Hickory Dickory Dock

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"Hickory Dickory Dock"
Roud #6489
Hickety Dickety Dock 1 - WW Denslow - Project Gutenberg etext 18546.jpg
Hickety Dickety Dock, illustrated by William Wallace Denslow, from a 1901 Mother Goose collection
Written byTraditional
Publishedc. 1744
WrittenEngland
LanguageEnglish
FormNursery rhyme
 
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"Hickory Dickory Dock"
Roud #6489
Hickety Dickety Dock 1 - WW Denslow - Project Gutenberg etext 18546.jpg
Hickety Dickety Dock, illustrated by William Wallace Denslow, from a 1901 Mother Goose collection
Written byTraditional
Publishedc. 1744
WrittenEngland
LanguageEnglish
FormNursery rhyme
Hickety Dickety Dock, illustrated by Denslow

"Hickory Dickory Dock" or "Hickety Dickety Dock" is a popular English nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 6489.

Lyrics[edit]

The most common modern version is:

Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.[1]

Other variants include "down the mouse ran"[2] or "down the mouse run"[3] or "and down he ran" in place of "the mouse ran down".

Origins and meaning[edit]

The earliest recorded version of the rhyme is in Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, published in London about 1744, which uses the opening line: 'Hickere, Dickere Dock'.[1] The next recorded version in Mother Goose's Melody (c. 1765), uses 'Dickery, Dickery Dock'.[1]

The rhyme is thought by some commentators to have originated as a counting-out rhyme.[1] Westmoreland shepherds in the nineteenth century used the numbers 'Hevera' (8), 'Devera' (9) and 'Dick' (10).[1] (See Yan Tan Tethera)

Some reports claim that the rhyme was written by Oliver Goldsmith, in Dublin for a volume of nursery rhymes he was collecting.[4]

Tune[edit]

As with many other nursery rhymes, there are two substantially different melodies, one associated with Great Britain and the other with North America.[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 185-6.
  2. ^ The American Mercury, Volume 77, p.105
  3. ^ "Mother Goose's chimes, rhymes & melodies". H.B. Ashmead. 1861?. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  4. ^ "Irish People and Ireland". Irishabroad.com. Retrieved 2009-09-03.