Old King Cole

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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 had a fiddle fine,
And a very fine fiddle had he, had he.
Tweedle dum, tweedle dee, went the fiddlers three,
Tweedle dum dee, dum dee deedle dee.

Tweedle dum, tweedle dee, went the fiddlers three,
Tweedle dum dee, dum dee deedle dee.

And every fiddler
Had a fine fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he.
Oh, there's none so rare
As can compare
With old King Cole and his fiddlers three.

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Information About Old King Cole

"Old King Cole" is an old British nursery rhyme dating back to at least the early 18th century. The earliest printed record of this rhyme can be traced back to 1708-9 by William King in his "Useful Transactions in Philosophy"; the lyrics of which differed to those commonly known today.

The name "Cole" or "Coel" is believed to have Brythonic origins dating as far back as Roman or even sub-Roman Britain.

According to popular British legend there is a mention of a King Cole who lived in the town of Colchester in Essex in the third century AD. It is believed that King Cole could be grandfather of the Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, thus "Colchester" could well mean "Cole's castle".

There is another theory, about a Welsh historical character named Coel Hen, whose name actually means "Coel the Old" and appears in a number of Old Welsh legends.

Singer Nat "King" Cole (actual name Nat Coles) said his stage name was inspired by the nursery rhyme "Old King Cole".

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

A few changes to they lyrics in this version

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!

And every fiddler, he had a fine fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he.
“Twee tweedle dee, tweedle dee, went the fiddlers.

Oh, there’s none so rare
As can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

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1 Comments

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Margaret E. Kasper, Brighton, Colorado USA

20 September 2013 at 10:53pm

What are those older words that preceded the currently popular words ? I am 65 and I recall different words from "...and called for his fiddlers three..." but not well enough to print here. I am fascinated with the research of the political backgrounds to many nursery rhymes and songs, and am looking for the oldest version available. Could you possibly tell me where else I could look? Thank-you!

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This song has been printed from the BusSongs.com website.