Nursery Rhymes: 50 Best Top Picks Most Popular Of All Time (Lyrics, Origins & More)

  • Learn the top 50 nursery rhymes of all time
  • Lyrics included, so you can sing along with your little ones
  • Read about the origins of these popular children’s rhymes
  • Plus: More links to articles about vids for kids

It’s a rite of passage for everyone growing up to memorize a dozen or so nursery rhymes along with our siblings and classmate. The list of nursery rhymes we could recite from the top of our heads along with the actions they come with seem very natural to many kids and adults up to today.

These nursery rhymes playlist can be heard in classrooms and kiddie parties all over the world and it adds a little bit of fun into the ambiance with the fun words and clever rhymes.

But have you ever wondered where these nursery song lyrics came from and what they mean? Here’s the list of popular nursery rhymes and their origins to add to your stock knowledge:

Top 50 Most Popular

Nursery Rhymes

nursery rhymes

A

A Wise Old Owl

LYRICS:

A wise old owl lived in an oak

The more he saw the less he spoke

The less he spoke the more he heard.

Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

A-Tisket, A-Tasket

LYRICS:

A-tisket a-tasket

A green and yellow basket

I wrote a letter to my love

And on the way I dropped it,

I dropped it,

I dropped it,

And on the way I dropped it.

A little boy he picked it up and put it in his pocket.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***


B

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

LYRICS:

Baa, baa, black sheep,

Have you any wool?

Yes, sir, yes, sir,

Three bags full;

One for the master,

And one for the dame,

And one for the little boy

Who lives down the lane

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Bingo/Bingo Was His Name-O

LYRICS:

There was a farmer, had a dog,

and Bingo was his name-o.

B-I-N-G-O

B-I-N-G-O

B-I-N-G-O

And Bingo was his name-o.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Bye, Baby Bunting

LYRICS:

Bye, baby Bunting,

Daddy’s gone a-hunting,

Gone to get a rabbit skin

To wrap the baby Bunting in

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

C

Cock a Doodle Doo

LYRICS:

Cock a doodle do!

My dame has lost her shoe,

My master's lost his fiddlestick,

And knows not what to do.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

D

Ding Dong Bell

LYRICS:

Ding, dong, bell,

Pussy’s in the well.

Who put her in?

Little Johnny Flynn.

Who pulled her out?

Little Tommy Stout.

What a naughty boy was that,

To try to drown poor pussy cat,

Who never did him any harm,

But killed all the mice in the farmer's barn

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

E

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

LYRICS:

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,

Catch a tiger by the toe.

If he hollers, let him go,

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

F

Five Little Speckled Frogs

LYRICS:

Five little speckled frogs

Sat on a speckled log

Eating the most delicious grubs

One jumped into the pool

Where it was nice and cool

Then there were four green speckled frogs.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Frere Jacques

LYRICS:

Are you sleeping,

Are you sleeping,

Brother John,

Brother John?

Morning Bells are Ringing,

Morning Bells are Ringing.

Ding, dang, dong!

Ding, dang, dong !

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

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nursery
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G

Georgie Porgie

LYRICS:

Georgie Porgie, Puddin' and Pie,

Kissed the girls and made them cry,

When the boys came out to play

Georgie Porgie ran away.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

H

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

LYRICS:

Here we go round the mulberry bush,

The mulberry bush,

The mulberry bush.

Here we go round the mulberry bush

So early in the morning.

This is the way we wash our face,

Wash our face,

Wash our face.

This is the way we wash our face

So early in the morning.

This is the way we comb our hair,

Comb our hair,

Comb our hair.

This is the way we comb our hair

So early in the morning.

This is the way we brush our teeth,

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Hey Diddle Diddle

LYRICS:

Hey diddle diddle,

The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon,

The little dog laughed to see such fun,

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Hickory Dickory Dock

LYRICS:

Hickory Dickory Dock

The mouse ran up the clock

The clock struck two

The mouse said "boo"

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock

The mouse ran up the clock

The clock struck three

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Hot Cross Buns

LYRICS:

Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns,

one a penny, two a penny,

hot cross buns,

If you have no daughters,

give them to your sons,

one a penny, two a penny,

Hot Cross Buns.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Humpty Dumpty

LYRICS:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king's horses and all the king's men

Couldn't put Humpty together again.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Hush Little Baby

LYRICS:

Hush, little baby, don't say a word

Mama's gonna buy you a mockin'bird

If that mockin'bird don't sing

Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring

If that diamond ring turns brass,

Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass

If that looking glass gets broke

Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat

If that billy goat don't pull,

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

I

I’m a Little Tea Pot

LYRICS:

I'm a little teapot, short and stout

Here's my handle, here's my spout.

When the kettle's boiling, hear me shout.

Tip me up and pour me out.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

LYRICS:

It's raining; it's pouring.

The old man is snoring.

He went to bed and bumped his head,

And he wouldn't get up in the morning.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Itsy Bitsy Spider

LYRICS:

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout

Down came the rain, and washed the spider out

Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain

So the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the tree

Down came the snow and made poor Incy freeze

Out came the sunshine, and melted all the snow

So Incy Wincy Spider had another go.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

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J

Jack and Jill

LYRICS:

Jack and Jill went up the hill

To fetch a pail of water.

Jack fell down and broke his crown,

And Jill came tumbling after.

Up Jack got and down he trot

As fast as he could caper;

And went to bed and covered his head

In vinegar and brown paper.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Jack Be Nimble

LYRICS:

Jack be nimble,

Jack be quick,

Jack jump over the candlestick.

Jack jumped high,

Jack jumped low,

Jack jumped over and burned his toe.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Jack Sprat

LYRICS:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat

His wife could eat no lean.

And so between the two of them,

They licked the platter clean!

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

L

Ladybird, Ladybird

LYRICS:

Ladybird, ladybird fly away home,

Your house is on fire and your children are gone,

All except one,

And her name is Ann,

And she hid under the frying pan.

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home,

Your house is on fire,

Your children shall burn!

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home.

Your house is on fire;

Your children all roam.

Except little Nan

Who sits in her pan

Weaving her laces as fast as she can.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Little Bo Peep

LYRICS:

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,

and doesn't know where to find them;

leave them alone, And they'll come home,

wagging their tails behind them

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Little Boy Blue

LYRICS:

Little boy blue come blow your horn.

The sheep's in the meadow,

The cow's in the corn.

Where's the little boy that looks after the sheep?

Under the haystack,

Fast asleep.

Will you wake him?

No, not I

For if I do

He's sure to cry.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Little Miss Muffet

LYRICS:

Little Miss Muffet

Sat on a tuffet,

Eating her curds and whey.

Along came a spider,

Who sat down beside her,

And frightened Miss Muffet away!

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

London Bridge is Falling Down

LYRICS:

London Bridge is falling down,

Falling down, Falling down.

London Bridge is falling down,

My fair lady.

Take a key and lock her up,

Lock her up, Lock her up.

Take a key and lock her up,

My fair lady.

How will we build it up,

Build it up, Build it up?

How will we build it up,

My fair lady?

Build it up with silver and gold,

Silver and gold, Silver and gold.

Build it up with silver and gold,

My fair lady.

Gold and silver I have none,

I have none, I have none.

Gold and silver I have none,

My fair lady.

Build it up with needles and pins,

Needles and pins, Needles and pins.

Build it up with needles and pins,

My fair lady.

Pins and needles bend and break,

Bend and break, Bend and break.

Pins and needles bend and break,

My fair lady.

Build it up with wood and clay,

Wood and clay, Wood and clay.

Build it up with wood and clay,

My fair lady.

Wood and clay will wash away,

Wash away, Wash away.

Wood and clay will wash away,

My fair lady.

Build it up with stone so strong,

Stone so strong, Stone so strong.

Build it up with stone so strong,

My fair lady.

Stone so strong will last so long,

Last so long, Last so long.

Stone so strong will last so long,

My fair lady.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Lucy Locket

LYRICS:

Lucy Locket lost her pocket,

Kitty Fisher found it;

Not a penny was there in it,

Only ribbon round it.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

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nursery
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M

Mary Had a Little Lamb

LYRICS:

Mary had a little lamb,

little lamb, little lamb,

Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,

Mary went, Mary went,

and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day

school one day, school one day,

It followed her to school one day, which was against the rules.

It made the children laugh and play,

laugh and play, laugh and play,

it made the children laugh and play to see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned it out,

turned it out, turned it out,

And so the teacher turned it out, but still it lingered near,

And waited patiently about,

patiently about, patiently about,

And waited patiently about till Mary did appear.

"Why does the lamb love Mary so?"

Love Mary so? Love Mary so?

"Why does the lamb love Mary so," the eager children cry.

"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know."

The lamb, you know, the lamb, you know,

"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know," the teacher did reply.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

LYRICS:

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells

And pretty maids all in a row.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

O

Old King Cole

LYRICS:

Old King Cole was a merry old soul

And a merry old soul was he;

He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl

And he called for his fiddlers three.

Every fiddler he had a fiddle,

And a very fine fiddle had he;

Oh there's none so rare, as can compare

With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

LYRICS:

Old MacDonald had a farm in Ohio-i-o,

And on that farm he had some dogs in Ohio-i-o,

With a bow-wow here, and a bow-wow there,

Here a bow, there a wow, everywhere a bow-wow.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Old Mother Hubbard

LYRICS:

Old Mother Hubbard

Went to the cupboard,

To give the poor dog a bone;

When she came there,

The cupboard was bare,

And so the poor dog had none.

She went to the baker's

To buy him some bread;

When she came back

The dog was dead!

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

One Two Buckle My Shoe

LYRICS:

One, two, buckle my shoe

Three, four, shut the door

Five, six, pick up sticks

Seven, eight, lay them straight

Nine, ten, a big fat hen

Eleven, twelve, men must delve

Thirteen, fourteen, maids are courting

Fifteen, sixteen, maids in the kitchen

Seventeen, eighteen, maids in waiting

Nineteen, twenty, my plate's empty

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

One Two Three Four Five

LYRICS:

One, two, three, four, five.

Once I caught a fish alive.

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Then I let it go again.

Why did you let it go?

Because it bit my finger so.

Which finger did it bite?

This little finger on my right.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

LYRICS:

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.

She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;

She gave them some broth without any bread;

Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

nursery rhyme
nursery
rhymes

P

Pat-a-Cake Baker’s Man

LYRICS:

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man.

Bake me a cake as fast as you can.

Roll it and pat it and mark it with "B"

And put it in the oven for Baby and me.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Pease Porridge Hot

LYRICS:

Pease-porridge hot, Pease-porridge cold,

Pease-porridge in the pot, Nine days old;

Some like it hot, Some like it cold,

Some like it in the pot, Nine days old.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Pop Goes the Weasel

LYRICS:

Half a pound of tuppenny rice,

Half a pound of treacle.

That’s the way the money goes,

Pop! goes the weasel.

Up and down the City road,

In and out the Eagle,

That’s the way the money goes,

Pop! goes the weasel.

For you may try to sew and sew,

But you'll never make anything regal,

That’s the way the money goes,

Pop! goes the weasel.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

LYRICS:

Pussy cat, pussy cat,

Where have you been?

I've been to London to see the Queen

Pussy cat, pussy cat,

What did you do there?

I frightened a little mouse under the chair

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

R

Rain Rain Go Away

LYRICS:

Rain, rain, go away,

Come again another day.

Rain, rain, go away.

Come again some other day.

Little Johnny wants to play,

In the meadow by the hay.

Rain, rain, go to Spain,

Never show your face again.

Rain, rain, pour down,

But not a drop on our town.

Rain on the green grass,

and rain on the tree,

And rain on the housetop,

but not on me.

Rain, rain, go away,

Come again on washing day.

Rain, rain, go to Germany,

And remain there permanently.

Rain, rain, go away,

Come on Martha's wedding day.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Ring a Ring O Roses

LYRICS:

Ring a ring o'roses

A pocketful of posies

ah-tishoo,ah-tishoo

We all fall down.

The King has sent his daughter

To fetch a pail of water

ah-tishoo, ah-tishoo

We all fall down.

The bird upon the steeple

Sits high above the people

ah-tishoo, ah-tishoo

We all fall down.

The cows are in the meadow

Lying fast asleep

ah-tishoo, ah-tishoo

We all get up again.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Rock-a-bye Baby

LYRICS:

Rock a bye baby on the treetop,

When the wind blows the cradle will rock,

When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,

And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Baby is drowsing cozy and fair

Mother sits near in her rocking chair

Forward and back the cradle she swings

And though baby sleeps he hears what she sings

From the high rooftops down to the sea

No ones' as dear as baby to me

Wee little fingers, eyes wide and bright

Now sound asleep until morning light

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Row Row Row the Boat

LYRICS:

Row, row, row the boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

Row, row, row the boat

Gently down the stream

If you see a crocodile

Don't forget to scream

Row, row, row the boat

Gently down the river

If you see a polar bear

Don't forget to shiver

Row, row, row the boat

Gently to the shore

If you see a lion

Don't forget to roar

Row, row, row the boat

Gently in the bath

If you see a spider

Don't forget to laugh

Row, row, row the boat

Gently as can be

'Cause if you're not careful

You'll fall into the sea

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Rub-a-Dub Dub

LYRICS:

Rub a dub dub,

Three men in a tub,

And who do you think they be?

The butcher,

The baker,

The candlestick maker,

Turn them out, knaves all three!

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

S

Star Light, Star Bright

LYRICS:

Star light, star bright,

The first star I see tonight,

I wish I may, I wish I might,

Have the wish I wish tonight.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

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T

Three Little Kittens

LYRICS:

Three little kittens,

They lost their mittens,

And they began to cry,

Oh, mother dear,

We sadly fear

Our mittens we have lost.

What! Lost your mittens,

You naughty kittens!

Then you shall have no pie.

Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.

You shall have no pie.

The three little kittens,

They found their mittens,

And they began to cry,

Oh, mother dear,

See here, see here,

Our mittens we have found.

What! Found your mittens,

You darling kittens!

Then you shall have some pie.

Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.

You shall have some pie.

The three little kittens,

Put on their mittens,

And soon ate up the pie;

Oh, mother dear,

We greatly fear

Our mittens we have soiled.

What! Soiled your mittens,

You naughty kittens!

Then they began to sigh,

Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.

They began to sigh.

The three little kittens,

They washed their mittens,

And hung them out to dry;

Oh mother dear,

Look here, look here,

Our mittens we have washed.

What! Washed your mittens,

You're such good kittens.

I smell a rat close by!

Hush! Hush! Hush! Hush!

Hush! Hush! Hush!

I smell a rat close by.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

LYRICS:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

The Muffin Man

LYRICS:

Do you know the Muffin Man?

The Muffin Man, the Muffin Man.

Do you know the Muffin Man?

He lives on Drury Lane.

MEANING / ORIGINS: ***click to learn more***

nursery rhyme

Nursery Rhymes

We hope you've enjoyed this post! 🙂

Our Ultimate List of Popular Nursery Rhymes

There are a lot more nursery rhymes being sung today that have many different origin stories. It is not just limited to the popular ones like the London Bridge nursery rhyme lyrics. Some may teach valuable lessons and other may just be fun to sing along to.

Whichever may be the case for these nursery rhymes and others like it; they have been a part of our culture for many centuries and will not be lost in time.

Sing along with your kids with the knowledge that the words you are singing have been passed on for many generations before you and you are now passing it on to the next generation.

We've featured 50 nursery rhymes on this post but we've also ranked our very own favorites!

  • Our Very Own Top 15 Nursery Rhyme Favorites: (taken from the 50 above)
  • Nursery Rhyme #1: A Wise Old Owl
  • Nursery Rhyme #2: Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • Nursery Rhyme #3: A-Tisket, A-Tasket
  • Nursery Rhyme #4: London Bridge Is Falling Down
  • Nursery Rhyme #5: Little Miss Muffet
  • Nursery Rhyme #6: The Muffin Man
  • Nursery Rhyme #7: Humpty Dumpty
  • Nursery Rhyme #8: Jack And Jill
  • Nursery Rhyme #9: Three Little Kittens
  • Nursery Rhyme #10: Bingo / If Bingo Was His Name-O
  • Nursery Rhyme #11: Hey Diddle Diddle
  • Nursery Rhyme #12: Row Row Row The Boat
  • Nursery Rhyme #13: Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Nursery Rhyme #14: Rain Rain Go Away
  • Nursery Rhyme #15: One Two Buckle My Shoe

BONUS:
Nursery Rhymes 
Books & Toys

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Nursery Rhymes Pop Up Books:

SaleBestseller No. 1
A Pop-Up Book of Nursery Rhymes: A Classic Collectible Pop-Up
Matthew Reinhart - Publisher: Little Simon - Edition no. 0 (09/22/2009) - Board book: 12 pages
SaleBestseller No. 2
Mini House: Mother Goose's House (Mini House Book)
Peter Lippman - Publisher: Workman Publishing Company - Board book: 20 pages
SaleBestseller No. 3
The Movable Mother Goose
Robert Sabuda - Publisher: Little Simon - Edition no. 0 (10/01/1999) - Hardcover: 12 pages

Last update on 2019-06-26 at 15:56 Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Nursery Rhymes Toys:

Last update on 2019-06-26 at 15:56 Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Nursery Rhymes Featured Video:

Nursery Rhyme Fun With THE WIGGLES!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se5XcrG4S8s

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