Itsy Bitsy Spider

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"Itsy Bitsy Spider"
Roud #11586
Written byTraditional
FormNursery rhyme
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"Itsy Bitsy Spider"
Roud #11586
Written byTraditional
FormNursery rhyme

"Itsy Bitsy Spider" (also known as "Incy Wincy Spider", "Eency Weency Spider", "Inky Binky Spider", "Inky Dinky Spider", "Ipsy Wispy Spider", "Ipsy Dipsy Spider" or "Itchy Wincy Spider") is a popular nursery rhyme that describes the adventures of a spider as it ascends, descends, and re-ascends the downspout or "waterspout" of a gutter system (or, alternatively, the spout of a teapot or open-air reservoir). It is usually accompanied by a sequence of gestures that mimic the words of the song. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 11586.


There are various versions of the lyrics:

The Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up the waterspout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain
And then Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up the spout again.

The words "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" are sometimes chanted rather than sung. Recitation of the rhyme is often combined with fingerplays representing the words. For the first (and last) line, alternately touch the thumb of one hand to the index finger of the other. For "Down came the rain" both hands are held up and the fingers wiggle as the hands are lowered. For "washed the spider out" the hands are swept to the side. For the third line both hands are brought up and then moved to the sides to sweep out a semicircle (the sun). Then the fingers wiggle upwards (to show the rain drying in the sun), and the thumb/index finger movement is repeated to indicate the spider climbing up the spout.


The song can be found in publications including an alternate version in the book, Camp and Camino in Lower California (1910),[1] where it was referred to as [the classic] "Spider Song".[2] It appears to be a more adult version of the song using “blooming, bloody” instead of itsy bitsy. It was later published in one of its several modern versions in Western Folklore, by the California Folklore Society (1948),[3] Mike and Peggy Seeger's, American Folk Songs for Children (1948),[4] and The Growing Family: A Guide for Parents by Maxwell Slutz Stewart (1955).[citation needed] In 2013 Maziar Bahari's company Off-Centre Productions created an animated version of the song featuring a animated mouse character called Journo.[5]

Lyrics as described in 1910 as being from the 'classic' "Spider Song":[2]

Oh, the blooming, bloody spider went up the spider web,
The blooming, bloody rain came down and washed the spider out,
The blooming, bloody sun came out and dried up all the rain,
And the blooming, bloody spider came up the web again.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ North, Arthur Walbridge (1910). Camp and Camino in Lower California. New York: The Baker & Taylor Company. 
  2. ^ a b North, Arthur Walbridge (1910). Camp and Camino in Lower California. pp. 279–280. 
  3. ^ Hansen, Marian. "Children's Rhymes Accompanied by Gestures," Vol. 7, No. 1, p. 53
  4. ^ Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Online search, retrieved 19 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Itsy Bitsy Spider". YouTube. 2013-12-24. Retrieved 2014-01-18.