Sing a Song of Sixpence

Song Video


Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
They all began to sing.
Now, wasn't that a dainty dish
To set before the King?

The King was in his countinghouse,
Counting out his money;
The Queen was in the parlor
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes.
Along there came a big black bird
And snipped off her nose!

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Information About Sing a Song of Sixpence

Sing a Song of Sixpence is a renowned English nursery rhyme and dates back to at least the 18th eighteenth century. There is no evidence to the rhyme's definitive origins. The song first appeared in a book named "Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book" published in 1744.

During Tudor times cooks in rich homes would try every possible way to make as many meat dishes as different, colourful and exciting as possible, especially at banquets. It is said that one such dish was a pie filled with live blackbirds and presented at such a banquet for Henry VII and of course when opened the birds flew out singing.

Sing a Song of Sixpence was originally used as a coded message to tell a potential crew that there was a pirate ship in dock.

For further information about the song "Sing a Song of Sixpence" you may find Wikipedia helpful.

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

Some different words are used in this song

Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!

Listen to this song's music


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Alpha Skua, USA

30 April 2015 at 11:35pm

Live Birds in a pie sounds like something interesting and look out for blackbirds who like to snap off long noses

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25 November 2014 at 11:55am

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Victoria, United States

2 April 2014 at 11:11pm

I learned an additional line as " along came a jenny wren and popped it on again!"

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Colin Browne, Gonubie Rep S.a.

20 July 2009 at 6:50am

In our young days, circa 1935 the blackbirds were 'Baking in a pie' Note the others in present tense, EG: eating, hanging, counting.

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Angel, England

15 June 2009 at 5:48pm

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Simon, London

2 May 2009 at 10:31pm

! we have a book from 1968 that has extra ending, is this right, it is,! they called for the kings doctor! who sowed it on again! he sowed it on so neatly! the seam was never seen. !

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