Diddle Diddle Dumpling


Version 1

Diddle diddle dumpling, my son John
Went to bed with his britches on.
One shoe off, and one shoe on;
Diddle diddle dumpling, my son John.

Source: Wright, The Original Mother Goose (1916)

Version 2

Deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John,
Went to bed with his stockings on;
One shoe off, and one shoe on,
Deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John.

Source: Smith, The Little Mother Goose (1912)


Version 3

Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John,
Went to bed with his trousers on;
One shoe off, and one shoe on,
Diddle, diddle, dumpling my son John

Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1997)



Historical Background

“Diddle Diddle Dumpling” was first printed in “The Newest Christmas Box,” published in London around 1797. The adage “Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling” is said to have been the cry of dumpling street peddlers. The rhyme is unusual in that it uses the formal name John, while other classic nursery rhymes use a diminutive, such as Jack.

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