"Tinker, Tailor" is a counting game, nursery rhyme and fortune telling song traditionally played in England, that can be used to count cherry stones, buttons, daisy petals and other items. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 802. It is commonly used by children in both Britain and America for "counting out", e.g. for choosing who shall be "It" in a game of tag.
The most common modern version is:
The most common American version is:
A similar rhyme has been noted in William Caxton's The Game and Playe of the Chesse (c. 1475), in which pawns are named: "Labourer, Smith, Clerk, Merchant, Physician, Taverner, Guard and Ribald."
The first record of the opening four professions being grouped together is in William Congreve's Love for Love (1695), which has the lines:
When James Orchard Halliwell collected the rhyme in the 1840s, it was for counting buttons with the lines: "My belief – a captain, a colonel, a cow-boy, a thief."The version printed by William Wells Newell in Games and Songs of American Children in 1883 was: "Rich man, Poor man, beggar-man, thief, Doctor, lawyer (or merchant), Indian chief", and it may be from this tradition that the modern American lyrics solidified.
A. A. Milne's Now We Are Six (1927) had the following version of "Cherry stones":
The "tinker, tailor" rhyme is one part of a longer counting or divination game, often played by young girls to foretell their futures; it runs as follows:
During the divination, the child will ask a question and then count out a series of actions or objects by reciting the rhyme. The rhyme is repeated until the last of the series of objects or actions is reached. The last recited term or word is that which will come true. Buttons on a dress, petals on a flower, bounces of a ball, number of jumps over a rope, etc., may be counted.
A counting-out game or counting-out rhyme is a simple method of 'randomly' selecting a person from a group, often used by children for the purpose of playing another game. It usually requires no materials, and is achieved with spoken words or hand gestures. The historian Henry Carrington Bolton suggested in his 1888 book Counting Out Rhymes of Children that the custom of counting out originated in the "superstitious practices of divination by lots."
A nursery rhyme is a traditional poem or song for children in Britain and many other countries, but usage of the term dates only from the late 18th/early 19th century. The term Mother Goose rhymes is interchangeable with nursery rhymes.
Humpty Dumpty is a character in an English nursery rhyme, probably originally a riddle and one of the best known in the English-speaking world. He is typically portrayed as an anthropomorphic egg, though he is not explicitly described as such. The first recorded versions of the rhyme date from late eighteenth-century England and the tune from 1870 in James William Elliott's National Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs. Its origins are obscure, and several theories have been advanced to suggest original meanings.
"Eeny, meeny, miny, moe"—which can be spelled a number of ways—is a children's counting-out rhyme, used to select a person in games such as tag, or for selecting various other things. It is one of a large group of similar rhymes in which the child who is pointed to by the chanter on the last syllable is chosen. The rhyme has existed in various forms since well before 1820 and is common in many languages using similar-sounding nonsense syllables. Some versions use a racial epithet, which has made the rhyme controversial at times.
"Hey Diddle Diddle" is an English nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19478.
"Oranges and Lemons" is a traditional English nursery rhyme, folksong, and singing game which refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London. It is listed in the Roud Folk Song Index as No 13190. The earliest known printed version appeared c. 1744.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 1974 spy novel by British-Irish author John le Carré. It follows the endeavours of taciturn, aging spymaster George Smiley to uncover a Soviet mole in the British Secret Intelligence Service. The novel has received critical acclaim for its complex social commentary—and, at the time, relevance, following the defection of Kim Philby. It has been adapted into both a television series and a film, and remains a staple of the spy fiction genre.
A singing game is an activity based on a particular verse or rhyme, usually associated with a set of actions and movements. As a collection, they have been studied by folklorists, ethnologists, and psychologists and are seen as important part of childhood culture. The same term is also used for a form of video game that involves singing.
A children's song may be a nursery rhyme set to music, a song that children invent and share among themselves or a modern creation intended for entertainment, use in the home or education. Although children's songs have been recorded and studied in some cultures more than others, they appear to be universal in human society.
"One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" is a popular English language nursery rhyme and counting-out rhyme of which there are early occurrences in the US and UK. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 11284.
"There Was a Crooked Man" is an English nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 1826.
"Ding Dong Bell" or "Ding Dong Dell" is a popular English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 12853.
"Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" is a popular song published in 1945, with music by Hoagy Carmichael and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. The title and lyrics are a play on the popular counting game "Tinker, Tailor." The biggest-selling version of the song was recorded by Betty Hutton on June 29, 1945. The recording was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 220. The record first reached the Billboard magazine charts on December 6, 1945 and lasted 17 weeks on the chart, peaking at #1.
"Aiken Drum" is a popular Scottish folk song and nursery rhyme, which probably has its origins in a Jacobite song about the Battle of Sheriffmuir (1715).
"What Are Little Boys Made Of?" is a nursery rhyme dating from the early 19th century. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 821.
"Taffy was a Welshman" is an English language nursery rhyme created as a derogatory and offensive slander of the Welsh people. It was popular between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19237.
"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" is an English nursery rhyme and singing game. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 7882. It uses the tune which Nancy Dawson danced into fame in The Beggar's Opera in mid-1700s London. The same tune is also used for "Lazy Mary, Will You Get Up" and "Nuts in May". A variant is used for "The Wheels on the Bus".
"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride" is a proverb and nursery rhyme, first recorded about 1628 in a collection of Scottish proverbs, which suggests if wishing could make things happen, then even the most destitute people would have everything they wanted. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 20004.
Here Comes an Old Soldier from Botany Bay, commonly known as Here Comes an Old Soldier or just Old Soldier, is a nursery rhyme and children's game found in Australia, the United States, and the British Isles. The game and rhyme date to at least the late nineteenth century.
Tinker, Tailor is a counting game, nursery rhyme and fortune telling song. "Tinker, Tailor" may also refer to: