Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

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This article is about the poem. For the 1938 animated short film, see Wynken, Blynken and Nod (film).
"Blinken" redirects here. For the author, see Meir Blinken. For the former US ambassador to Belgium, see Alan Blinken.
Wynken, Blynken and Nod, by Mabel Landrum Torrey, 1918, formerly a fountain, Washington Park, Denver[1]

"Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" is a popular poem for children written by American writer and poet Eugene Field and published on March 9, 1889. The original title was Dutch Lullaby.

The poem is a fantasy bed-time story of three children sailing and fishing in the stars. Their boat is a wooden shoe. The little fishermen symbolize a sleepy child's blinking eyes and nodding head.

Text of poem[edit]

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea —
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish —
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam —
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea —
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.[2]

Musical adaptations[edit]

Its lyrical structure has availed itself to musicians: Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin the American pianist and composer wrote a piano setting, and musical versions have been recorded by The Big 3 featuring Cass Elliot (1963), the Simon Sisters (1964), the Ivy League Trio (1964), The Irish Rovers on their album The Life of the Rover (1969), by Donovan on his children's album H.M.S. Donovan (1971),[3] by Roger Whittaker on his children's album "The Magical World of Roger Whittaker" (1975)[4] by Buffy Saint-Marie who sang a version on Sesame Street in 1975, and on her album Sweet America (1976), by Fred Penner on his children's album The Cat Came Back (1979) and by The Doobie Brothers (1981). By Kevin Roth in his album Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.[5] Composer Christopher Klaich set a contemporary lullaby concert setting for soprano Bianca Showalter which has either piano or chamber orchestral accompaniment. Recordings(2013) can be heard on the composer's site. (2013) Composer Stephen DeCesare composed a SATB version of the popular poem.

References in other artistic works[edit]


  1. ^ Mabel Landrum's original sculpture was exhibited to critical acclaim at the Art Institute of Chicago, Torrey presented her sculpture to Denver Mayor Robert W. Speer who commissioned a marble version in 1918. A bronze copy dedicated on September 23, 1938 in memory of Elizabeth Cameron Bailey is a fountain on the Green in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.
  2. ^ http://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/literature/eugenefield/poems/poemsofchildhood/wynkenblynkenandnod.html
  3. ^ Donovan recorded it again for his 2002 children's album Pied Piper.
  4. ^ This album was only released on LP and only in Canada.
  5. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/now-i-lay-me-down-to-sleep-mw0000091363

The iconic video game Pac-Man, released in 1980, has 4 ghosts to be avoided, named "Blinky", "Pinky", "Inky", and "Clyde".

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