to his bum bum bum

  28. mo Says:

    There was a little man and he had a little gun and ore them fields he did so run With a big tall hat and a belly full of fat and a pancake tied to his bum bum bum This version from Lancashire was recited to my Children

  29. Margaret Says:

    I remember part of a ditty that went, There was a little man who had a little gun, and the bullets were made of lead lead lead,
    He went to the brook and shot a little duck,
    right in the middle of its head head head!

  30. Maree Worthington Says:

    I live in Australia. My dad, now passed away, used to sing this little ditty to me and my brothers all the time (incessantly). It came back to me the other day, when I was playing games reciting it to one of my dementia patients. It had me puzzled, being the keen historian that I am, wondering where it may have originated. It occurred to me that it may have been a gem passed on down through the generations from my original Scouser ancestors. And hence I found this website, and I reckon I’m not far off the mark.

    The “Liverpool” version:

    Not last night but the night before
    Three tom cats came knocking at my door
    One with a bowl and one with a glass
    And one with a tomohawk
    Stuck up his jumper!

  31. Jill Moore Says:

    Not last night but the night before,
    Two tom cats came knocking at the door,
    Went downstairs to let them in,
    They knocked me out with the rolling pin.
    The rolling pin was made of glass,
    Knocked me down upon my
    Ask no questions
    Tell no lies,
    I saw a Scotsman doing up his
    Flies are a nuisance,
    Bugs are worse,
    And that’s the end of my strange verse

  32. Jill Moore Says:

    I am a Londoner from Camberwell, and this little rhyme was told to me by my parents along with Nobody Loves Me, Everybody Hates Me,
    Think I’ll go and eat worms etc. which I am sure most people know. We also loved
    Little Fly Upon the Wall,
    Ain’t you got no clothes at all?
    Ain’t you got a shimmy shirt?
    Lummy, ain’t you cold?

    I am 62 years old and have a head full of rhymes and songs that nobody is interested in any more.

  33. Lisa Says:

    You’re totally wrong! I’m very interested in learning your rhymes!

    Please send me as many as you’d like and I’ll post them! I’m not familiar with Nobody Loves Me, Everybody Hates Me and Little Fly Upon the Wall and I’d love to learn them!

    Cheers!

    Mama Lisa

  34. Margaret Says:

    I was born in London just before the war. I remember:
    Little fly upon the wall
    Ain’t you got no shirt at all
    Ain’t you got no Mum or Dad
    Gor blimey ain’t that sad.
    I remember my mother saying I should not say “gor bimey” as it was swearing – [abbreviation of God blind me?]

  35. pam davies Says:

    Hi..does anyone know the words to a little song my mum used to sing
    “a fly woke up one morning rubbed his eyes and looked about, he said its my birthdy today, I’m going to see it out”

  36. Eileen Kranz Says:

    Regarding the earlier posts, “There was a little man”
    I thought this was an Irish song. My grandmother (born 1897) used to sing it and we all have sung it to our own kids. We thought it was somehow connected with the violence of Irish independence, and trying to find some solace of humor in it. Interesting to see so many English connections!

    There was a little man
    and he had a little gun
    over the mountain
    he did run
    with a big straw hat
    and a belly full of fat
    and a pancake tied to
    his BUM BUM BUM!

  37. Laura Lou Says:

    My mum was taught by her childminder in the 70s Little Fly, their version was:

    Little Fly upon the wall
    Ain’t you got no shirt at all?
    Ain’t you got no shimmy shirt?
    Blimey ain’t it cold!
    Ain’t you got no mummy to love ya?
    Ain’t you got no daddy to love ya?
    Never Mind.
    God loves ya (you then pretend to squish a fly)
    Don’t ya God?!

    We also know & love Nobody Loves Me & say it when we’re sulking!! (I’m 29!!!) We sang:

    Nobody Loves me, everybody hates me
    Think I’ll go & eat worms
    Big ones, small ones
    Juicy ones, skinny ones…….I don’t remember the rest!!

    There was also this song we used to sing:

    I don’t want to play in your yard,
    I don’t like you anymore
    You’ll be sorry when you see me, swinging on my garden door.
    I don’t want to play in your rain barrow
    You can’t climb my apple tree
    You’ll be sorry when you see me…
    and want to come & play with me!!

    My nanna & my mum used to sing these to me & it’s such a shame not more people know them!!

  38. Lisa Says:

    Those are neat! I’ve hear the 2nd one and the 3rd one is a different version of Little Playmate. If you’d like to record any of them, please let me know. We can now record by phone. You can leave a singing message on a recording machine by phone to a New York phone number (that’s like an answering machine designed to record songs)!

    Cheers!

    Mama Lisa

  39. Margaret Says:

    I am looking for the lyrics to a rhyme my father used to recite.
    Dan Dan the dustbin man
    etc and etc
    does any one have the full rhyme?

  40. craig Says:

    i got one but cant remember the end as was only young.

    not last night but the night before,
    two tom cats came a knocking at my door.

    i went down stairs to let them in,
    they hit me on the head with the rolling pin!

    the rolling pin was made of brass,
    they turned me up and smanked my arse!

    i went up stairs to get in bed
    they threw the piss pot at my head.

    i went down stairs to dry my shirt,
    they threw me in the fire ……. thats as far as i can remember.
    if anyone has heard this and knows the end let me no :) i heard it from my 94 yr old great grandad

  41. Rob Says:

    My dad taught me an amalgam of the last one and others…

    Not last night but the night before,
    two tom cats came a knocking at my door.
    i went down stairs to let them in,
    they hit me on the head with the rolling pin!
    the rolling pin was made of brass,
    they turned me over and smacked my..
    Ask no questions, tell no lies,
    ever see a donkey doing up its
    flies are a nuisance, bugs are worse.
    That is the end of my chinese verse.

    and my mum taught me this strange beast….

    Once upon a time
    a bird sh*t on the line
    and a monkey chewed tobacco.
    And a little boy run
    with his finger up his bum
    to see what was the matter.
    He looked up high
    and (something something)
    and a bit fell on his finger.

    she made sure all the grandkids knew that one and would pass it on… lol

    and together they taught me my favourite…

    will you come to the mission, will you come.
    Bring your own cup and saucer and a bun.
    Admission free,
    pay at the door.
    Seats provided
    sit on the floor.
    Will you come to the mission, will you come?

  42. Mary McDonagh Says:

    Tramp tramp tramp the boys are marching
    show up your father at the door
    if you don’t let them in
    they will push the door down
    and you’ll never see your father anymore

    There was a little man
    and he had a little gun
    and up the chimney he did run
    With a belly full of fat and an old tall hat and a pancake tied to his bum bum bum

    I learned these songs in Ireland when I was a child. Later after reading William Butler Yeats and as my mother felt I was old enough she explained to me that they were really resistance songs against the Black and Tans. The Tans where rapist, murders and the like given pardons from the British government to police Ireland during the war and some of their tactics would have made the Gestapo blush.

    My mother was shot at when she was 4 years old in 1921 by the British patrolling Ireland at the time. It was an accident they said as she was out running from a friend’s house to her own during a curfew and it was foggy. Luckily they missed or I might not be here today.

    The little man was an IRA man who was hiding out. When the Tans would come in banging at the doors they would stuff people up the fireplace sometimes to hide them. Of course they had to kill the fire. If the Tans were alert that day they would ask for the fire to be lit knowing full well someone was in the chimney.

    The man in hiding was often given food or pancakes to stave off hunger in case it was a long stay. They would have to cling to the rails on the chimney used by the chimney sweeps. The Tans where know for banging down the doors and over staying their welcomes sometimes asking the woman of the house to cook for them.

  43. Tammy Dunleavy Says:

    My grandfather used to sing this to my brother when he was little. My grandfather passed away when I was 6 months old and my brother was 2 1/2. My brother recently passed away at the age of 42, and he sang this song to my children and to his grandchildren.

    Oh there was little man and he had a little gun
    Across the fields oh how he did run
    With an old gray hat and a belly full of fat
    And a pancake tied to his bum, bum, bum.

  44. mags Says:

    I am 52 and my grandmother and parents (all from Dublin) used to sing this to me and now I sing it to my grandkids…

    There was a little man and he had a little gun
    Up the chimney he did run
    With a belly full of fat and an old top hat
    and a pancake stuck to his bum bum bum

  45. Bob Martuch Says:

    Well, I’ve struggled for years to piece together a song my great grandmother sang to us as. She came over to the USA from Preston, England in the late 19th Century. The way I remenber the version:
    There was a little lad
    and had a little drum
    and ‘ore yon fields he did run,
    with and oil-cased hat and a belly full of fat
    and a pancake tied to his bum, bum, bum
    and a pancake tied to his bum.

  46. lancashire lass Says:

    there was a little man
    and he had a little gun
    and up yon fields he used to run
    with a belly full of fat
    and a big tall hat
    and a pancake stuck to his bum bum bum
    and a pancake stuck to his bum

  47. Rob & Vikki Newcastle upon Tyne Says:

    This version was sung by my mother to my daughter Vikki for many a year. She still loves it now (age 16!)
    There was a little man and he had a little gun.
    Through fields, through fields he did run.
    Lalas full of fat.
    High top hat,
    and dumplings tied to his bum bum bum

  48. Lauralee Barton Says:

    My mother used to recite a monologue that included:. . .and me mother was making scones and I couldn’t get the basin to wash me face and that’s why I wasn’t to school yesterday. . .
    Does anyone know from where this comes? Any suggestions of where to search?

  49. Pam Richardson Says:

    what memories these words bring back to me. I too remember most of them and one that I cannot remember is about a young boy who wanted a kiss from a young girl and she promised he could have one when apples grew on the lilac tree. She looked out of her window one morning to see the young lad tying apples on a lilac tree, wish i could remember the song. Does anyone know it. ?? much love to all
    who left these wonderful memories for us.

  50. jimmy neutron Says:

    upon a hill there was a cat,
    with a pancake on its a##.
    he turned and said oh dear lord,
    and killed himself with a sword.

  51. Paul King Says:

    Found a website with not only the words but also an audio clip.

    http://funwithfolk.com/en/songs/35-all-songs/50-hop-hop-hop.html

  52. Jim Thomas Says:

    There was a farmer had a gun
    and through the cornfield he did run
    with a big straw hat
    and a belly full of fat
    and a pancake tied to his bum bum bum

  53. Murray Van Dusen Says:

    My grandfather used to say, “There was a little man and he had a little gun, and over the hills he did run. He had a little hat, and a belly full of fat, and a pancake tied to his bum, bum, bum.” Grandpa was of Dutch descent but thought he was British. He had a lot of these little rhymes. Where did he get them? Meaning? Who knows? But anyone who has changed diapers might read something into the last line of the poem.

  54. jane Says:

    There was a little man who had a little gun and through the fields he did run with a belly full of fat and a high top hat and a pancake tied to his bum bum bum. My nan (born 1908 in newcastle but her mother was scottish) any help also she used to sing be bonny baby to me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  55. Caoimhe Clery Says:

    Im from Dublin my grandad born circa 1911 used to sing:

    There was a little man and he had a little gun
    and up the chimney he would run
    with a belly full of fat and an auld tin hat
    and a pancake stuck to his bum bum bum

    marys comments about the black and tans are interesting always wondered what the rhyme was about.

  56. Remember Says:

    My Irish grandmother sang this song to me many times. Such fond memories. I must remember to sing to any grandchildren the Lord sees fit to send me.

  57. barbara Says:

    My granmother from Yorkshire used to sing this song

  58. Lacy Says:

    My grandma used to sing this one to me (in Canada), and her dad told it to her (from England), but she sang it:

    There was a little man
    who had a little gun
    and over the fields
    he’d run run run
    with a high beaver hat
    and a belly full of fat
    and a pancake tied
    to his bum bum bum.

  59. Lexi Says:

    This is the one that my grandpa would sing to me..
    There was a little man
    and he had a little gun
    up to the brick feilds he did run
    with a belly full of fat
    and a big straw hat
    and a pancake tied to his bum bum bum

  60. Roy Says:

    My father used to bounce me on his knee as a small child and sing the following
    song:-
    Liverpool England 1940 of there about.

    There was a little man and he had a little gun,
    and over the hills he used to run.
    With a big top hat and a belly full of fat,
    and a pancake tied to his bum bum bum

  61. Merry Taylor Says:

    My 96 year old aunt remembers her father, who was from Ireland, reciting this rhyme. He came to the US in about 1913-1914. That is before the Irish revolution so this rhyme is much older and I would question it’s relationship to the Black and Tans which originated after WWI.

  62. Sarah Says:

    I live in Ireland, and my grandad used to sing it to me like this:
    There was a little man and he had a little gun
    And up the chimney he did run
    With a belly full of fat and an old tall hat
    And a pancake stuck to his bum bum bum

    I’m only 19, so it wasn’t very long ago that he sang it to me. He used to sing it to my dad as well when he was little. I’m guessing it’s been passed down through the generations.

  63. Don Says:

    My dad, who, at one time was a gold prospector and diamond drill operator in northern Ontario (and liked his booze), would sing a little ditty – most of the time – just to make a noise

    It went like so – most of the time ….

    Oh there was a little man and he had a little gun
    and through the bush he used to run
    with a belly full of fat and a bobbed tail hat
    and a pancake tied to his bum bum bum.

    doo-doo-dah-doo-doo doo-doo-dah-doo

    etc. etc. etc.

    (you get the idea)

    this was sung?? – to the tune?? of Turkey in the Straw !

    and my take on this was, it referenced a prospector or trapper who made the ‘fixins’ for his ‘Bush Bread’ and wrapped it in a cloth and tied it around his waist ‘in the small of his back, under his shirt’, because if he left it in the cabin when he was away it would freeze. “a pancake tied to his bum bum bum”

    Bush guns were usually short 30 to 45 cal. “little gun”

    Thanks

  64. Cathie Says:

    Irish Dad and i miss him a billion:-

    There was a little man and he had a little gun and through the cornflakes he would run with his belly full of fat and a big top hat and a pancake tied to his bum bum bum!!!!

  65. Ellen Says:

    My granda used to sing me a song. I live in Ireland! It was:
    Not last night but the night before
    Three little men came to my front
    One played a fiddle
    One played a drum
    And one had a pancake tied to his bum!

  66. Emma Ives Says:

    Another version of ‘Little Fly’ taught to me by my mum in the 60s and passed down from her Mum (in the thirties):

    Little fly upon the wall
    Ain’t you got no friends at all?
    Ain’t you got no father, mother?
    Ain’t you got no sister, brother?
    Ain’t you got no shabby shirt?
    Ain’t you got no petticoat?
    Little fly, d’you want to die?
    Squishy squashy – bye bye!

    (And then you’d pretend to squish the fly on the wall).

  67. C HUrley Says:

    My father sang this version to me:

    Well the was a little man
    and he had a little gun
    up the hill he did so run
    with a belly ful of fat
    and a pigtail hat
    pigtail, pigtail
    what da ya think o that!

  68. joyce Says:

    every time somebody said”not last night but the night before” i always said” 3 black cats came knocking at the door” and it made me laugh.that is all i could remember .now i have finally looked it up and it seems like it was something that was going around in my childhood but the rest of the rhyme isn t familiar.

  69. Jenny Roberts Says:

    Pam Davies asked if I anyone knew a song that started ‘A fly got up one morning’. My mother (born in London in 1908) used to sing this often. The bits that I remember are:
    A fly got up one morning, rubbed his eyes and looked around
    He said, ‘It’s my birthday today, I’m going to see the town.
    He washed his face in a glass of beer, his hands and body too
    Then dried himself on a man’s moustache, and through the window flew.

    Then there was lots more, involving ‘a lovely lady fly he met in Leicester Square’. I can try to remember more but Pam’s posting was from July 2009 and it’s now more than three years later so I don’t know if she’s still out there. Email me if you are, Pam.

  70. rodney boyle Says:

    Growing up in country WA my father used to sing to us kids
    ‘There was a little man
    he had a little gun
    and over the London Bridge he run
    with a belly full of fat, an old straw hat
    and a pancake tied to his bum, bum, bum.’
    Mum used to go crook at him, for singing us songs like that.
    I never heard the rhyme again until about 40 years later, in Sydney, I heard a London born work colleague singing it, with the same words, to her little girl.

  71. Joan Rigby Says:

    My Lancashire born mother, born 1896, used to rock me in the rocking chair and recite this rhyme to me:
    You know last night and the night before?
    Three little Tom cats came to our door
    One had a fiddle and one had a drum
    And one had a pat-a-cake tied to it’s bum.

  72. Penelope Stevens Says:

    My mother in law sings to my 5 children..

    There was a little man and he had a little gun
    Over the mountains he did run
    With a big tall hat and a belly full of fat
    And a drumstick tied to his bum bum bum

  73. Annalee Says:

    My mums 72 from Norfolk east Anglia her grandmother sang it like this ‘there was a little man who had a little gun, across the fields he used to run, with a high brown hat and a belly full of fat and a frying pan tied to his bum bum bum’, I sing this to my 3 year old.

  74. Robin Guild Says:

    I’m from Scotland and this is the rhymes I know:
    Not last night but the night before three little Monkeys came to the door, One had a fiddle, one had a drum and one had a pancake stuck to his bum!
    Dan, Dan, the funny wee man, washed his face with a frying pan. He combed his hair with the leg of a chair, Dan, Dan, the funny wee man.
    Piggy on the Railway picking up stones, along came an Engine and broke Piggy’s bones. Oh said Piggy, “That’s not fair!” Oh, said the Engine driver, “I don’t care!”

  75. Barry Says:

    Not last night but the night before…Three little pussy’s came kicking at the door.
    One had a fiddle and one had a drum
    And one had a pat-a-cake stuck to its bum.

    Early in the morning
    Early in the morning
    Early in the morning
    before the break of day

    Oh hey diddle diddle the cat did a piddle all over the kitchen floor…
    The little dog laughed to see such fun….so the cat did a little bit more.

    Early in the morning
    Early in the morning
    Early in the morning
    before the break of day

    Our dad is a hero…his bravery made us blush.
    Cause they gave free beer at the local pub… and dad got killed in the rush.

    Early in the morning
    Early in the morning
    Early in the morning
    before the break… before the break…before the break of day

  76. Lisa Says:

    Great chants Barry! Would you like to sing any of them for us? -Mama Lisa

  77. Kathy Says:

    My grandfather used to sing:

    Oh, there was a little man and he had a little gun
    And over the mountain he would run
    With a belly full of fat and a big plug hat
    And a pancake tied to his bum, bum, bum

  78. Rod McLeod Says:

    My Mom came from No. Ireland to Saskatchewan in 1927. She used to recite it differently;
    Not last night but the night before, 3 wee kids came to our door. One had a fiddle and one had a drum and one had a pancake tied to his thumb.
    She said this was a change from another version which read:
    Not last night but the night before, 3 wee Nazis came to our door….(She never liked that version)

  79. Marilyn Gibson Says:

    I am 79. My mother and grandmother used to sing to us children: “My old man is a funny old man, he washes his face in a frying pan, he combs his hair with the leg of a chair….” I remember a piece of the lyric that goes: with an old tin can and he brushes his teeth with a ….

    At least one of your commenters recalls “washes his face in a frying pan…”

  80. jodi Says:

    My grandpa and grandpa, now in heaven both, were of Scottish and Irish descent. They used to keep me busy with little poems and “ditties” as my grandma used to refer to them as lol

    I remember my Grandpa telling me:

    “There was a little man
    and he had a little gun
    over the fields he used to run
    with a stove pipe hat
    and a belly full of fat and
    a panny cake tied to his
    rummy tum tum”

    and then there was

    “when I was a little girl
    about so high,
    my mama used to spank me and
    make me cry,
    but now I’m a big girl
    and mama can’t do it,
    but daddy takes a big stick
    and tends right to it!”

    ha ha times have sure changed, but I make sure I share these with my children and hope they will remember to share them with theirs.

    I do also recall the “tom cats” story, thank you for jarring my memory!

  81. Mark Says:

    My father sang this version to us in the 50s

    There was a liitle boy
    he had a little gun
    through the fields he would run
    old straw hat
    belly full of fat
    and hotcakes on his bum bum bum

  82. Peter Morrison Says:

    I was born in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1955 and remember bits of the rhyme mentioned twice above concerning “Dan. Dan…” “washed his face in a frying pan”. “brushed his hair with the leg of a chair”. – but I can’t put it together. I can remember at age 4 thinking it was silly ! But at 58 it still comes back a bit. I’m fairly certain this came from my grandmother which would put it (in her childhood) back as far as the 1800’s.

  83. Paul Newton Says:

    Amazing! I thought my father made it up. He is 86 now and is from Rochdale in Lancashire. He use to recite it as if telling a ghost story:

    Not last night, but the night before,
    Three little Tom cats came to my door,
    One with a banjo,
    One with a drum,
    And one with a pancake stuck to his bum!

    I am nearly sixty now and it is one of the earliest things I can remember him saying.

    The tradition in our family now is that if anyone uses the expression “not last night, but the night before” they must finish off by reciting the ditty! My wife still cannot get it right!

  84. Aj Says:

    Been trying to remember that myself to sing to my wee girl bt all i can remember is ‘not las nite but the nite before 3 tomcats came knocking at my door, i opened the door to let them in n they knocked me down with a rolling pin’

  85. Paul Says:

    My father, born in Southland, New Zealand, in 1916, used to recite this version:

    Not last night but the night before
    Two tom cats came knocking at the door
    I went downstairs to let them in
    But they knocked me down with a rolling pin.

    My father’s mother’s mother came from Scotland and that’s probably the lineage. And there are lots of other Scots down there at the bottom (cold end) of NZ.

  86. Dene Says:

    i rather be a little thing growing up
    than a big thing growing down
    i rather be a Junior with a smile
    than a senior with a frown,,, and we frown are faces to show this ,,,,
    my mums cousin learnt us this when we were little every time i saw him i would recite it to him , on the tom cat 1 we say 1 with a fiddle 1 with a drum 1 with a pan cake stuck to his bum ,,,,,

  87. Palsy Says:

    Dirty Maryanne
    Washed her face in the frying pan
    Combed her hair with the leg of a chair
    That was dirty Maryanne.
    Dublin late 50’s

  88. Jan Funnell Says:

    Most of these rhymes I remember but with subtle differences. My mother came from Kennington in London and my Dad from Lambeth in London. My Dad would start to say the rhyme “not last night but the before, two tom cats came knocking at my door” and there it ended because my Mum would never let him finish it, so it must have rude.

    My Mum used to tell us the rhyme
    Little fly upon the wall,
    Aint you got no clothes at all?
    What not even a shimmy shirt?
    Coo, aint you rude!

    She also used to tell us this one:

    The Other day upon the stair;
    I met a man who wasn’t there;
    That man was there again today;
    I wish that man would go away.

    I used to ponder this rhyme as I couldn’t understand how you could meet someone who wasn’t there.

    Now we have our first great grandchild I’m trying to remember all the old nursery rhymes that we used to be told.

  89. Lisa Says:

    Those are great rhymes!

  90. Peter Jeffries Says:

    This is the rhyme I remember from growing up in Old Woking Surrey. Its rude but here goes folks:

    Not last night but the night before
    Three Tom cats came a knocking at my door.
    One with a saucepan, one with a drum,
    One with a Pancake stuck to his bum.
    I went downstairs to let them in,
    Bowled me over with a rolling pin.
    The rolling pin was made of glass.
    Cut three slices off my arse!
    Went upstairs to go too bed.
    Fell in the piss pan bum over head.
    Went downstairs to light a fire
    Fell in the fire and burnt my c*ck
    Went outside to get some coal
    A big brown rat ran up my hole.

    There you have the full version I heard from my elder brother. Of course I thought it hilarious and told all my school mates. That’s the only version I ever knew. Hope this helps anyone trying to remember this rude version. It still makes a 59 yrs old titter.

  91. Ruby Says:

    I live in NL Canada when my mom was a little girl she used to sing the song
    There was a little boy
    and he had a little gun
    Over the mountain he did run
    With a old skin cap
    And a belly full of fat
    And a pancake tie to his
    bum bum bum

  92. Deborah Says:

    As a Lancashire girl myself and with my last grandparent passing away this week I’m trying to find the words to a rhyme my grandad taught me in about 1976. All I have is the opening 2 lines…..
    Does thi not know me? I’m mi mam’s little lass…..
    I used to stand on a little stool and recite this but can no longer remember it. If anyone is able to fill in the blanks that would be brilliant. Many thanks.

  93. Su Brandon Says:

    My dad used to sing
    ‘Not last night
    But the night before
    This old man
    Came knocking at the door’

    Can’t recall the rest

  94. susan Says:

    There was a little man and he had a little gun
    and over the hills he did run, run, run
    He had a tall hat and a belly full of fat
    two panckakes tied to his bum, bum, bum.

    Silly! But it always made us giggle when we were kids.

  95. Paul Says:

    I’d just been teaching my 6 year old the 3 Tom Cats rhyme, which my mum from Liverpool taught me, she was a pre war child. My daughter is made up to see the song on here, as we tried YouTube in vain.

    One the girls used to sing when skipping in the 70’s was

    Ta ra ra bum de yeh
    My knickers flew away
    I found them yesterday
    On the m6 motorway

  96. Collette Says:

    Manchester….my dad and mum told us lots of rymes ..this one stuck in my mind …. I went to the pictures tomorrow’ I bought a front seat at the back’ a lady gave me a Apple I ate it and gave it her back ….

  97. Andy C Says:

    Here’s the version of Three Tom Cats I remember (44 years old now)

    Not last night but the night before
    Three tom cats came knocking at my door
    One with a banjo, one with a drum
    One with a pancake stuck to his bum
    Went downstairs to let them in
    Hit me on the head with a rolling pin
    Rolling pin was made of glass
    Got three chunks stuck in my ass
    Went upstairs and went to bed
    Bucket of piss fell on my head
    Electric lamp fell on my bed
    All blew up and I was dead.

    I think you make up the last verse yourself 😊

  98. niamh Says:

    My nan used to sing this to me
    Not last night but the night before two tom cats came knocking on my door. I went downstairs to let them in but they knocked me over with a rolling pin, the rolling pin was made of grass they turned me over and hit me on the
    Ask no questions , tell no lies I saw a little boy doing up his flies.

  99. Gai Says:

    If I could just go back to the before-mentioned worm song, I would like to tell of a night in 1970 when my Mum had an operation, was just home and was still coming out of the anaesthetic, she sang the following:
    “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, think I’ll go and eat worms! Big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones, ones that wriggle & squirm!”
    We recorded it on our huge reel to reel tape deck! When Mum woke properly, we told her about her singing. She didn’t believe us and said she’d never heard of the song. So when we played it back to her, she was dumbfounded! Years later my Grandmother said she used to sing it to my very young Mum and her siblings. It’s amazing how drugs can bring old forgotten memories to the forefront of our minds!
    I would love to know the rest of the song if anyone can enlighten me?!

  100. Lisa Says:

    Great story! :) Thanks for sharing Gai.

    People have sent us many versions of The Worms Crawl In here. We also have a version with a recording here. Enjoy! -Mama Lisa

  101. Dot Says:

    The flies crawl up the window
    That’s all they have to do
    They go up in their thousands
    And come down two by two…..

  102. Patrick Says:

    At primary school in the early 50s we used to sing:
    He ran like Kelly
    With a belly full of jelly
    And a pancake tied to his bum, bum, bum
    but I’ve no idea who Kelly was.

    My brother knew the Worm Song and passed it on to my daughters. He would add “Bite the heads off, suck the juice out” with a loud slurp.

  103. Patrick Says:

    Gai asks for the full text of the Worm Song.

    As far as I can remember without asking my kids or brother it went:

    Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. They say I eat worms. Long thin skinny ones, big fat juicy ones. See then squiggle and squirm. Bite their heads off, suck the juice out [long sucking noise here]. Throw the skins away. Nobody knows how well I thrive on worms three times a day.

  104. Jan Bolders Says:

    My mum, born in 1928 was taught this my her grandmother whilst they were taking shelter in London during the blitz in the war. It was always recited with a ‘cockney’ accent. The first four lines were those taught to me as a young boy; the rest I added in later years as a sort of memory to my mum who loved writing poetry and ‘ditties’.
    Little Fly.
    Little fly upon the wall.
    Ain’t you got no ‘ome at all?
    Ain’t you got no mum and Dad?
    Oh gore blimey – Ain’t that sad.
    Maybe I could ‘elp you out,
    ‘Ate to see ya go wiv’out,
    Maybe you could go inside,
    My old work boot were you could ‘ide.
    Raise ya kids and call it ‘ome,
    Then you wouldn’t ‘ave to roam
    And live in dustbins all alone.
    You’d live ‘appy ever after.
    No more worries – lots of laughter!

    Now the summer’s been and gone,
    ‘Ad the feeling summits wrong,
    ‘Ad’nt seen ya flying round
    Even missed that buzzing sound;
    Then I saw you on the floor,
    Arhh…now I’m sad – No more buzzing any more!

    Jan Bolders 2014

  105. Copeland Says:

    My Mom used to sing her version of “there was a little man…”

    Oh there was a little girl and she had a little curl
    Right in the middle of her forehead
    With a belly full of fat
    And a big a plug a hat
    And a pancake on her rummytum tum…”

    I can’t remember if there’s more, which is why I’ve been searching.

  106. David Lippert Says:

    There was a little man and he had a little gun oh-ver the mountain he did run with a belly full of fat and a high cocked hat and a pancake tied to his Boom Boom Boom Ta-da-ta taa Taa Taa Taa
    My father-in-law, now 93 used to sing it to my kids as they sat on his knee, bouncing them on the Boom Boom Boom and Ta-da-ta taa Taa Taa Taa. The high cocked hat line is accompanied by the gesture of tipping an imaginary hat. I thought the song was American in origin until i read this thread.

  107. David Lippert Says:

    The little man in the song was William Henry Harrison who became President of the USA in 1840. He ran on the hard cider and log cabin platform. The Black Cock Hat referred to a black cockade hat that General Harrison wore as in the war of 1812 as he defeated the British. Unfortunately the Black Cockade Hat was the symbol of the Federalist Party that taxed whiskey inciting the Whiskey Rebellion and lost power. The song was against Harrison The Irish Potato famine was in 1840. Harrison belonged to the Whig party pro hard cider without tax, and against slavery and possibly not in favor of Catholic immigrants. Irish hated both Harrison and the English and after Harrison’s death one month after taking office, the Irish sang the song to taunt the English. I am amazed how it has persisted.

  108. Catie Says:

    Ontario, Canada – 31 years old
    My grandmother used to bounce my brother and I (one at a time) on her knees while singing a version of this song 😊 she would pat us on our bellies and on our bums at the end, and would we would laugh hysterically!

    ‘Oh there was a little man
    Who had a little gun
    Over the mountain he did run
    With a belly full of fat
    And a stovepipe hat
    And a pancake tied to his bum bum bum.’

    Can’t wait to sing it to my children someday!

  109. Nadia Tardif Says:

    There was a little man and he had a little fun
    And up the chimney and he ran
    With a belly full of fat and a old tall hat
    And a pancake stuck to his bun bun bum.

  110. em Says:

    when I was little we used to sing: not last night but the night before, 3 dead men came knocking at my door, I opened the door and let them in, then hit each one with my rolling pin… also many people are mentioning a song similar to this (slightly darker version)… there was a little man and he had a little gun and its bullets were made of lead, lead, lead, he took it to the brook and he shot a little duck and the shot went through its head, head, head! just my memories :)

  111. Rich Says:

    oh theeeeerreeeee… was a little man
    and he had a little gun
    and up that chimney he did run
    with a pancake stuck a to his bum bum bum

    bum budley up tum – BUM BUM!

    My mum said that to me as a kid (i’m 46). My kids now sing this back to me. My mum had it sung to her as a kid.

    There’s only one way to sing it too. Child on your knees, bumping them up and down as you sing it holding them tight so they don’t fall off. The last bit (bum budley..) – is the hardest bumps. My kids literally love it and we sing it down the phone to my Mum. Did it yesterday hence my search for this rhyme. Love that it’s different in every comment too lol

  112. Aidy Madd Says:

    Hey guys, I am 56 and from Huddersfield in England. When I was a child we used to say the rhymne ‘You know last night and the night before, 3 tom cats came knocking at my door. One with a fiddle, one with a drum and one with a pancake stuck to his bum

  113. London uk Says:

    Not last night but the night before… Two tom cats came knocking at the door… One had a pistol and one had a gun and one shot the other one up the bum.

    My nan born 1936 always sung us these as nursery rhymes “her dad would sing to her and her siblings” London Deptford

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