Sing a song of sixpence

Good morning kiddies! I’m hijacking the Sunday Funny Page again with one of my rhymes. Enjoy this one and keep all those redbirds away from your breakfast! Stay tuned all the way to the bottom of the post – Sabina wants to show you the opening page of her new story, title TBD but it is a new Simon and Toby adventure. The last one she did took 10 months for her to finish; this one is just as long, so who knows how long we’ll have to wait for her to finish!  Have a great Sunday!  Love and feathers, Auntie Goose.24 blackbirds_0001

Mother Goose version


Many illustrations, so many to choose from

Check out this website where a university student shows off his school project and illustrates this rhyme.

by Rose Frith


by Suumin Birks

by Maxfield Parrish

Some of the many books!



Toys and such



Vintage Ad



From Food of the Tudors website:

To make Pies that the Birds may be alive in them, and flie out when it is cut up.
From Epulario, 1598 (Olde English)

Make the coffin of a great pie or pastry, in the bottome thereof make a hole as big as your fist, or bigger if you will, let the sides of the coffin bee somewhat higher then ordinary pies, which done put it full of flower and bake it, and being baked, open the hole in the bottome, and take out the flower. Then having a pie of the bigness of the hole in the bottome of the coffin aforesaid, you shal put it into the coffin, withall put into the said coffin round about the aforesaid pie as many small live birds as the empty coffin will hold, besides the pie aforesaid. And this is to be done at such time as you send the pie to the table, and set before the guests: where uncovering or cutting up the lid of the great pie, all the birds will flie out, which is to delight and pleasure shew to the company. And because they shall not bee altogether mocked, you shall cut open the small pie, and in this sort you may make many others, the like you may do with a tart.


Action words to the poem ” Sing a song of sixpence” Rhyme with some history!
Lovely words to this children’s action nursery rhyme which is often referred to as blackbirds baked in a pie probably because the image that blackbirds baked in a pie would create in a child’s mind. The rye (a pocketful of rye) was purchased to feed birds. Blackbirds, and other song birds, were actually eaten as a delicacy! However a court jester may well have suggested to the court cook to bake a pie pastry crust and place this over some live blackbirds to surprise and amuse the King! It would not be unreasonable for the blackbirds to look for revenge hence “When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!” It is interesting to note that the references to the counting house and eating honey were the common man’s perception of what a King and Queen spent their time doing. The nursery rhyme Sing a song of sixpence or blackbirds baked in a pie always end with the tweaking of a child’s nose!

Views of the Sceptics
The connection between this Rhyme was made by James Leasor in 1961 in his non-fiction book’ The Plague and the Fire. Some people are sceptical of the plague interpretations of this rhyme, many stating that words in the rhyme cannot be found in Middle English. The sceptics must be referring to the later version of the rhyme, possibly with American origins, the English version is “Ring a ring o’ rosies” using the Middle English “o” as a shortening of the word “of”. The written word ” posies” is first mentioned in a poem called ‘Prothalamion or A Spousal Verse’ by Edmund Spenser (1552-1599. We believe that this addresses the views of the sceptics.

Nursery Rhyme & History


And now, a teaser for the new Simon and Toby adventure!

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6 thoughts on “Sing a song of sixpence

  1. ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ was always one of my favourites as a child! The thought of all those birds flying out of the pie really amused me. 🙂


  2. Pingback: 5 Day Black & White Challenge and 5 Photos – 5 Days Challenge: Day 3 | The Storyteller's Abode

  3. fun but a little creepy to me!


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