Fishy, Fishy, In a Brook

Toni wrote,

This is a rhyme my son loved…

Fishy, Fishy, In a Brook

Fishy, fishy, in a brook
Daddy caught him with a hook
Mommy fried him in a pan
And baby ate him like a man.

I found a different version in The Real Mother Goose Book of American Rhymes

Fishy, Fishy in the Brook

Fishy, fishy in the brook,
Papa catch him by the hook,
Mommy fry him in the pan
Georgy eat him fast’s can.

Then I found another one which goes…

Fishy, Fishy

Fishy, Fishy,
Come bite my hook;
I’ll go captain
And you’ll go cook.

This rhyme goes back to the 19th century or earlier. The earliest reference I’ve found to it so far is 1868 in “Our Young Folks”.

-Lisa

Later I found the finger play actions to Fishy, Fishy, In a Brook

Fishy, fishy, in a brook (put your hands together and move them like a fish swimming)
Daddy caught him with a hook (make it look like you’re casting a line to fish)
Mommy fried him in a pan (pretend you’re stirring food)
And baby ate him like a man. (talk in a deep voice like a man)

Please visit Mama Lisa’s House of Nursery Rhymes for more
English and American Nursery Rhymes.

This article was posted on Tuesday, September 27th, 2005 at 11:09 pm and is filed under American Nursery Rhymes, English, English Nursery Rhymes, Fishy, Fishy, In a Brook, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Nursery Rhymes About Animals, Nursery Rhymes About Fish, Rhymes by Theme. 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.

29 Responses to “Fishy, Fishy, In a Brook”

  1. melanie Says:

    I’m searching for another “fishy” song that my grandma used to sing to me… Something along the lines of (spelled as it sounds):

    Twim, ted da mudder fishy. Twim! said da baby fishy. And dey twam and dey twam in da ittle ocean blue.

    Anyone heard of it?

    Thanks, melanie

  2. james Says:

    hey.
    here in Brazil I’ve seen this:

    fish fish in a brook
    daddy caught you on a hook
    mommy cooked you in a pan
    and the little baby ate you like a man

  3. Lisa Says:

    That’s interesting. Is that song in Portuguese too? If so, I’d love it if you’d post the Portuguese version here.

  4. Diane Says:

    I love this poem it was the first one I learned in Kindergarten. We did a play to it also…it was so much fun we had a plastic fishing hook with a plastic fish…did anyone else do plays in elementary?

  5. Diane Says:

    This is for you Lisa

    Piscoso, piscoso, num Papai de córrego pegou-o com um gancho Mommy fritou-o numa panela E bebê o comeu gostar
    de um homem.

  6. Mrs Monkey Says:

    Three Little Fishies (Itty Bitty Poo)
    Kay Kyser (#1 in 1939)
    – words and music by Saxie Dowell

    Down in the meadow in a little bitty pool
    Swam three little fishies and a mama fishie too
    “Swim” said the mama fishie, “Swim if you can”
    And they swam and they swam all over the dam
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    And they swam and they swam all over the dam

    “Stop” said the mama fishie, “or you will get lost”
    The three little fishies didn’t wanna be bossed
    The three little fishies went off on a spree
    And they swam and they swam right out to the sea
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    And they swam and they swam right out to the sea

    “Whee!” yelled the little fishies, “Here’s a lot of fun
    We’ll swim in the sea till the day is done”
    They swam and they swam, and it was a lark
    Till all of a sudden they saw a shark!
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    Till all of a sudden they saw a shark!

    “Help!” cried the little fishies, “Gee! look at all the whales!”
    And quick as they could, they turned on their tails
    And back to the pool in the meadow they swam
    And they swam and they swam back over the dam
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
    And they swam and they swam back over the dam

  7. Roshell Says:

    My dad, who just turned 65, was sang this song by his mother. He was trying to remember the words so he could sing it to my son. I am soo glad I found the lyrics on your site! Thank you!

  8. Carl Ruud Says:

    Thank you –thank you–thank you–for the lyrics to the “Three Little Fishies” . I will now use this good toe tappin song as one of those oldies but goodies I sing as I do gigs on a circuit among retirement centers and veterans homes. People in their eighties and ninties love such memory joggin songs . The “Three Little Fishies” is perfect for inclusion in any elder care-music therapy session.

    I read within your web site that this song was big–a number one hit- just before WW 11. I also remember hearing it on the radio and TV…..

  9. Pat Waldron Says:

    I still can’t believe the things I can find on Google! I’m writing memoir,
    and trying to remember the lyrics of sons my mother sang when I was a small child. (I’m 80 now)
    Fishy in a brook was one and all I could remember was Mama fried him in a pan, baby ate him like a man.
    Now I know the whole thing.
    Thanks,Lisa, Toni and all.
    Three Little Fishies came later, when I was 12 or 13.

  10. C Klaudeman Says:

    This is the version that my grandparents used to tell me:

    Fishy Fishy in the brook,
    Daddy caught you by the hook.
    Momma fried you in the pan,
    and Candy eats you as fast as she can!

    Thank you for posting it, I’ve been looking for the origination of that rhyme for many many years.

  11. brittany Says:

    My grandma had a nursery rhyme book that this was in. I wish i could find that book for my boys. Thanks for posting this

  12. Lisa Says:

    Do you remember anything about your grandmother’s book?

  13. Stan Young Says:

    Fishie fishie in the brook
    Brother catch him on a hook
    Momma fry him in a pan
    Daddy eat him like a man

  14. Margot white Says:

    Thanks. Brought us joy

  15. Joan Høiness Bouchelle Says:

    I have been trying to remember all the words to
    “Pussy Willows down by the brook,
    Swaying to and fro.
    On a bending willow bow,
    Like pussycats all in a row.

    If I put you down by the fire,
    You pussies so cunning and shy,
    I wonder if you’d turn
    Into pussycats by and by?”

    “Oh, No!” the pussies said.
    “We couldn’t and we wouldn’t do that!
    We belong to the fairy folk
    And we are their pussycats!”

  16. Lisa Says:

    You’re very close Joan…

    Pretty pussies down by the brook,
    Swinging away to and fro;
    On the bending willow boughs
    Like pussy cats all in a row.

    If I put you down by the fire,
    You pussies so cunning and shy,
    I wonder if you’ll turn
    Into pussy cats by and by?

    “Ah, no!” the pussies said,
    “We couldn’t and we wouldn’t do that;
    We belong to fairy folks
    And we are their pussy cats.”

  17. Paul Schlimme Says:

    Thanks my mom was born in 1910 and she said her mom used to say it with her name in it instead of baby,

    Fishy, fishy, in a brook
    Daddy caught him with a hook
    Mommy fried him in a pan
    And MABEL ate him like a LITTLE man.

  18. antrell anmma Says:

    Here’s the version my dad sang me in compton,a lot different kinda growing up but my parents always wanted me to do better

    Fishy fishy in the brook dad will take u like crook , we will run as fast as we can so were not
    Caught by the man ,mom will fry it in a pan and one day baby you’ll be a man better than I ever can

    It was ruff growing up in the hood

  19. Lisa Says:

    If anyone would like to sing any of these songs for us, please email me or comment here. Thanks! Mama Lisa

    PS Here’s a link to Pretty Pussies Down by the Brook (Pussy Willows) with a score and midi tune.

  20. Emma Says:

    I am looking for a poem that my granddad used to tell my dad wen he was small and dd then used to say it to me and my brothers wen we were small, its been a long long time he said it and can only remember two lines fromit
    please help me find it!!
    it starts with two little fishies in a brook and then the last line is lets hurry home and get to bed before the worlds on fire

    please please help???

  21. Stan Says:

    I’m 55 years old and one day out of know where I remembered this poem (fishy fishy in the brook) I remember reading it when I was 7 or 8 years old. My mother bought the world book encyclopedia collection back then, books where our computer. LOL

  22. Patscga Says:

    I learned it as

    Fishy fishy in a brook
    Daddy catch him by a hook
    Mama fry it in a pan
    Baby eat it like a man.

  23. Nancy Says:

    I remember it as
    Fishy, fishy, in the brook
    Daddy caught him on the hook.
    Mommy fried it n a pan,
    And baby ate it, like a man.

    My friend has a lot of small grandchildren and they are all girls,
    so I would change the last line to:
    (The girl’s name) ate it with her hands.

    They loved it and they all wanted me to say it using their names. Over and over, and over, of course. lol

  24. Jan Pierce Says:

    Hey you fishy fans…thought you would like my version that I teach my 5 and under swim students: Down in a meadow in an itty bitty pool swam a bunch of little fishies and the Mama Fishy too. “Swim,” said the Mama Fishy, “Swim, it’s so COOL! So they swam and they swam all over the POOL!” After the dit-em chorus we insert swim skill words: kick kick paddle paddle blow your bubble…and they swam and they swam all over the pool–COOL! Please parents teach your kids to swim, safety rules, to ALWAYS ask your permission to get in water but have fun! Love and blessings from this real MAMA FISHY.

  25. Karmah Says:

    I was taught this version of Fishy, Fishy and it goes like this….

    Fishy, fishy, in a brook
    Papa catch ‘em on a hook
    Mama fry ‘em in a pan
    Baby eat ‘em like a man!

  26. Laurie Says:

    I happened to recall this rhyme today out of the blue. It’s something my father said to me so often. It’s interesting to read about the history and different versions of this rhyme because it leaves fond memories of my father who I miss so much. Dad would have been 91 this August and even in my 50’s, he would periodically say to me…fishy fishy in a brook…. How special was that. I love you daddy.

  27. Robin Says:

    My mother said it this way:

    Fishy fishy in the brook
    Fishy fishy bite my hook
    You be the captain
    I’ll be the cook
    Fishy fishy bite my hook

    (here is where we can get creative!!)

    Once my tricky deeds are done
    Then we’ll have a lot of fun!
    I’ll fry you up in a frying pan
    And share it all with whom I can
    A little salt is what I need
    to make you tasty for all to feed!

    Yummy yummy we are happy
    Time to rest and take a nappy! (“nappy” works in USA, maybe not so much in Europe & elsewhere. haha)

    I could go on and on… The possibilities are endless. :-)

  28. Lisa Says:

    That’s great Robin!

  29. Joanne Lauster Says:

    My Mother used this version:

    Fishy, Fishy in a book
    Daddy catch him on a hook
    Mommy fry him in a pan
    Baby eat him like a man

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