Name: Four and twenty Naughty Boys
Publisher(s): Mary Cooper
Creators: John Newbery
Number of Appearances: 1
Note: precursor to four and twenty blackbirds
The earliest known printed version of the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence" appeared in Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book (1744). This version had only once verse and did NOT include the "four and twenty blackbirds" known in the rhyme today. Instead, it featured "four and twenty naughty boys."
This version from 1744 reads as follows:
Sing a Song of Sixpence,
A bag full of Rye,
Four and twenty Naughty Boys,
Baked in a Pye.
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